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6 min read 109 comments

Best free texting apps for Android in 2018

Not everybody uses WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger: there are some instances where a good old SMS message is still preferred. We've gathered a list of the best apps for doing just that.

Many of you probably have unlimited texts as part of your data plan but let's face it, they don't get much use with apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook messenger being so popular. Perhaps you want to ditch Facebook and WhatsApp following the data privacy issues.  It makes sense then, to download an SMS app to have a better texting experience with improved security, customization, and more. 

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Best for fun features: Mood Messenger

Mood Messenger is a newer messaging/SMS/MMS app that is perfect for casual users, offering a good spread of nice features from internet messaging apps like animated emojis, location sharing, typing indicator and chat heads. It's also great for the creative types who enjoy customization with a bunch of themes and backgrounds available. Best of all, the app is free with no ads shoved in your face.

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. Many of them are free but if you want specialized ones, you need to pay extra.

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'll probably want to 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, making texting enjoyable and is similar to messenger apps like WhatsApp or WeChat. 

You'll notice that it is a really clean experience. It feels like you can move quickly through its functions without clutter everywhere distracting you. It also has 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. The in-text customization features really keep you coming back because they change the way you interact with texting in general. 

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Handset Next SMS really allows you to create a messenger-like experience with texting. / © AndroidPIT

Best for simplicity: Android Messages

We're not fans of Hangouts, which complicates the simple process of sending texts, but Android Messages is another story. It makes use of many of Hangouts' finer qualities while cutting out the clutter. Messages has an eye-soothing interface and, as well as sending texts, you can take photos and record audio messages from within the app.

It's a typical Google app in that it nails the essentials of what it should do.

androidpit google messenger
Google Messenger looks great and is easy to use. / © Google

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

Best for security: Signal Private Messenger

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 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. Signal only handles encrypted content so your messages are safe in transit. All of your attachments are also encrypted.

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Signal has SMS and MMS functionality, and can also be used outside of smartphones. / © AndroidPIT

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.

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

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
QKSMS is both pretty and pretty good. / © QK Labs

Best all-rounder: EvolveSMS/Pulse

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

The developer of EvolveSMS has made not only one, but two SMS apps and frankly, the second is also deserving of a place on the list. Pulse SMS offers a full-fat SMS app for your phone for free with all the bells and whistles: nice interface, customization, media sharing, contact management, blacklisting and so on. It also lets you use it from other devices such as your laptop, at an additional subscription fee.

Do you use your unlimited texts? Do you prefer any of these apps to WhatsApp or messenger? Let us know in the comments below!

109 comments

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  • I have used Mood, Pulse, Textra, Handcent and I always end up coming back to Verizon Messages+.


  • I have been using Textra from few years. It's great.


  • I've been using Textra for the past few years and it hasn't disappointed.
    Great colour customisations, send delay, and the usual expected features.

    Never had a problem or bug related issues.

    Peace 🖖


  • I presume that this article has been updated since it's first outing in 2016?

    Peace 🖖🏼


  • storm 4 months ago Link to comment

    Signal should be the only entry here. Nothing else respects your privacy. Everything else is a fishing expedition into your life to be used against you.


  • Great Thank you !
    If possible Please provide an application that supports Italian language and As well as have the ability to categorize messages .i'm currently using ZMS its very nice !but unfortunatelyit does not support Italian language.
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.saycoder.smsmanager


  • Sorin 10 months ago Link to comment

    For those who prefer short SMS messages, these applications are interesting. For messaging, there must be other applications that meet multiple criteria.


  • thanks for Sharing <a href="www.learnhax.net/the-best-sms-app-for-android/ ">Best Texting APPS for Android </a>


  • invi should definitely be on this list, their UI is super clean and it has some really cool features like a built in meme maker.


  • With Snapchats evolution into a basic kind of AR, overlaying stuff onto things that are not your face i.e. real world settings- they have paved the way for storytelling that is visual and imaginative -definitely fun. Along similar lines, Augray just launched the worlds first AR messenger app Tada Time that seems to take this capability much further. They also enables you to create and customize 3D avatars of yourself and pop them into the real world so its both imaginative and personal. I tried it out - the vanity factor of having one’s own avatars makes it pretty addictive, but I’ve also had fun making avatars of other people and sharing with them :) .

    www.tada-time.com


  • Back to Chomp after trying Textra, only because Textra failed to "translate" emojis from my one big emoji contact's Samsung stock app into the iOS style emoji pack on my phone - received unicode symbols instead. Chomp shows her Android emojis perfectly as iOS, but Textra not so (?)

    Update: I've installed Silence app (Silence Communication) for occasional encrypted SMS, because SMS requires designating just one client app at a time. Silence encrypts end to end when it detects another Silence client, but receives and sends like an ordinary unencrypted SMS app for non-Silence messages. Not sure Signal does that.


  • Yes you have missed Microsoft's SMS organizer. Best in SMS auto categorization, auto reminder creation, however not much intuitive UI.


  • I use sms mostly for official communications and stuff, and my job means I receive hundreds of text messages every day.
    I find SMS Organizer particularly useful ( search for SMS organizer by trailblaze in playstore) - it lets me create my own folders for sms, so I can easily organize my inbox. It can automatically move sms to these folders (once I create the appropriate rule), and even delete sms automatically once set the rules properly.


  • Here are the top 30 SMS app, You should try
    android.wikinsta.com/tag/sms/


  • Definitely add invi to this list! I've been using it for a few weeks and i can easily say its the best text messaging experience I've ever had.


  • Best Texting APPS for Android
    techindroid.com/best-texting-apps-android/


  • Download Connect! Messenger which is the world's most fastest and secure app and free of cost and it can also connect you with the telegram users.
    You can download it by visitin the play store and by searching Connect! Messenger or www.conectmessenger.ml


  • I like messaging app that came with my phone just fine, but I am not getting notifications anymore. May have something to do with using a user profile instead of owner profile - long story. Does anyone think an app like google messenger would give me notifications when I get a text, and not have the same glitch? I dont use MSM much. I juzt need for regular old texts. I have FB messenger. Will I need to shut that down?


  • The best SMS Apps - I know one pretty good messages apps .See here : http://goo.gl/t7yLyT


  • Pls & Pls how can I make one of the free texting app work on my BlackBerry 10 OS eg mysms, mighty text, & QKSMS etc......


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


  • 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.


    • I used to like it, the free version because of the individual ringtones for people. Then it started more aggressive Ads. Like Videos that just start playing, even when the phone is sleeping or charging. Now looking for a replacement.


  • Riz May 2, 2016 Link to comment

    Best sms app I would recommend is Texter SMS Pro


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  •   8
    Deactivated Account Feb 29, 2016 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.


  • If I have a contact with two names (ex: John and Jane Smith) and I have separate cell numbers for each of them under the same contact, how can i tell which one is texting me? I have the contact customized so that when I text out I know who I am texting but when I receive a text, it just uses the full contact name. Does this make sense to anyone? Do I need to have separate contacts for husbands and wives or am I doing something wrong?


  • Rob H. Feb 24, 2016 Link to comment

    Ok, good list. Except for the fact that everyone ive tried wont let me send texts once the new program is the default. Any ideas?


  • Chris Feb 17, 2016 Link to comment

    It's important that staff are able to respond to clients over their phones from the group chat. Any other suggestions?


  • Chris Feb 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Hello, I'm interested in implementing an app at my workplace so that clients (without needing to have the app) can SMS message a group chat that staff (with the app) will be able to see. Any recommendations?


  • Here's what I need:
    A free text message app (like my default Android Text messaging function) that allows me to
    mark texts as UNREAD like with emails.
    Do any of the above fit this criteria?
    And if not, does such a text message app exist for Android?
    I know I'm not alone in really wanting this ) :


  •   8
    Deactivated Account Feb 2, 2016 Link to comment

    Have a see of this, http://goo.gl/5UhFFT, which tells how to Send Text Messages from PC to iPhone/Android/Nokia.


  • This misleading since NONE of these enable you to send Free SMS.


  • Thanks EvolveSMS was the solution I was looking for. Was displeased with the Samsung app, which bogged to standstill with every text (Began with lollipop, still an issue with 5.1.1 no solution I tried fixed ) and Google Messenger just too stripped down to be useful for business. I purchased the $1.49 upgrade to attach vcards, which works great for me, but free version is exceptional as is. Very pleased with EvolveSMS.


  • This post is very recent. They probably missed this cool new app I found on the playstore called Share Via SMS - SVS.

    I would like to recommend the app called Share Via SMS also known as SVS. It launched 2 months back and is doing really well.

    The app lets you send images using sms without any internet required literally. No need of GPRS, 3G, LTE or 5G. They claim its as easy as select, compress and send. The app also lets you send short audio notes over sms. I think that;s pretty cool.

    Just search for Share Via SMS - SVS to gett to the app.

    I hope I don't get banned for sharing a link here.


  • Cooee Messenger is awesome. its free and very fast also you can send pdf file, words documents , videos , recorded message, Movies instantly , you can chat with friends , I am using it. massive speed of messenger Thanks All


  • Txtr is awesome. It's free too :)


  • Hello Everybody,
    I see everybody is posting their app here. So I'm going to post my favorite.
    WowApp!

    Accounts can be created here: www .wowapp. com/w/wow.app/


  • Text Now app. Free on Google's play store!


  • Try this it work
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sms.ahmadibrahim.free


  • Abhi B Nov 19, 2015 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 bucko.in/Bucko.apk


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


  • 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 ecazacu1984@yahoo.com
    .


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Jeje Aug 25, 2015 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 Aug 11, 2015 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.


  • 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.


  • The best sms messaging app I have ran across is mysms. It's got great options including pop ups that allow me to review the message and respond or close the message. It also has a download for my pc so I can send and receive sms and mms messages from my pc. It also allows me to automatically back up my messages on all of my cloud drives; Google Drive, dropdbox, one drive, etc... . I love this app!


  • what happened to handcent it just disappeared from google play?


    • I noticed the same thing. I looked it up on my laptop in the Google Play store this morning and it's under "Handcent Next SMS" now. You should be able to click install from your laptop/desktop and it will install on your phone as long as you're logged into the Google Account you use on your phone. :)


  • If we are talking about the "text messaging app " so Google messenger and Cooee Messenger is great apps , Google messenger nicely work and cooee messenger speciality is delivered SMS within 1 sec as compared other messenger takes 10 seconds


  • I never see the mysms app on list like this but it works cross platform it's the first app I put on device be Android, iOS or Windows


    • The 1000mah have a features dual USB ports as well as microUSB port for charging the device.The 10000mah Portable charger is a strength of power bank of your mobile.The Feye shoppy is a onlineshopping company.The 10000mah Portable charger is a strength of power bank as well as it will be priced well under INR 1699, which is quite lucrative. The aluminum housing provides protection against bumps, scratches and other accidental damage.When choosing a product, safety and reliability are top priorities. These are 25 of the best portable chargers that money can buy.


  • I'm digging a new SMS app called YAATA. Very customizable, stable and fast. Check it out.


  • Everyone should stay away from GO SMS Pro. It contains intrusive adware that they sneak into the app without letting you know. Everytime you install or update an app, you'll get an annoying pop-up that you cannot get rid of that suggests other sponsored apps to download. Even if you paid for premium, you'll still get it.


    • I like the inteface and options but hate the advertising. I'm also purchased pro.


    • I loved their interface and their wallpaper, but it's gotten worse and worse with the ads. Before I could ignore them (they stopped popping up and were stuck at the top of your message list), But now they popup on you desktop after you close the app. And most recently, I'm getting repeated messages from opt-in sources and I'm starting to suspects the developer is doing that to increase their ads exposure. I'm now (sadly, because I love my wallpaper), looking for another app.

      BTW, I think they are now claiming Pro is not enough, you have to buy super Pro to be adfree, but now I don't trust them.


  • Greg T Mar 27, 2015 Link to comment

    Because I live part of the year outside the USA, I don't consider any of your "best text" reviews truly the best. I've tried them all. And outside the USA they only send through data but can receive over WiFi. I found Facebook Messenger the only one that allows me to send texts over WiFi when outside the USA. The downside is the recipient has to have FB Messenger also installed. I would be thrilled if there was a true texting app that worked over WiFi outside the USA because ATT data fees outside the USA are expensive.


    • I agree, but haven't seen that capability since I switched from the dark side lol
      Apple.... Android needs I message type of Wifi messaging. But I guess they must hold a patent on that or we would have that capability


  • Personally I prefer by far arXanum, it allows to manage both public and hidden conversations and all content coming from receivers being defined as "secret" and stored respectively in a watchlist, will be received completely silently, cell phone is not even swichting on, vibrate or play the usual ringtone which will be continued to be triggered for all other "conventional" public receivers / contacts, worth a try as it saves at lot of hassle and guarantees true privacy and it seamlessly works also on KitKat devices and above


  • hangouts, but this app taks lot of battery life


  • Mighty Text has its own texting app called SimplyText


  • I like hello SMS because its too much simple and clean.


  • Googles new Messenger works nicely


  • Verizon has messaging that I can access and chat via my computer.


  • I love Google Messenger.


  • Google messenger is also good. :D


  • I use either the native SMS app or Hangouts while I wait for the changes once L comes to my Moto X (2014).... I also use WhatsApp for those I know who have that app....


  • I used to use evolve SMS but it sent messages as MMS and incurred some extra bills. moved back to chomp as I never had this problem with it


  • Textra is my choice. But now trying the textsecure for my privacy


  • I dont know anyone using SMS now in day, but when they do, its because data plan is not working or something...


    • Stop what are they using? Snapchat,Facebook messenger isn't exactly the same. What are they using that I dont know of?


  • Clade Aug 23, 2014 Link to comment

    You should update the Handcent part. It has gotten a nice update, giving it a moderrn UI.


  • what about Chomp? I've used most of the above and nothing comes close imho


    • Yeah Chomp is good but to me it sorta just feels like Hangouts (or should I say Hangouts feels like Chomp!).


      • My1 Jul 3, 2014 Link to comment

        however, the main point of all these top lists is that they are always biased and subjective, everyone has his/her own persictive about which features they need or which are no-go, it's the same with Phone Interfaces, I like touchwiz a lot for it's features but also admit that it's overbloated, while I DONT like stockdroid coz there are many things missing...

        while having the point, you always make comparisons if manufacturer UI vs. stockdroid, whynot make a toplist of all (including stock) android UIs...


  •   16
    Deactivated Account Jun 18, 2014 Link to comment

    I rarely use SMS, but when I do, it's to send it to Kris because he doesn't have a data plan! :D


    • You sound like the Dos Equis guy. And between Wi-Fi at work and home I'm happy to moments of peace in transit.


      • My1 Jun 18, 2014 Link to comment

        I also use it when I want to be sure that it comes, coz when bad reception or deliberately turned off internet (battery saving) on either side, whatsapp &co will be a problem.


      • I get so tired of ''last online,'' ''delivered,'' ''received,'' ''read,'' ''oh, I didn't get your message'' etc that I tend to just make calls anyway if it's even vaguely important. Much less hassle! Next year: I'm replacing my email with letters...


      • Andi Jan 2, 2015 Link to comment

        it's already the 'next year' so share with us your address so we can start send a a letter. :P


  • It looks like you started on MySMS but there is no text?
    Anyway, that's the one I get my family and friends on. Does carrier and free messaging, is free for the most part, does attachments and stuff without cluttering up the nice user interface with all the usual tween rubbish. There is also a free Chrome extension for sending and receiving messages with notification.... no plugin required in the Android app for that.
    It has the ability to live-backup all of your conversations to your cloud service.
    Ummm... it does group messaging (optionally split) etc.
    Anyway. I tried almost all of the most popular ones when I moved to Android and MySMS did everything I wanted without being obnoxious.


  • Chomp, Go and 8sms are all worthy contenders to be sure. But I wanted to share some new apps as well as the classics. Keep your favorites coming!


  • titas Jun 17, 2014 Link to comment

    Chomp SMS is pretty good too, and simple :)


  • My1 Jun 17, 2014 Link to comment

    I'd have loved to see how the "text secure" SMS look while encrypted (viewed with normal SMS App)


  • I prefer the more stock 8SMS on my rooted S3..


  • What about GO SMS? I have been using that as my default for ages now.


  • well i don't do much texting! so I'm satisfied with Hangouts as my default! :P