Android has made everything easier and readily available. With the best chat apps for Android you can not only keep in touch with old buddies but also make new ones while you are at it. There was a time when Yahoo, AOL and MSN chat rooms were filled to the brim, but today those ancient chat services are long gone.
Thankfully for digital socialites like me, there are many chat apps for Android. I’m a bit shy around people (it’s true man!) but hand me an Android device and I become a world-class chatter bug. I’m certain that many of you will feel the same way about meeting people in real life.
Note: The 10 best chat apps for Android phone and tablets were tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and a Sony Xperia Z1 smartphone. Both of the phones handled the apps well and no problems were faced during testing. Some of the apps are under usage for more than three years.
1. WhatsApp Messenger – Free with In-app Purchases
Everyone’s On It
WhatsApp is the number one choice for mobile chatting for a lot of people. I installed it just out of curiosity but soon was engulfed by its simplicity and ease of use. The app has a very straightforward interface which makes chats a breeze.
One of the most important things about this chat app is that it doesn’t need an email address or login information. It simply wants to know your smartphone number and from there it makes an account automatically.
Thankfully with this great chat app for Android you won’t have to manually add contacts either. The app automatically scans your contact list and displays any number that is already using WhatsApp.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $3.71 per item
- Very convenient to use.
- Has a good interface.
- You can change the message background.
The app also features a pop up message display. It simply pops up a small convenient window on the screen when you receive a message. You can then either view the full message or send a reply back right from the mini window.
2. Viber – Free with In-app Purchases
The Voice Chat
If you are looking for a reliable voice chat app for Android, then look no further. Viber is the best of the best when it comes to low data consumption and good voice quality. Although I don’t regularly use the service, it was great the few times I utilized it.
You can also purchase the ability to call any landline number or mobile phone directly from the app at low rates. The interface is clean and with a distinct purple tone. While the audio quality of the app is great, video tends to face some synchronization problems.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $35.17 per item
- Clear and crisp voice quality, even on 3G.
- Send group messages to 100 people.
- Follow public chats of celebrities.
The app is localized to many languages. The list includes Arabic, Croatian, Thai and even Turkish. This is certainly the most translated app on the best chat apps list.
3. IMO – Free with In-app Purchases
Best on Tablets
IMO is a straightforward and beautifully rendered chat app for Android. The app looks good on a smartphone but feels even great when booted on a tablet.
As a matter of fact, I would recommend this to any tablet owner. This allows you to make good quality audio calls as well as OK video ones. The app can make separate groups for friends, family and whatnot. I use this app to inform my team mates about class assignments.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $4.99 per item
- Sharing photos and videos is easy.
- The app is especially optimized for Android tablets.
- Group photos can be seen in great looking galleries.
All the calls and messages sent with the app are encrypted over the air. This means anyone trying to listen or intercept your private conversations will be out of luck.
4. LINE – Free with In-app Purchases
This app is the best WhatsApp replacement in the chat apps for Android list. When you first load the LINE chat app, you will know it took liberal inspirations from WhatsApp.
The color scheme and even the designs have some elements which are clearly inspired by the number one app on the list. LINE, however, does many new things, which include elaborate stickers. Need to send some Hindi stickers to friends? How about French ones? LINE messenger can do that.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $46.99 per item
- A user-friendly interface.
- Send messages and make calls.
- Can send photos and voice messages.
This app is also available for PCs and smart tablets. All of the versions are compatible with each other including the iPhone one.
5. WeChat – Free with In-app Purchases
Here is another good chat app for Android. This free app comes with all the features you have come to expect from a nice chat app. The app allows you to send free text messages; voice and video calls are also available.
The app makes it easy to share photos and games with other people. This makes boring conversations interesting. The app also comes with advanced privacy features and it is certified by TRUSTe (a privacy checking company).
In-app Purchases: $0.99 per item
- Solid performer and loads instantly.
- Can give your real-time location to friends.
- Over 20 different languages are supported.
The app comes with a great multimedia messaging service. You can send heavy photos, long voice messages and even videos with the app.
6. Rounds – Free
Looking to have some fun time with your friends and family on a digital platform? Rounds can make that happen. The app has a good quality video call capacity and thankfully it doesn’t lag that much.
The app is also capable of projecting HD videos which make full use of your smartphone’s cameras. You can login in with Facebook, making the sign up process a bit easier to manage. The app is also very easy on the eyes.
- You can take photos while in a video call.
- You can even take a snapshot together with friends who are far away.
- Scribble on your friend’s images.
Rounds is the most social in the best chat apps for Android list. The app allows you to watch YouTube videos with friends, sing karaoke and even listen to music together.
7. Skout – Free and $2.99
7.a Free Version
I know sometimes you need new people in your life; this is when you can send Skout to scout for you. The app lets you send messages to people who are nearby. Send text messages, voice messages and even Emojies to people around you.
The app allows you to send pictures taken from your camera. The app comes with a really great home page which displays all the people who are currently in your vicinity. From there, simply tap on person you feel like talking and it’s all done.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $99.99 per item
- Promotes socializing and making new friends.
- You can send voice messages too.
- You can check other people’s profiles with ease.
This app is recommended to those who move to a new city/country. It is hard to make new friends, but with Skout working for you, you will be able to look at a person’s profile and gauge if you can hangout or not.
7.b Paid Version
This is the ad-free version of Skout.
8. Skype – Free
Good to See You!
Skype is the ever reliable chat service which is very popular among the PC using masses. There is something familiar and comforting about this app which makes it all the more alluring. Skype retains major functionality of its PC counterpart and brings the best features to Android with full force.
This is the number one app for video chats in the best chat apps for Android list. The video and audio quality is hands down the best I have tested.
- A cool looking interface which operates smoothly.
- Sharing media is very easy.
- Send recorded video messages.
Around 250 million people use Skype and chances are many people you know are already using it. This is the best app to stay connected to friends and family and catch up with a little face time chat.
9. Snapchat – Free
Send a Pic
Snapchat means exactly what the name implies. Take a snap, type a small message and send it. This is the basic function of this great app and wildly popular app.
This app is famous with the youngsters because it provides an almost safe way of sharing pictures with friends and family. Sending selfies taken with the best apps was never this easy.
- Snapping pictures and sending them is easy.
- Basic filter functionality included. Not as elaborate as the dedicated apps though.
- Typing a message is actually captioning a picture.
The picture you send gets deleted after a certain period of time.
10. Messenger – Free
Don’t Shoot The Messenger
The notorious Facebook Messenger gets a lot of flak because it was forced on us. Sure it was an inconvenience because why have two apps for one social media site when one works perfectly fine.
But if you judge messenger as a standalone chatting app, it is largely OK. The app has a good interface and the bubble icons are fun and convenient. The best part is the animated Emojies you can send even without a dedicated emoji app.
- Light and fast.
- Can connect you with Facebook buddies.
- Can make chat room group with multiple people.
When you receive a message, you can have it displayed right on the screen in the shape of a bubble. This is a neat way of notification.
Honorable Mention – Hangouts – Free
The Official Hangout
Google Hangouts is a solid chat app for Android but it certainly lacks the spark to make it a big hitter. It’s basically a serviceable app which allows you to chat with Gmail friends and acquaintances.
I’m not entirely sure why regular people would use the app. I only use it for work purposes and that too on my Google Chrome browser on the work PC. However the app does provide great functionality, especially if you are into the whole Google ecosystem.
- A solidly build interface.
- Emojies are aplenty.
- Can be used as an SMS app
You can keep in touch with your contacts across multiple devices. Either on a PC, an iPhone, an Android phone or tablet the app will keep you connected.
These were the best chat apps for Android which provide quality service as well as fun times. One of the most important things I value is security. Most of the apps are highly secure, except Snapchat.
I would recommend that you never send sensitive information over the internet, especially to strangers. Making new friends is great but make sure you are not inviting a psychopath to your home. Be safe, be cautious and use better judgment.
If you feel the need to chat, I’m always available on Hangouts as well as Facebook Messenger. Or you can communicate with the whole team in the comments below. Happy chatting folks!