The 7 Best Texting Apps for Android

See which texting apps give you options you want and need

If you’re still using the default messaging app that came with your Android phone, it’s time to branch out. These seven apps go beyond the basics with features such as customization, message prioritization, quick reply, beautiful designs, and compatibility with related apps. Many of them also boast responsive developers, so if you run into problems, you're like to get help fast. 

The information below should apply regardless of phone manufacturer.

01
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Basic Texting App: Google Messages

Google Messages
What We Like
  • Dark mode for low-light environments.

  • Ability to send audio messages to contacts.

  • Search feature.

What We Don't Like
  • Some carriers don’t allow RCS functionality.

The official Google SMS app is widely recognized as being a good, basic option for Android users. Handy features include the ability to set custom notification tones for each conversation, and RCS functionality for chat features such as read receipts and file sharing. You can even text via your computer through the app’s website.

Requirements: Android 5.0 Lollipop or later

Price: Free 

02
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Newer Texting App: QKSMS

qksms messaging app
What We Like
  • Shows full content of long messages.

  • No ads.

  • Highly customizable.

What We Don't Like
  • High battery usage.

QKSMS is streamlined, with an attractive interface. Features include a blocklist, Android Wear compatibility, message prioritization, and night mode for dark environments. The app is powerful enough to share photos and stickers, and you can easily back up and restore messages.

QKSMS supports dual-SIM and multi-SIM phones.

Requirements: Android 5.0 or later

Price: Free with in-app purchases

03
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Customizable Texting App: Chomp SMS

Chomp SMS texting app
What We Like
  • It’s updated with every Android update.

  • You can stop a text while it’s being sent.

  • Choice of emoji styles.

What We Don't Like
  • Notification sound for incoming texts may be too loud with earbuds.

As an app that’s been around for a long time, Chomp SMS has had the opportunity to keep improving. Useful features include app locking, scheduled message sending, the ability to prioritize conversations, and number blocking. You can also choose the way the app looks with themes and skins, and customize many other aspects of it as well.

Requirements: Android 2.3 or later

Price: Free with in-app purchases

04
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Highly Compatible Texting App: Textra SMS

Textra texting app
What We Like
  • High speed.

  • Continuous improvements.

  • User-friendly.

What We Don't Like
  • Features may not keep up with Android updates.

If you love customization, you’ll love this app, which allows you to tweak the background, icon, notifications, and emoji and bubble styles. It also includes dark, light, and auto-night modes, stop during send, multi-select photo gallery, contact customization, and quick-reply popup, just to name a few. It’s compatible with Android Wear, Pushbullet, and MightyText for maximum efficiency.

Use the copy feature to easily transfer information between apps.

Requirements: Android 4.1 or later

Price: Free with in-app purchases

05
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App for Texting and Messaging: Mood Messenger

Mood Messenger app
What We Like
  • Personalize contacts.

  • Typing indicator so you can see when the other person is responding.

What We Don't Like
  • Some users report technical issues.

  • Contains ads.

A newer addition to the Android texting app selection, Mood Messenger is simple, yet fully functional, including the ability to send GIFs and animated emojis, location sharing, and quick reply options. Choose your own background to match your personality. Use it for SMS texting, or just send messages directly through the app with others who have it installed. Protect your privacy with app locking.

Requirements: Android 4.1 or later

Price: Free with in-app purchases

06
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Messaging App With Best Security: Signal Private Messenger

Three screens from Signal for Android
What We Like
  • Disappearing messages option.

  • Ability to send any media, including GIFs and audio files.

  • Open source, so code can be audited for security.

What We Don't Like
  • Not compatible with tablets.

Technically a messaging app similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, Signal allows you to exchange messages directly with others who have the app (if they don’t have the app, they receive a standard text message). Signal includes robust security with end-to-end encryption. In addition to messaging, it can be used for group chats or phone calls.

Requirements: Android 4.0 or later

Price: Free

07
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Texting App to Use With All Your Devices: Pulse SMS

Pulse SMS app
What We Like
  • Password protection.

  • Ability to share GIFs.

  • Search feature.

What We Don't Like
  • Some users report missed MMS messages.

Highly customizable, this app is also highly flexible because it works across all your Android devices, as well as PCs. The easy-to-navigate interface allows you to focus on communicating with your contacts. Keep up with the most important messages by pinning them to the top of the list, and eliminate clutter by archiving completed conversations.

Use the search function to find past messages.

Requirements: Varies with device

Price: Phone-only version is free. Enable additional devices starting at $0.99/month.

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