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9 best free texting apps for Android

Authored by: Kris Carlon — 2 months ago

Not everybody uses WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, and there are some instances where a good old SMS message is still preferred. If you want to make use of your unlimited free texts, below we've gathered a list of the best free texting apps for Android.

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These are the best texting apps for Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best for themes: GO SMS Pro

GO SMS Pro is a great all-inclusive texting app. It really helps you get the most out of those unlimited texting plans. There are some advertisements but often you need to click on the advertisement-animation feature to see them. You have some excellent features but the best part of this app is the themes and stickers. 

The themes on the GO SMS Pro app are really well designed and integrate well with its interface. You need to download each from Google Play but once you do they are easy to set up. A lot of them are free but if you want some of the more specialized ones you need to through their coin system and pay for them. 

The 'Delay to send' option is a good idea to activate just in case you make a mistake. This happens a lot; I've had plenty of messages I sent I wanted to quickly get back. If you've ever accidentally sent a swear word to a contact then you probably want use the blacklist function so it doesn't go, well...you get the point. 

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GO SMS Pro gives you some great theme options. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best for customization: Handcent Next SMS

It takes a few minutes to get set up but Handcent Next SMS has some excellent customization features that give you a seamless personalized experience. This makes texting a bit more enjoyable and is reminiscent of messenger apps like WhatsApp or WeChat. Handcent Next SMS changes the way we interact with texting and for that it is quite unique.

When you use Handcent, you notice that it is a really clean experience. It feels like you can move quickly though its functions without clutter everywhere distracting you. And coupled with this simplicity you have more complex features like festive e-cards or text messages for birthdays or holidays. You can even get some inspiration from heartfelt messages made public by other texters. 

The customization features really make Handcent shine and we highly recommend you take advantage of them. You can use a skin for their interface and there are a few good ones to choose from, which they update frequently. There are some pretty neat themes too. But the in-text customization features really keep you coming back because they change the way you interact with texting in general. Changing these features is easy and you can be pretty comprehensive with it. 

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Handset Next SMS really allows you to create a messenger-like experince with texting. / © ANDROIDPIT
Handcent Next SMS Install on Google Play

Best for simplicity: Google Messenger

We're not fans of Hangouts, which complicates the 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. Messenger has an eye-soothing interface and, as well as sending texts, you can take photos and record audio messages from within the app.

Google Messenger is a typical Google app in that it nails the essentials of what it should do.

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Google Messenger looks great and is easy to use. / © Google
Messenger Install on Google Play

Best for multiple devices: MySMS

MySMS comes garlanded with rave reviews from press and users alike. It's available for Windows, Mac and web browsers as well as Android, which means you can post from a computer or tablet using your Android phone's number. 

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, MySMS is hardly going to break the bank. 

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

Best for security: Signal Private Messanger

If you like to err on the side of caution, it's hard to overlook Signal Private Messenger. It's super secure – you can't even take screenshots of the app. Signal Private Messenger (also known as TextSecure) encrypts your personal communications with end-to-end encryption protocols as soon as you register your number.

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.

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Signal Private Messenger is the most secure messaging app on Android. / © Open Whisper Systems
Signal Private Messenger Install on Google Play

Best for comprehensive service: chomp SMS

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

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

Best for Android Wear compatability: Textra SMS

Textra SMS is a great SMS app, which makes excellent use of Material Design. It has more features than most stock SMS apps, including floating notifications, quick reply popups, and a heap of signature and notification types. Textra SMS features more than 100 different themes and app icon colors, making it one of the most customizable messaging apps available. What's more, it's compatible with PushBullet and Android Wear.

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

Best looking: QKSMS

QKSMS is one of the prettiest SMS apps we've seen, offering Material Design plus a range of themes, night mode, customization, 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, you can get premium mode in exchange for a US$1.99 in-app purchase.

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

Best all-rounder: EvolveSMS

EvolveSMS is the Google-inspired SMS app that we wish Hangouts was. EvolveSMS is feature-packed, with support for multimedia messages (including GIFs) and even smartwatch compatibility. The default orange interface looks great, but 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. If you want an SMS app that does everything, go with Evolve. 

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EvolveSMS follows the Android style guidelines. / © AndroidPIT/Klinker Apps
EvolveSMS Install on Google Play

Bonus app: MightyText add-on

MightyText is not an SMS app itself, but is on this list because it's 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 to read and reply to messages from your computer screen. Other nice features include built-in SMS backup and restore options.

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MightyText lets your read and reply to messages from your PC. / © MightyText
SMS Text Messaging -PC Texting Install on Google Play

Do you agree with our list of the best text message apps for Android? Are there any that you can't believe we've missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

94 comments

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  • wenq 1 day ago Link to comment

    This is an useful way to send messages from pc, http://goo.gl/IOXabR, from which, you can text on your computer, and
    you can freely choose those contacts who you want to send texts to.

  • for best messaging app experience i would like to recommend BirdsBeep.com

  • It's super inconvenient that we can backup android phone text messages on computer .It also allow you manage and edit messages.
    http://goo.gl/r52Q8s

  • Download the Hi! Messenger from the play store which is the world's fastest messaging app and it can also connect to telegram user and the best part is it is free of cost. Just visit the play store and search for Hi! Messenger or visit www.himessenger.ml

  • Go SMS Pro is horrible. I just downloaded it and it was the worst. ADS EVERYWHERE!

    Want to change theme? $1.99
    Want to change font? $1.99
    Want to add features? $1.99
    Want to customize your experience? $1.99
    Want to remove ads? $7.99

    NO? Then deal with cluttered and confusing layouts jammed packed with ads until you pay for something.

  • Riz 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Best sms app I would recommend is Texter SMS Pro

  • Ibvaag 1 month ago Link to comment

    The best sms app,I recommed you to use How to Print Text Messages app.Wiht it you can backup and print messages .http://goo.gl/77TVyD

  • Zack Arm 2 months ago Link to comment

    Have been through most, if not all of these apps. The one that I ended up keeping for the past year is Textra due to it's nice design and custom themes. I can't quite explain it but it just seems like what a texting app should be to me. The others gave me the feel of some form of messenger like LINE or KIK and while that is fine and all, it isn't what I want in my standard sms app. Personal preference ofcourse, but the android wear support just completes textra for me.

    • I've been using Textra for a while and agree with you on the interface. Unfortunately I've started getting errors receiving mms messages and may have to change.

  • Telegram app (apkmonk.com/app/org.telegram.messenger/) should also be part of the list..especially if you concerned about your privacy and government snooping.

  • Ibvaag 2 months ago Link to comment

    I like this SMS app ( http://goo.gl/7qQU8R ) .It can help me backup and manage messages on computer .And it also help print messages on computer !

  • Anthony 2 months ago Link to comment

    I think Google Messenger is now the best thanks to the new update which brings Wear support, but the others are viable options as well

  • Disa, that's it!

  • I use Text Now app and also get Free calls with Free texts!!!!!! Works perfect

  • The big thing I like about SMS is it's not necessary to wheedle anybody else into using some flavor of the day special app for ordinary text messages: everybody has SMS, and that's that. I've played around with several of these enhancers and mildly enjoyed changing the interface for SMS, but finally it's just a boring keyboard and boring bubbles for text.

    Looking at Signal, the idea of encrypting SMS is interesting. but again seems to require the other party to install and use it - Signal does have the benefit of unifying both encrypted and ordinary SMS into one app and it is Snowden approved.

  • Ibvaag 2 months ago Link to comment

    It's super inconvenient that we can backup android phone text messages on computer .It also allow you manage and edit messages.
    http://goo.gl/r52Q8s

  • I neemy last four weeks of TeX messages what app will take me to

  • 9
    AnnieChow 2 months ago Link to comment

    This is a useful way to send messages from pc, http://goo.gl/IOXabR, from which, you can text on your computer, and
    you can freely choose those contacts who you want to send texts to.

  • Sunshine 3 months ago Link to comment

    Best SMS apps for Andorid phone, I like Google Messenger – best for simplicity. And If you want to manage your SMS or send them from PC, you can use pro android file manager. Such as: http://goo.gl/nuJW18

  • Ibvaag 3 months ago Link to comment

    Best SMS Messages android apps ,I choose samsung backup to backup android phone data ,such as contacts,messages,photos,videos etc.
    http://www.samsung-messages-backup.com/

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