The best SMS apps for Android

by: Joe HindyMarch 18, 2014
15 32 36

best sms apps for android
The stock Android SMS app is passable if you only send text messages once in a while. For those who text as their major form of communication, the stock app may not have the features and usability options possible for the most enjoyable experience. Of course, some people just prefer a change of scenery every once in a while and like to change themes. If this sounds like you, then you’re in luck because in this list we’re going to take a look at the best SMS apps for Android. If you’re looking for applications that replace SMS entirely with a whole new platform, you’re going to want to check out our best SMS replacement apps list. Enjoy!

best sms apps for android8sms (Stock Messaging, Kitkat)

[Price: Free]
First up is an app called 8sms. If you like the aesthetic of the stock Android SMS app and want something with a few more features, this is a really good one to try. It keeps much of the looks and features while adding a few extra ones. This includes enhanced emoji support, quick reply pop ups, an optional dark theme, and it’s compatible with Android 4.4 Kitkat. Get it on Google PlayIt’s a simple app that doesn’t take away from the stock aesthetic so fans of stock Android can still use this and feel good about it. Also, it’s free and free is always good.
best sms apps for android

The best SMS apps for Androidchomp SMS

[Price: Free]
Chomp SMS is a relic in the world of Android. It’s been around since the days of Eclair and FroYo and it was known as one of the two best SMS replacement apps. It’s still wildly popular today and for good reason. There is amazing theme support that lets you make your SMS app look how you want it to look. Included also is over 800 emoticons, widgets, quick reply pop ups, and even SMS blocking if you’re tired of Get it on Google Playgetting texts from a number. If you need something with a lot of theming options, this is among the best options out there for you. Beware, though, it is a little bit bloated.
The best SMS apps for Android

The best SMS apps for AndroidHandcent SMS

[Price: Free]
Like Chomp SMS, Handcent is the other SMS replacement app that’s been around and popular since the “good old days.” Handcent is packed with features including theme support, built-in spell checking, password protection for individual conversations to keep prying eyes away, group chatting, and cross Get it on Google Playplatform support so you can use it on iOS and Windows Phone too. Simply put, it’s one of the best out there, free to use, and loaded with features. What more could you ask for?
The best SMS apps for Android

The best SMS apps for AndroidGO SMS Pro

[Price: Free / $4.99]
GO SMS Pro is developed by the same people who do GO Launcher, GO Keyboard, and every other GO app you can think of. As usual you can expect quality work and that’s quite evident as over 60 million people use this application according to GO Dev Team. With this app you get a boatload of themes and emojis, SMS blocking, schedule your outgoing messages to send at certain times, private inbox to protect from sneaky Get it on Google Playpeople, and that’s just the free version. With the paid version you also get improved private inbox, cloud storage for SMS backups, 20MB MMS size limit, and more theming options.
The best SMS apps for Android

The best SMS apps for AndroidHangouts (replaced Talk)

[Price: Free]
Hangouts is one of the newer options as it only gained SMS support a few months ago. It’s totally free to use and integrates perfectly with the existing Hangouts platform. If you use Hangouts already, this helps consolidate everything into a single app which a lot of people like. It has a massive amount of emojis, MMS support, GIF support, and location support. It also supports video calls. Get it on Google PlayAbout the only downside is what you see is what you get which means there are no themes available for Hangouts. If you don’t mind the light theme, then that’s really not a big deal.
best sms apps for android

the best sms apps for androidNinja SMS (now called HoverChat)

[Price: Free / $1.50]
Ninja SMS is also a unique SMS app because it takes place entirely in a floating window. That’s right, there is no main interface with this app. A window pops up when you have a message. You answer the message right there in the window, and the window disappears when you’re done. Hence the name as it pops in and out like a ninja whenever you have SMS. It can be themed, has a security feature to make it hard for snoopers to snoop on your SMS, multiple floating window support, emoji support, and you can always pop out full screen Get it on Google Playtexting mode whenever if you need to. It’s a great option for those looking for something a little different. It’s also noteworthy that the app has changed its name to HoverChat.
the best sms apps for android

the best sms apps for androidSliding Messaging Pro

[Price: $1.99]
If you’re a fan of Talon for Twitter, you may like Sliding Messaging Pro because they were created by the same developer. Much like Hello SMS, Sliding Messaging Pro uses tabs to let you slide between conversations instead of backing out to the main screen to do it. It comes with 10 themes but you can make your own if you’re ambitious. Also included is Google Voice support, emoji support, Get it on Google PlayLight Flow support, animation selections, and security settings. It’s $1.99 which makes it one of the more expensive options but for the most part, you get what you pay for.
the best sms apps for android

the best sms apps for androidTextra SMS

[Price: Free]
Textra SMS is made by the same people who did Chomp SMS above. What we’re guessing happened is the Chomp crew realized that their SMS app was getting a little bloated with all the features they offer so instead of scaling down their prized app, they just made another one. Textra, unlike Chomp, is much lighter on the features and thus feels less bloated. It still comes with some decent features like emoji support, gif support, a dark theme, quick reply pop up window, and group messaging. As a unique spin, you can customize the Get it on Google Playtext bubble colors in each chat individually so you can actually kind of color-code your conversations which we found pretty nifty. If this seems up your alley, click the button!
the best sms apps for android

Wrap up

Whatever your texting style is, there is an app for you. If you’re one of those ones who like floating windows and quick replies you can find it. If you need something more traditional but more powerful, those are there too. There are a lot of SMS apps out there and it’s conceivable that we may have missed one. So if we did and you want to tell us about it, feel free to let us know in the comments. Happy texting!

  • Pan Szym
    • JosephHindy

      I saw that one but it’s still too new. These lists get updated so I’ll revisit that again later on :)

    • BAMrom

      Contacts+ is far better than anything. You’ll thank me later! :)))

  • ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

    Ninja SMS is now HoverChat. By far my favorite.

    • SamC

      Canne here to say the same on both counts.

    • JosephHindy

      Yeah I wrote this last week and waited a few days to publish it…then the damn guy goes and overhauls his ENTIRE APP in that small period of time :P but yes it’s been fixed lol.

  • Frederico Silva

    You’re missing EvolveSMS. From the creators of Sliding Messaging, but much better and more beautiful. Android guidelines everywhere, #HOLOYOLO

    • JosephHindy

      A lot of people were complaining about lag and crash issues on Evolve. If/when they get fixed it gets added to the list but I can’t in good faith put an app with a laggy/crashy history on a “best apps” list now can I? It’s not “decent and kinda good SMS apps”, it’s “the best” and we’ve come to a point where app crashing is totally unacceptable. :)

      • Gato Mafioso

        Definitely. That app is still basically a beta. Aesthetics wise it is one of the best, but obviously looks aren’t everything :)

      • Frederico Silva

        I see your point but I don’t have any issues at all with Evolve (even being in the beta program, Nexus 5), that’s why I suggested it, from my experience it is one of the best. At the beginning it was laggy, yeah, but I don’t think it still remains that way, and least for me, but I don’t speak for everybody of course (:

        • JosephHindy

          I know, not everyone has issues with it and I made sure that the complaints were from the most recent version (2.0+ I believe) before I made the decision. I do update these on a fairly frequent basis (or at least look in on them from time to time). I’m sure he’ll fix the problems sooner than later and when he does, I’ve got his images and links ready to put in :)

      • cizzlen

        Another beautiful app is “SMS Now” I believe it’s called. The problem is most of these apps can’t even handle group messaging. I just went back to Hangouts the other day and haven’t looked back but am willing to take a look at some of these. Nice article!

      • AndroidBrian

        It was very laggy and had lots of bugs when it was still in Beta. Its been perfect for the last 2 months or so (on my Nexus 5).

    • Bùi Xuân Anh

      i think EvolveSMS is free version with bugs of Sliding Messaging

  • Colby

    FYI, broken link on chomp SMS. Can you tell me a little more about the bloat on chomp SMS? I literally just switched over yesterday. I haven’t noticed it, yet.

    • JosephHindy

      Chomp link worked fine when I clicked it…

    • Albin

      I’ve been using Chomp on an old GB phone – it works great, fast and configurable. I’ve seen a lot of bloated apps lately, including most of Google’s own, and Chomp is not one of them.

      I made the mistake of buying its 12 cent international texting deal – it’s “send” only (not reply) and in North America it sometimes routes through another phone number that will not reliably handle replies at all. Maybe better elsewhere in the world, but be careful.

  • Ali Al Dallal
    • JosephHindy

      That’s an interesting app. Hopefully it supports more than FB and Whatsapp eventually.

      • catur

        thanks sir, i also reviewed it in my personal blog is blogger muntok

  • Guest

    Where is EvolveSMS?

    • Gato Mafioso

      I’ve been seeing quite a few bug reports with that one, especially when it comes to receiving MMS on some devices. All the above SMS apps just work right from install. No need to be fiddling around with APN settings.

  • Captain Spaulding

    Go SMS Pro is great.

    • Nestea80

      I agree. I’ve tried a bunch of the other apps, but this is my favourite. I especially like the customization and privacy features. And the photo and video vault is an added bonus. No need for separate apps for that.

      • Dion Creighton

        Go SMS copied handcent, which came way before Go SMS, most notably the privacy feature…

  • guy with guts

    Wow this site is really innovative on great articles i love this. Joe i wish you pick best dialer and phonebook apps.

    • Lisandro O Oocks

      Although I’m ok with the latest stock Dialer in Kit Kat for Nexus. Even though it doesn’t do speed dial (I’m assuming for patenting issues) it works far better than previous. I liked Dialer + but I didn’t like that they forced add ons that I did not enjoy.

  • luminelx64

    how many of these app support dual SIM?
    only the stock SMS app supports my second SIM.
    Android 4.0.4

    • Uzzi

      We just launched the beta of our app and we will be launching dual sim support end of this month. We are doing something unique. We Share Via SMS, you can share audio and images via sms, without using the internet. Currently we support bulk sms bundles. Give us a try at

      Otherwise, Textra is in our opinion the the best app on this list.

  • JayEvans

    SimplyText is what been trying for the last few weeks. The PopUp notification works reliably on my stock S4.

  • Intellectua1

    I personally use Hangouts.

  • WitnessG

    Hello SMS is way too good. I just discovered it a few days ago and I love it. I am a sucker for a good UI.

  • AndroidBrian

    Your missing the best messaging app out. Evolve SMS.

  • Aron Tripp

    Simple Text has worked really well for me.

  • Jean-Marc Dufour

    The one I’ve just found and I use has been missed. There are so many applications that some are missed. Anyway, I strongly recommend HoverChat :

  • Lisandro O Oocks

    I use Hangouts as default. But I also use SMS Pop Up to compliment my needs which is great for me. It may be great for others too if you like pop ups.
    I in particular like them cause I can be playing a game and answering SMS pretty easy with it.

  • ledmikew

    Anyone else have problems lately with hangouts crashing as soon as you open the app? Completely unusable for me right now.

  • Steve Sisko

    Where’s MightyText?

    Also, do all of these work and sync with desktop browser?

  • Randem

    8SMS is amazing. Haven’t bothered to look anywhere else since installing it. Also +1 to Evolve being buggy as hell.

  • reysa

    thaks guys i have search this in google for a day

  • catur

    thanks sir i will reference this for my blog my personal blog is Aplikasi SMS android yang ringan

  • SagaMobile


    • SagaMobile

      You can Customize the Color + Font Color to create your Own ENGLISH SMS POPUP

  • Shankar Kumar

    Hi there! Loved your list for best sms apps for android and mostly I have used and some of them I still use to connect with my friends and family. I recently switched to photo4tune and found out that while other chat apps are providing emoticons as paid features or lets us use the chat app for a subscription fee, photo4tune provides premium features for free and without any subscription fee. But then again I think chat apps are the best thing that could happen to chat lovers like us, esp when SMS tariffs have increased.

  • Chris Gama

    So I’m curious. With a lot of these SMS apps having extra emojis and some even having GIF support… what does that do for the person on the receiving end? I’m picturing the emoji’s coming through just as ASCII, and the gif’s coming through as still images. I’m saying for instance if the other person is just using the stock SMS app that came with their phone, or maybe even a different app.

    Anybody test this or experience it?

  • Buka Android

    Hi, thanks very much for your information and visit my blog Buka Android :)

  • Johann

    Short email service is a GSM based application. Using this application you can send email like message to your destination. For good results both ends have this application.

  • Rachel Beckford

    Hangouts was great and simple to use and importantly to me I could send the same text to more than one person. BUT since the update it looks different which I don’t mind AND they have removed the ability to send a text to more than one person without copying the yext, opening the next person and pasting etc. What a pain. Now working my way through your list to find one where I can send a text to both children.

  • Biztechmobi

    I recommend Advance SMS Scheduler Android App.

  • Isabel

    what is a stock sms applet. I would like to know to translate it right into Portuguese

  • RedCoat

    Love Textra. It’s free up to a certain time period. Around the 60 day mark it will ask if you want to pay to be ad-free. 99¢…I paid. A buck is worth an app I use hundreds of times a day, on some days.

  • Jenny Isupov

    I really like this fairly new texting (and instant messaging) app, called invi. I think it has a whole lot of potential. It has ‘mini apps’ that open in a half screen that allow users to browse and share media while texting. And you can text people without the app too, so coool

  • Link Sync

    Try LinknSync, a cool SMS & notifications sync tool.