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10 best texting apps and SMS apps for Android

Text messaging has become almost ubiquitous and it's great for quick communication.
September 24, 2023
A photo of a text messaging app
This article was updated and checked for accuracy in September 2023. It was originally published in 2015.

Text messaging is one of the most popular ways to communicate quickly around the world. It’s quick and easy, and it doesn’t require you to pause your activities like calling does. Just leave a quick message and check back in a few minutes. Today, many people prefer texting over calling. Let’s take a look at the best texting and SMS apps for Android.

The best texting apps and SMS apps for Android

Chomp SMS

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($6.49 per item)

ChompSMS best sms apps for Android

Chomp SMS has been around for a long time; it was one of the earliest and best third-party texting apps. Since then, it has evolved into an app that embraces Material Design while still having plenty of features; some of these include emojis, SMS blocking, quick replies in notifications, MMS, and group messaging. It has Wear OS and Pushbullet support, and it should also work fine with Link to Windows and Android Auto. It’s a good app for SMS, but the ads are a little annoying.

Facebook Messenger

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.05 – $399.99 per item)

Facebook Messenger screenshot 2023 1

We’ll be honest with you. Facebook Messenger isn’t a great app. It uses a ton of battery, storage, and RAM. It also has a few ads. However, chances are that you have it on your device. Facebook has tons of users, and it’s likely you keep this around because you have those loved ones that just won’t switch to something better. If you’re going to have it around, you might as well enable its SMS support. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone.

It has satisfactory SMS integration, if that helps. We didn’t run into any huge issues while testing it out. Again, this is one of those situations where you’ll probably have to keep this to talk to loved ones, so adding SMS support kind of gives it a little more purpose.

Google Messages

Price: Free

Messages by Google screenshot 2023

Google Messages (formerly Android Messages) is a free texting app by Google. In terms of features, Android Messages keeps it light. You’ll have some light personalization options, some organization and backup features, and a decent search function. The design is entirely Material Design, along with Material You. That means it looks good and is easy to use.

Google also supports RCS messaging with this app. It’s not great, but it’s a start for RCS fans. This also has a web version for texting on your computer. However, it does drain the battery quickly, so it’s a hit-or-miss kind of feature.

Handcent Next SMS

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.49 – $39.99 per item)

Handcent screenshot 2022

Handcent, along with Chomp SMS, is one of the earliest well-known third-party texting apps available on Android. Much like Chomp SMS, Handcent is a powerful and heavy texting application with a ton of features. Some of them include themes, a privacy box to store private conversations, SMS backup, eCards, emojis, and plenty more. One of the more interesting features is Handcent Anywhere, which lets you text on your computer and tablet if you want. It has its ups and downs in terms of bugs, but it’s usually pretty solid.

There is also a subscription available, but you only need it if you intend to back up your messages through Handcent.

Link to Windows

Price: Free

Link to Windows screenshot 2022

Link to Windows isn’t an SMS app per se, but it can be used like that; think of it like an easy hack. It lets you link your phone to your Windows computer and send texts from the computer. We like this solution because it’s free, you can do it over Wi-Fi or mobile data, and it works pretty well once you get it up and running. Most of the issues we ran into involved the calling-over-Bluetooth feature, but the text stuff works pretty well. There can also be some syncing issues, but these can be resolved easily by rebooting your phone and computer.

Pulse SMS

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.99 – $99.99 per item)

Pulse SMS screenshot 2022

Pulse SMS is one of the most unique texting apps on the list. It’s like any standard SMS app, for the most part. However, there is also a backend that will let you text from your PC, tablet, and other devices. Additionally, it also supports dual-sim devices, blacklisting phone numbers, message backup, and more. Here’s how it works: The texting app part of this is completely free. Those who want to also text from PCs, tablets, etc. need to purchase the feature.

Maple Media purchased the app from the original developer in 2020. Unfortunately, they hiked up the prices quite a bit. Luckily, the SMS portion of the app is still entirely free. You only have to pay if you want to text from other platforms, like PCs, or back up your messages online.


Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.99 – $9.99 per item)

QKSMS screenshot 2019 Final

QKSMS is among the simplest and best SMS apps. It’s open-source, and that’s always a nice touch. Additionally, the app comes with a bunch of features. Some of them include privacy features such as a deny list, Android Wear support, and even some nifty accessibility features. The usage is average; it’s not going to blow your mind, but its simplicity is appreciated, considering how heavy some texting apps can get. It’s also free with no advertising. There are some optional in-app purchases, and you can also support the creator through donations.

Signal Private Messenger

Price: Free

Signal Private Messenger screenshot 2022 2

Signal Private Messenger is actually a messaging app, much like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and others. The difference is that this one features end-to-end encryption, and it’s been a favorite of many people who value security. It also works on a phone number system, and if your contact doesn’t have the app, then it simply sends a text message. We really liked how seamless that feature is.

It’s simple to use, looks great with Material Design, and is entirely free to use with no in-app purchases. It’s also open-source, supports group chats, and will even make phone calls. It fills the same kind of role as Facebook Messenger, where you can get data messaging and SMS support in the same app.


Price: Free /In-app purchases ($6.49 per item)

Textra SMS screenshot 2022

Textra SMS is among the most solid texting apps on the list. This popular and highly stylish SMS app is also one of the highest-rated on the list. It comes with a theme picker (you choose the colors yourself), a dark mode, floating notifications, delayed sending, slide to delete, and plenty of other features. It also comes with direct support for Android Wear, Pushbullet, MightyText, and others. You can use most of the features for free.

Yaata SMS

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($1.00 – $100.00 per item)

yaata sms best texting apps for android

YAATA SMS is an up-and-comer compared to most of its competition. It has a bunch of features, including group chat support, scheduled message sending, and complete MMS support. If you buy the premium version, you’ll also get SMS blacklisting, an auto-responder, auto-forwarding, and the ability to back up and restore your settings in case you buy a new device. It uses Material Design, and it looks quite good. It comes with widgets and even has chat heads similar to those in Facebook Messenger. There are some bugs, but most of them aren’t serious.

If we missed any of the best texting and SMS apps, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.

Thank you for reading.