The SMS app that comes with new phones tends to suck in one way or another. Why is the interface so ugly? Bah, switching between conversations is so awkward. Samsung, what are you doing? Motorola, the old Messenging app no longer feels stock―it just feels old.
When you ask a friend for good alternatives, don't be surprised if you hear them mention EvolveSMS. Not only is the app pretty, the combination of using of the side panel to list conversations and swiping left or right to switch between them is just plain convenient.
Now version 4.0 is here. Unfortunately, you're not going to get to enjoy most new features just yet without the right hardware. There's Android Marshmallow support, which is more about the future than the present. There's fingerprint authentication, which is great for folks whose phones can read fingerprints. Then there's a new Android Wear app for folks who happen to own one of those smartwatches.
For the record, the app is pretty cool. You can browse through all of your conversations, swipe in and out of them, browse dialogue, and speak to reply.
Changes that affect all users include a new introduction screen (though you will only see this if you're installing the app for the first time, not upgrading) and an updated Settings interface. There's also support for unread count badges, in case you're using a third-party launcher like Nova or Action Launcher that append the number of incoming texts you have to the app's icon.