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13 best free texting apps for Android

Authored by: Kris Carlon — 3 months ago

If you own a stock Android device, no doubt you quickly discovered that it came with Hangouts as the default SMS/MMS/IM app. And no offense to Google, but not everyone likes Hangouts. So we've gathered our list of the best texting apps for Android that are also free. These apps use your phone signal and texting allowance in your contract, and are not to be confused with instant messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, the best of which you can find in the link below.

Google Messenger

We're not fans of Hangouts, which over-complicates the supposedly simple process of sending texts, but Google Messenger is another story. It makes use of many of Hangouts' finer qualities while cutting out the clutter. It has an eye-soothing Material Design interface, and as well as sending free texts you can take photos and record audio messages from within the app. Messenger has all the basic messaging features you need, dressed up in a coveted Lollipop interface.

androidpit google messenger
Google Messenger is largely overlooked, but it looks great and is easy to use, thanks to the Material Design interface. / © Google
Messenger Install on Google Play


MySMS comes garlanded with rave reviews from press and users alike. It's available not just for Android but for Windows, Mac and web browsers too, which means you can post from a computer or tablet using your Android phone's number, and that is why it makes our list of the best free texting apps. 

It supports group messaging and MMS, message scheduling, message export and backup, and connects with services such as Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive. Many of the advanced features require a premium membership, but at just US$9.99 per year, it's hardly going to break the bank. 

MySMS is a popular cross-platform app with good PC and tablet integration.  / © Computer Communication
mysms SMS Text Messaging Sync Install on Google Play

Messaging (stock KitKat SMS app)

This one's a bit of a wild card. The simply-titled Messaging is essentially the stock SMS app from Android 4.4 KitKat. So if you're already on KitKat, then there's nothing to see here. But if you're on an older phone and want to experience a piece of KitKat, or you're finding the default Lollipop texting app a bit too bright and garish, this could be what you're looking for. It's dark, serious and contains all the features from Android's former flagship texting app.

androidpit messaging app
Messaging can bring the stock KitKat SMS app back to Lollipop users. / © SoftCoil Development, LLC
Messaging Install on Google Play

chomp SMS

chomp SMS has been around for a long time, and progressed alongside Android to become one of the most popular Android SMS apps. Its features include a huge array of emojis, passcode app lock, message locks, more intense privacy options, blacklists and quick reply popups, not to mention a ton of customization options, and Pushbullet and Android Wear compatibility.

androidpit chomp sms
chomp SMS has it all: features, customization options and Android Wear support. / © Delicious Inc.
chomp SMS Install on Google Play

Textra SMS

Textra SMS is a great SMS app that makes this list partly because the developer was quick to bring the new Android L Material Design to the app, which makes this already-attractive texting app even more appealing.

It’s also got more features than most stock SMS apps, including floating notifications, quick reply popups, and a heap of signature and notification types. It’s also compatible with PushBullet and Android Wear, if you’ve bought yourself a Moto 360, LG G Watch R or Samsung Gear Live.

androidpit textra
We love the Material Design look of Textra SMS. / © Delicious Inc.
Textra SMS Install on Google Play


As opposed to some other frilly SMS apps, 8sms is a text-messaging app which gets straight to the point with a bit more added functionality than the average stock SMS/MMS app, such as quick popup replies. It's free, although ads will appear after your 14-day trial period until you make a donation. We think it's worth a try for its ease of use and a nifty energy-saving dark theme.

androidpit 8sms
Need just a tiny bit more than what your stock SMS app has to offer? Try 8sms for fuss-free texting. © ThinkLeft
8sms (Stock Messaging, KitKat) Install on Google Play


I love HoverChat. It brings the cool pop-up bubble functionality of Facebook's chat heads or Link Bubble to your SMS app. So no matter which screen or app you're in, any new SMS will pop up in front of what you're doing so you'll never miss a notification bar message again (although HoverChat does preview in the notification bar too).

You can reply to the message directly from the notification bubble, or if you're not ready to reply, you can dismiss the notification or drag it out of the way. How's that for multitasking?

HoverChat alerts you to a message, but lets you continue on with whatever you were doing. © AndroidPIT
HoverChat Free (Ninja SMS) Install on Google Play


QKSMS is one of the prettiest SMS apps we've seen, offering Material Design plus a range of themes, night mode, customisation, quick replies, group messaging, message scheduling and more in an ad-free environment. The basic app is free but if you want to unlock all the color options and advanced features, the premium mode is a US$1.99 in-app purchase.

QKSMS is both pretty and pretty good. / © QK Labs
QKSMS - Material SMS Messenger Install on Google Play

Handcent SMS

Handcent SMS is a veteran of alternative SMS apps, and received a modern facelift at the end of 2014, thanks to an update in the Play Store. Taking this into consideration, as well as the features and themes galore, Handcent truly is the Android lover's SMS app.

You can customize the way the app handles incoming and outgoing messages as much as you could ever want to, including scheduling messages to go out at specific times (only in the pro version). You can also sign in with your Facebook credentials so you'll see your contacts' Facebook profile pics.

androidpit handcent sms
Handcent SMS used to lack style, but a recent update has really spruced it up. / © handcent_market

hello SMS

hello SMS is one of the best-looking SMS apps around. Slick, clean and minimal, hello SMS is the style guru's SMS app. The app has a super simple tab setup, so you get your friends' profile pics and names on the left, and can simply swipe out the conversation tab.

You can do all the same things you can with most other SMS apps, but the unique thing about hello SMS is just how much it manages to do without looking heavy or bloated. If only all apps looked this clean.  

AndroidPIT hello SMS
hello SMS offers a super clean, minimal layout with all the basic stuff you need. / © AndroidPIT/hello SMS


If you're someone who errs on the side of security, then it's hard to overlook TextSecure (case in point: I had to take photos of the screens because screenshots are blocked by the app). TextSecure encrypts your personal communications with end-to-end encryption protocols as soon as you register your number.

Custom ROMs like CyanogenMod already use the TextSecure service but you can get it as a stand-alone app as well. As you may recall, the NSA has a habit of intercepting SMS content as it passes through data centers. TextSecure only handles encrypted content so your messages are safe in transit. All of your attachments are also encrypted.

AndroidPIT TextSecure SMS
We had to snap pics of TextSecure because screenshots aren't allowed. / © AndroidPIT/Open Whisper Systems
Signal Private Messenger Install on Google Play


EvolveSMS is the Google-inspired SMS app that we wish Hangouts was. It has been designed to look a lot like Google+ and has a nice clean design created with the latest Android style guidelines in mind. While the default orange interface looks great, you can also grab more themes if you're willing to drop a little coin for the customization pack.

Swiping between conversations and a navigation drawer make it a breeze to navigate, and there are plenty of free pre-loaded customization options.

AndroidPIT Evolve SMS 1
EvolveSMS follows the Android style guidelines and looks very Google+ish. / © AndroidPIT/Klinker Apps
EvolveSMS Install on Google Play

Must-have add-on: MightyText 

MightyText is not an SMS app itself but is on this list because it is an awesome tool for sending and receiving texts via your computer. MightyText does not have an app component on your Android device, but is an extension for your existing SMS app.

So you can pick an app you like the look of from this list and give it the MightyText touch so you can read and reply to incoming messages from your computer screen without needing to dig your phone out of your bag. Other nice features include built-in SMS backup and restore options.

MightyText is an awesome add-on that lets your read and reply to messages from your PC. / © MightyText
MightyText: SMS Text Messaging Install on Google Play

Do you agree with our list of the best text message apps for Android? Let us know in the comments below.

Updated by Robert Zak on June 4 2015

Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.


Write new comment:
  • Abhi B 1 week ago Link to comment

    I am planning to build a messaging app for internal communication. Please suggest

  • nice app. Thanks for the information .Cooee Messenger.

  • Do try Bucko for endtoend encryption on top of textsecure systems. Supports SMS and MMS chatting. Peer to peer chat/groups can be added. For sms you can send message to anyone by making this app you default sms client. If you are concerned about privacy you can use chat system with other users who use bucko. You may invite them to use the app.
    APK here

  • Great app. Thanks for the information - Cooee Messenger.

  • This is a new app for this. try it for free : first you need to join after install the app

  • you should also try WowApp .Searcj it on Google and find out more about it. It has lots of useful features. The bigger your network gets the more money you make without any cost.
    If you want an invitation email me at

  • Hi, I am looking for a simple feature in a messaging app. When I multiple unread (new) messages, I would like to go through the list via a 'next' function without having to click on a message then back then next message. Any of the apps support that or am I overlooking something that is already available ? Thx.

  • hey guys try this new game DROP YOUR SOLDIERS for android, its very fun and entertaining. you guys will enjoy it. must try it

  • I just installed a new rom on my note 4 today and went to download Hello SMS again only to find out it is completely gone. I was very disappointed. Switched to EvolveSMS after seeing it here, so far I like it, but really liked the way Hello SMS always had the icon tabs to the left to switch conversations without having to swipe first, but its ok.

    It is very much worth noting that the app Pushbullet is far superior to MightyText in most ways (which I used for a long time until I found PushBullet). It allows you to not only text from your pc, but also send and share files, links, etc back and forth through all your devices and PC, see all phone notifications on PC, and things of that nature. I use it throughout the day nearly every day. Very useful!

  • Thanks for sharing this article. Was searching similar contents on search engines for a case study. Many thanks.

  • Link Sync 2 months ago Link to comment

    Try LinknSync, a cool SMS & notifications sync tool.

  • Jeje 3 months ago Link to comment

    Ugh none of these are compatible with galaxy samsung tab 3. Back to viber lol

  • Try invi or wivi sms. The best looking sms apps ever

  • Those are really great applications. I even use mysms in my skype english conversation practice to talk to my teacher at Preply.

  • I liked Textra but then I discovered Yaata and its the best I've seen this far. Only downside is you have to donate a minimum of $3 to unlock full features but it's worth supporting a good app.

  • Kyle 3 months ago Link to comment

    i loved Textra when it's free and ad free but after awhile when they got a little bit popular, they placed ads and will let you pay for the premium.. Anyway it wont really hurt your pockets and it's actually purposed to help them improve. It has Nice interface, and i honestly had great experience. You can customize colors and stuffs too without having a hard time and confusions. So thumbs up, you might wanna try Textra. I recommend

  • Anyone else on Dasher? You've got to get that on this list. My whole network has moved over to it in the last couple months. the GIFs are ridiculous and I use the Venmo integration pretty much every day.

  • Dennis H. 4 months ago Link to comment

    mysms....agree with Shawnie B. It is unbelievable to me that a review of texting apps doesn't include mysms! Really? What's it missing author? In addition to what Shawnie B. wrote it has a not required, 'friends' feature. Example, my daughter left the USA on business. Since we were mysms friends we could text FREE while she was abroad. There is a purchase version that adds features that not everyone needs. 90% of all will be good to go out of the box with the non-paid addition. I have tried them all and mysms is the best! Try it you'll like it.

  • My personal favorite apps are Facebook messenger, whatsapp, hangout, hike . Recently I came across a new app in which we can communicate through voice i.e., texting, commenting, updating status or even blogging can be done through voice instead of text. It allows me to stay updated even on my lazy days. Plus having an interest in singing its works as a great platform for me to showcase my talent in front of the world. Try voice texting ....its so much fun.

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