Put on a happy face with the Zlango Messaging Android app

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Sometimes an emoticon made from brackets and numbers doesn't send the message you intended. Zlango, an SMS messaging service for Android, gives smiley face-happy people a massive library of more detailed images to work with.

The app works just like your standard SMS client, but it gives users the option to complement their messages with colorful pictures and animation. The Zlango library boasts a collection of about 800 different icons, and the developers have noted there are new ones being added constantly.

The icons themselves are quite detailed and do add a bit more spice than your standard silly, surprised or angry sideways faces.

They also don't stick with one particular art style or have a common theme. In my opinion, this can be viewed as either a positive or a negative aspect to Zlango. Because they're so varied, the average person (who uses emoticons) probably will find at least a handful of pleasing icons.

At the same time, though, the app feels a bit like a LiveJournal account meets clip art folder — a huge, messy mish-mash of illustrations. This makes Zlango look a bit juvenile. Because the app clearly isn't the most professional-looking texting client in the Android marketplace, the experience is cheapened a bit.

The app is also a bit unreliable when it comes to sending and receiving messages. During my time spent with the app, I found Zlango to be a bit twitchy, not always immediately reacting to my typing or my touch, and it also occasionally force-closed.

This app might be fun for middle-school-aged and younger kids or people who are crazy about emoticons, but it isn't practical for the non-stop texter on-the-go.

Download the free Appolicious Android app