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Best Text Messaging Apps for Android

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These are the best text messaging apps for Android in 2019. We’ll explain why you should use one of these instead of what came pre-installed on your phone. Plus, we’ll show you how to change it. Texting is something we all do daily, and these apps will make texting better and easier.

Most pre-installed text messaging apps aren’t very good, nor are they customizable. Thankfully, on Android, you can download dozens of texting app alternatives on the Play Store. These let you change the notification icons, bubbles, add themes, get more emoji, and deliver a faster experience. Try one today.

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Best Text Messaging Apps for Android

  1. Textra SMS
  2. Google Messages
  3. Chomp SMS
  4. EvolveSMS
  5. Handcent Next SMS
  6. Go SMS Pro

When you download a new text messaging app for Android you don’t have to transfer anything. All of your text, MMS, and conversations will automatically transfer into the new app. So don’t worry about losing anything, just enjoy everything you gain and any new features.

Textra SMS

Hands-down the best text messaging app for Android is Textra. At least in my opinion. It’s fast, full of helpful features or customization, and is constantly improving. It’s one of the most user-friendly options on the market.

Textra

Textra lets you change everything. From the font size, color, or bubbles, to an entire dark mode or custom backgrounds. I like being able to make the font and bubble colors what I want, then match the notification icon to that color. You can change the notification icon for individual contacts, too.

This app offers text delivery reports, will automatically save pictures from texts to your gallery, and we love the quick reply option in the notification pulldown bar. There’s even an option to have a quick compose bar always present in your notification shade so you can send a text without opening any apps.

All said and done, Textra is beautiful, easy to use, customizable and fast. Some apps on our list are great, but they’re not very easy to use. That’s not a problem with Texta. They do have an optional in-app purchase, but it’s totally worth it.

Download Textra Now

Google Messages

Perhaps the best overall text messaging app, or experience, is Google’s own Android Messages app. Luckily, it’s already installed on several phones on the market today and it’s full of useful features. It’s what we recommend the most, and is your best bet if you don’t want to customize everything on Textra.

Google’s Messages app is fast, easy to use, customizable, and even has an option where you can send and receive texts from a computer or tablet. You’ll enjoy smart replies, different themes, emojis, stickers, RCS-support, and much more. Honestly, it’s probably the only app that truly gives Textra a run for its money.

Download the Messages App

Chomp SMS

If you like tons of customization with your texting setup, try Chomp. They explain their app as a souped of version of your stock text and mms app, and that’s basically what it is. It isn’t as pretty as Textra but has plenty of options. If you like having pictures behind all your text messages, like a background wallpaper, give Chomp a try.

Just like Textra, you can customize the color of notifications for each specific contact, if you want. It’s a great touch, and something many enjoy. You can choose from hundreds of free themes to personalize your messaging experience. Some features include scheduled SMS sending, group MMS, delayed send, pinning favorite conversations to the top, and number blocking. Chomp SMS has a quick compose feature too, although we prefer Textra.

Users can long-press messages for more options, or “blacklist” numbers from texting you with ease. It’s another great choice for users.

Download Chomp SMS Now

EvolveSMS

Another powerful text messaging app is EvolveSMS, from the popular creator of Talon for Twitter. It’s as customizable as anything on this list, but he focused on giving users more notification customization than anything else, which is great.

Not only can you customize every aspect of this application, but you can apply entire themes with ease. Or, download additional themes from the Play Store from 3rd party creators, making the options endless. It’s fast, easy to use, works with Wear OS, and you can even send or view GIFs and videos inside the app.

We also enjoy features like private messages, password encryption, batch-deletes, archives, backup options and more. Yes, this app has a little of everything.

Download EvolveSMS Today

Handcent Next SMS

If your default app is a bit too simple for you, check out Handcent. This is probably one of the most customizable and advanced options on the Google Play Store. In fact, it’s almost too customizable. It’s a bit convoluted and confusing for most, and I’ve had friends or family members call and ask for help setting it up. Once you do though, it’s great.

Handcent recently revamped its look and changed the name to Handcent Next, but we still prefer Textra. That said, it features quick reply pop-ups, vcards, themes, skins, and a powerful backup and restore system. Allowing you to save your entire text message collection and even your custom settings. That way getting Handcent setup on a new phone is a breeze.

If another user has Handcent you can send messages over WiFi (online messages like WhatsApp) without getting text charges from your carrier. Or, use Anywhere to send texts from a PC.

Handcent even lets you draw little images or doodles and send them as messages, supports more emoji options than most, and simply has more options than almost anything out. If you want control over everything, try this. Keep in mind that too many options can lead to the app being slow or sluggish.

Download Handcent Next

Go SMS Pro

Last but certainly not least is another popular one that’s been around for a while, and that’s Go SMS. The Pro version is free, but an in-app purchase will unlock more options. This is the only paid app in our list but does have a pretty capable free version.

Once you pay for Go it’s very customizable and a great app full of neat features and controls. Go delivers a  “Private Box” for personal messages, and even free online text messaging with GO chat. We like that you can sticky specific conversations to the top of the list like a GF or family member. Also, they support quick reply pop-ups like many others in our list.

Go also has auto-reply and spam blocking controls, scheduled messages, and the paid version lets you backup and save all your messages to the cloud. That way you can instantly restore them on a new phone. The only downside is you’ll have to spend almost $10 to get everything it has to offer.

Download it Now

And finally, we wanted to highlight a few others that should probably be on this list. Typically, we only recommend the few above, but if you still aren’t satisfied try Facebook Messenger, Mood Messenger, Pulse SMS or QKSMS.

How to Change Your Text Message App

When you download a new text app for Android you’ll have to tell your phone to use it over the one that came pre-installed. Most of these apps will walk you through the steps and setup process the first time you use it. Textra, for example, does everything for you when you open it for the first time. That way you won’t get double text notifications from the original app on your phone, and your phone knows to use Textra instead of Samsung’s Messenger.

So, simply download one of our Android messaging apps from the list, then open it up. A pop-up will surface and ask you if you’d like to “set as default” and that’s it. Simply select yes or ok and now it will be your text app from here on out. Or, head to settings, tap the magnifying glass to search, and look for “Default Apps” and change your default SMS app.

Here are the full instructions for Samsung users, or any Android phone for that matter.

Final Thoughts

Most devices come with at least one messenger program pre-installed, and some even have Google Messages. If so, keep it and enjoy everything it offers. For everyone else, we recommend trying one of the 5+ apps above over your carriers text app. Like Verizon Messages, get rid of that ASAP.

Another honorable mention is the mySMS app. They let you send and receive texts from your computer or a tablet. Everything syncs across devices and it’s seamless, easy to use, and fast. Perfect for sending texts with your number from a computer at work. Pulse SMS works on computers too.

All said and done our favorite is Textra, but we recommend everything on this list. Give one a try today and enjoy all the options and controls.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Tahir Khan

    04/15/2015 at 7:56 am

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  2. Tahir Khan

    04/15/2015 at 7:59 am

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  3. Alan King

    04/15/2015 at 11:43 am

    You have to include DISA on that list. DISA is a messaging hub that brings your sms, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp messages in one place. The cool thing about it is that, with WhatsApp, you don’t have to create groups before sending group messages. You select the names just like you would through your and app and send your message to everyone tagged.

  4. Joshua Lathan

    04/17/2015 at 6:48 pm

    EvolveSms. That’s a feature rich app I use.

    • Cory Gunther

      04/17/2015 at 10:18 pm

      ahh is that from the maker of Talon? I’ll check it out

  5. fahim

    07/19/2015 at 3:24 am

    how to change bubble ‘shape’ in textra? you memtiond it but I cant find any way to do that

  6. Mike

    10/22/2015 at 12:04 pm

    I have been using Textra until today. I was trying to setup a very important meeting, sent a text a got no reply. 4 hours later, when sending a text to a different contact, I got a notice that the original text failed to send. Holy Crap! No auto-resend? Not immediate notification of a failed message? I guess Textra is not designed for real business. I’m out!

  7. brina

    12/05/2015 at 3:26 pm

    Which text messaging apps back up your texts for when you switch to a new phone, and all u have to so is download the app and all your texts come back

  8. Skye

    01/24/2017 at 5:09 pm

    Your wrong about GoSMS!! You do not have to pay! You can get everything(paid version) through accruing “coins” by downloading apps(then deleting) DUHH 😂

    It doesnt come up right away, go in to buy it and get to the purchase screen then leave(cancel) purchase screen, it usually comes up with a screen to get it via “coins” (used to be getjar)

  9. Skye

    01/24/2017 at 5:28 pm

    Ummm this is incorrect, textra is paid app just like GoSMS, only with less customization

  10. Michael

    03/08/2017 at 9:39 pm

    Textra has a free ‘test’ period, then wants money. If you continue with the ‘free’ version, you get stupid ads you can’t delete hanging around in your SMS list. Not for me, I’m afraid.

  11. Carlos Hansell

    08/02/2017 at 2:17 am

    Nice article pure informative and knowledgeable thank you for sharing it.

  12. Jason Carlson

    09/29/2017 at 9:28 pm

    Not sure why you recommend an app that has not been updated in over 2 years. Also, it has issues sending mms. Hello messaging app is dead! You should consider removing it from this list.

    • Drew Saurus

      06/14/2018 at 1:03 pm

      Hello SMS does not exist anymore….just so you know.

  13. Kruse Ludington

    06/14/2018 at 3:23 pm

    What about Yaata?

  14. Richard

    06/14/2018 at 3:37 pm

    Meh. Luke Klinker’s Pulse SMS – period!

  15. Brooke Pestano

    06/17/2018 at 4:18 am

    Why isn’t Mood app on there? It has the most customization, best support (even for dumb questions) and great features, and always adding more. I’ve tried all on the list and Mood is still the best!

    • Julie Hudson

      09/01/2018 at 9:53 pm

      Lovvvvve my Mood app too! Never fails for me and I love the customization! Glad u recommended this one. There are only 2 others on this list I would even consider, the rest are non existent!? What’s up with them recommending some that are even dead now? Evolve sms is also really cool. Used to use Yaata, but I found Mood and just love it now.

  16. Eagle

    06/20/2018 at 6:34 pm

    Should check out Pulse SMS.

  17. Ab

    08/30/2018 at 8:05 pm

    I like the android app but it’s buggy. Always says I have messages in the double digits when only one. And the group mms sucks as well. I keep getting messages to download and then it syncs to the group text.

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