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.
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.
- Download GO SMS Pro here from Google Play
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.Handcent Next SMS
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.Android Messages
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 SMS Text Messaging Sync
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.Signal Private Messenger
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.chomp SMS
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.Textra SMS
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.QKSMS - Open Source SMS & MMS
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.EvolveSMS (Text Messaging)
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.SMS from PC / Tablet & MMS Text Messaging Sync
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.