Sending text messages or SMS is quite essential in this fast paced world. There is not enough time to call someone just to ask “what’s up?” While the stock Android SMS app does a good job, and manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have stepped up their game, there is still a place for solid SMS apps. Sure the current stock apps will send messages just fine but what if you want something more from the apps?
The beauty of Android lies in its customization. If you don’t like something, there are usually 10 alternatives to offer you a better experience. The 10 best SMS apps for Android list tries to capture the best of the best and present them in a digestible manner. Soup up your thumbs people, because with the best SMS app for Android on your smartphone, you will have a hard time not texting everyone.
Note: The 10 Best SMS apps for Android were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone running on a Custom 4.4 Kit Kat based ROM. The apps worked fine and the SMSs were sent in a proper manner. We used all the apps over the course of the week and gauged them on their style, utility and responsiveness.
1. Textra – Free
With a dash of something extra
Textra is simply the best SMS app for Android because it combines beauty, simplicity and utility in a neat package. The app can completely take over your SMS and MMS needs. The best part is that the app is very light on resources, so you will get instant response and lightning fast functionality from the app. The app also includes more than eight hundred emoji if you are into sending sweet looking emotions. There is even a reply popup for you to instantly reply to texts regardless of what you are doing at that time.
- Looks beautiful and has multiple themes.
- Fast and reliable.
- Contact customization is available.
Textra is a highly customizable Android SMS app. You can change the way the app looks from background colors to the text bubbles. For those who like customization, this is one of the best apps available.
2. Go SMS Pro – Free
Text like a pro
Go SMS Pro is one of the finest SMS apps available for Android. The app comes with a complete set of features. This SMS app was also featured on the 10 Best Emoji apps for Android list because of its robust offering of funny emoji. The app comes with a clean interface which allows you to read texts with relative ease. There are over 200 highly personalized themes available on the app. The SMS blocker can help you filter the texts you get; this means no more drunken texts from the ex.
- Hundreds of themes which are constantly increasing.
- The app has over 800 emoji for you to use.
- SMS blocker is a fine feature.
- Automatic scheduling of SMS is available.
There is a private box feature on this best Android SMS app. This box will keep secret texts hidden from prying eyes and spy natured friends. Keep your personal texts personal with this handy feature.
3. SMS Text Messaging – Free
Keyboard beats all
SMS Text Messaging may not be strictly just an SMS app but it has one unique feature that trumps all. The app allows you to connect your smartphone to your PC and send and receive SMS on your PC. This is an amazing feature if you get tired of typing with your thumbs and want to reply as fast as you can. Sure you can attach a keyboard with your smartphone but that is way too messy to pull off. This app comes in handy when there is a no-phone allowed policy in an office. Simply put the phone under a book and enjoy lengthy and fast conversations via texts.
- Connects to PC in no time.
- Typing on a real keyboard is always fast.
- Your phone number will be used to send texts.
The stealthy nature of the app makes it the best SMS app for Android when it comes to sending hidden texts. It’s the best app to use in an educational institute or office.
4. Handcent SMS – Free
It’s truly hand sent
Handcent SMS is probably the most well-rounded SMS app on the Google Play Store. The app offers every feature you would need from any SMS app and does it in a very manageable style. From sending group SMS to saving private messages in the Privacy Box, this app does it all. Themes are available to customize the app, as well as skins that completely overhaul the visuals. You will also get the option of downloading additional fonts for the app.
- Group SMS saves a lot of time.
- Privacy Box keeps important stuff safe.
- Changeable fonts are a nice touch.
The app has a backup option which allows you to save and backup all the sent and received text messages. The backup then can be stored anywhere you want.
5. Chomp SMS – Free
Chomp ’em down
Chomp SMS allows you to chomp through all the holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with incredible ease. If you are constantly mixing up birthdays and not remembering engagement dates, you need this app on your smartphone. The app can set reminders for those important dates and inform you accordingly. There are other very articulate options like stopping a text while sending and signatures available on the app too.
- LED notification colors can be changed on supporting hardware.
- Font types and sizes can be customized.
- Message lock and passcode locks are there for security.
The ability to change the background image makes this app one of the best looking ones available on the Google Play Store. There is nothing more personal than the photo of your beloved on the background (we like pets).
6. SMS Messaging AOSP– Free
Close to stock
Tango is yet another example of a wholesome SMS app which not only provides you with quality texting but does it in simplicity. If you like the stock AOSP messaging app and want to use it on any phone of your liking, this is the best app for you. If you bought a new Nexus and don’t like the new Hangout app, you are not stuck. Get this handy app and get back to sending SMS with ease and familiarity. The app is listed so far down the list because it is the vanilla texting app with nothing unique or exciting. But if boring yet fast is what you need, this is the app to get.
- Simple, very simple and stock.
- Easy to use interface.
- No bells and whistles.
The only thing this app has going for it is the simplicity and reliability. Hangout may be cool but sometimes all you need is a simple app to get the job done.
7. Messages + – Free
The messaging is a plus
Looking for a sleek and stylish SMS app for Android? Messages + may be the right app for you. The app allows you to send and receive messages to other messages + users via internet. Or you can use this greatly designed app for regular SMS and MMS messages. This combination of online messenger and standard text messaging app makes Messages + one of the unique apps available for Android. The app has group SMS, drafts and integrated contacts too.
- Group SMS is available.
- Message backup and restore is there.
- Integrated contacts as well as a stylish dialer.
Messages + allows you to integrate WhatsApp. So any messages you send or receive will arrive on this one simple to use app.
8. QuickTouch Text Messaging – Free
Your secrets are safe
QuickTouch Text Messaging is a completely free and reliable SMS app for Android. The app has a very fast response time and is reliable. Despite using minimalist resources the app scored low on our list due to its clunky design. The privacy features on this app are phenomenal and the options concerning them are numerous. Want to hide the name of the sender from the notification tray? The app can do that for you. Want to control the privacy of text message contents? The app has you covered there too.
- Fast and functional.
- The flip conversation pages look great.
- Conversation colors can be changed.
The app has robust privacy settings. If you are a secretive person and need to hide what you receive, this app is hands down the best for stealth.
9. Hangouts – Free
Let’s hangout sometime
This is as official as it gets, Hangouts is made by Google, and it clearly shows how much they want you to use Google Plus. Sure Gmail is amazing and GTalk was a great software/app for Android, but Hangouts doesn’t know what it wants to be. On one hand the app likes to be a good messaging app while on the other it becomes an intrusive online messenger. We really liked the emoji and group call features but there is no option to appear offline unless you turn all connectivity off.
- Made by the guys behind the OS.
- Is a solid messaging app.
- Emoji are fun to send.
The ability to share map locations and people contacts with friends and family saves a lot of bickering around and of course time.
The best SMS app for Android is the one that you are comfortable using day in and day out. We recommend that you install the first three apps to feel them out and then move to the rest of the apps which target one specific area. You might even be interested in looking at the top messaging apps for more features such as voicemail and international calling. Emoji apps are also great when paired with SMS apps. Let us know what apps you like to use and what other apps we might have missed on the list. We always love to hear from well-informed readers.