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My best friend and a client of mine have the same name, and it's way too easy to accidentally click on the client when I'm having a more adult or humorous conversation with my buddy at the same time as my client.

Is there a replacement iPhone texting app that uses the native SMS (I have unlimited texting plan so don't want to bother with giving all my contacts a new handle nor requiring them to download an app themselves), but allows a couple other features like choosing what color a contact's talking bubbles will be or choosing the messaging font?

I really don't want to jailbreak if at all possible.

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The easiest solution might just be to change the name of your friend or client. Use a nickname or reverse the first/last fields. –  user588 Feb 10 '11 at 16:51
    
Thanks -- this is true, but I still think it's too easy to mix up which one you're in when you're trying to have quick conversations with multiple contacts. I wish you could customize each person's bubble color or background. It seems really silly that you can't. –  user3528 Feb 10 '11 at 20:01
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There are loads of "messaging" apps on the App Store, however, none of them use SMS. And if they do, it's one-way, it's send only. All the rest of them are data calls using an external service that invariably requires registrations, and (in some cases) perhaps payment!

This is one of the infamous "duplicates Apple functionality" zones. There is one way in or out of SMS, and that's Messages.app built into the iPhone. It is unfortunate that messages can't be customized beyond how it works external to the app, and the minor details such as showing a subject field, counting characters, etc.

Without Jailbreaking, you will not find a full on frontend replacement for communicating via actual SMSes in the iOS App Store. Other, more "creative" solutions must be done here.

Per @mankoff's comment on your question itself, you could perhaps find a better way to have his name displayed, be it by Nickname or other ways.

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Thanks for the explanation - Hmm, I was afraid of that. I'm worried about going the jailbreak route, but maybe that's the only way I can get the features I want. –  user3528 Feb 10 '11 at 20:02
    
@kate that's precisely why jailbreaking exists and is legal (get the features we want). main issue is that it's still hard maintenance (keeping everything in sync, updated and backed up). –  Cawas Feb 11 '11 at 14:00
    
Cawas, "is legal" is not the same as "not illegal". It's hard for me to explain, but just because Jailbreaking "is not illegal" does not mean it's legal to do. Call it an unenforceable law. If it were legal, Apple would provide the tools and sanction it, this isn't the case. I think it has to do with the EULA too. –  Jason Salaz Feb 12 '11 at 20:54
    
There is a difference "legal" and "Apple approved". Apple doesn't write the law, only the support policies for it's products. It is legal to jailbreak in which case Apple is no longer obligated to honor it's warranty. –  g . Feb 14 '11 at 8:48
    
Thanks for putting that more correctly than I could :). @Cawas: Additionally, Jailbreaking relies on security vulnerabilities. This, inherently, reinforces "g ."'s statement. –  Jason Salaz Feb 14 '11 at 11:02
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