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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.

Published onApril 13, 2024

A photo of a text messaging app
This article was updated and checked for accuracy in April 2024. It was initially published in 2015.

Text messaging is one of the most popular ways to communicate quickly worldwide. It’s quick and easy and 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 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, including emojis, SMS blocking, quick replies in notifications, MMS, and group messaging. It has Wear OS and Pushbullet support and 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.


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

We’ll be honest with you. 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 you likely keep this around because you have those loved ones who 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 vast 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 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 light personalization options, 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 drains the battery quickly, so it’s a hit-or-miss feature.

Handcent Next SMS

Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.49 – $44.99 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, heavy texting application with many features. Some include themes, a privacy box to store private conversations, SMS backup, eCards, emojis, and more. One of the more exciting features is Handcent Anywhere, which lets you text on your computer and tablet. It has its ups and downs regarding bugs, but it’s usually pretty solid.

A subscription is also 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 as 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 well once you get it up and running. Most of our issues involved the calling-over-Bluetooth feature, but the text works well. There can also be some syncing issues, but these can be resolved quickly by rebooting your phone and computer.

Pulse SMS

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

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, a backend will also 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 entirely free. Those who want to also text from PCs, tablets, etc., must 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.

SMS Organizer

Price: Free

sms organizer
Google Play Store
SMS Organizer, a Microsoft Garage project, offers a suite of features for managing SMS on Android phones. Although it’s a side project for its developers, it receives regular updates. The app automatically generates reminders from texts about flights, bills, and events. Users can back up messages, dictate texts, and filter conversations to prioritize unread messages. It provides customization options like dark themes, adjustable ringtones, notifications, and font sizes. Additionally, users can highlight essential messages and block spammers. The app features an attractive interface that enhances the visual appeal of text messages.

Signal Private Messenger

Price: Free

Signal Private Messenger screenshot 2022 2

Signal Private Messenger is a messaging app similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. 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; if your contact doesn’t have the app, it simply sends a text message. We liked how seamless that feature is.

It’s simple to use, looks fabulous with Material Design, and is 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 role of 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 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 has direct support for Android Wear, Pushbullet, MightyText, and others. You can use most of the features for free.

WhatsApp Messenger

Price: Free

Google Play Store
WhatsApp, launched in 2009 and acquired by Facebook (now Meta) in 2014, is a leading global messaging app with about two billion users. It offers comprehensive features, including text, photo, video messaging, voice notes, and audio and video calls. Users can participate in groups of up to 512 members and benefit from end-to-end encryption across all conversations. Recent additions include Communities for managing multiple groups and Channels for broadcasts, enhancing their functionality. WhatsApp also supports multiple device login, maintaining user access across various platforms. Its continuous innovation keeps it highly relevant and user-friendly in the messaging space.

If we missed any of the best texting and SMS apps, tell us about them in the comments.

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