The 6 Best SMS Apps for Android

If you don’t like the default text messaging app on your Android device, it’s easy to change. There are tons of great alternatives out there, and thanks to Android’s customizable nature, the switch is simple.

Let’s take a look at some of the best alternative SMS app options available.

1. Messages

Now, this app may or may not be an alternative for you. That’s because certain Android devices have Messages as their default text messaging app, like Motorola devices or Google Pixels.

However, some other manufacturers like Samsung provide their devices with a proprietary text messaging app pre-installed in their custom Android skins. If that’s the boat you’re in, you might want to try Google’s Messages app.

It’s not the best customizable messaging app out there, but it’s as simple and stable as it gets. It randomly assigns a new color to every text chat and has some support for stickers, plus it supports RCS messaging and will filter out your spam. Of course, there are no ads or in-app purchases. This app is mainly for people who want something that works.

Download: Messages (Free)

2. SMS pulse

Pulse SMS is a great blend of customizability and simplicity. You get all the best features here along with a beautiful Material Design interface.


You can change the look of the message bubbles, set custom colors for the entire app or individual chats, schedule text messages, blacklist numbers, archive chats and maintain delay sending if you want to be able to cancel a few seconds after sending.

And that’s just the free version (no ads even). With in-app purchases, you can send and receive messages from a variety of platforms. Pulse has a Chrome app, a Chrome extension, a web messenger, a Firefox add-on, an Android TV app, an Android tablet app, and an Android Wear app. If your iPhone-loving friends ever brag about iMessage letting them text on their Mac, just tell them about Pulse.

That service costs $99.99 for a lifetime pass, or you can get a monthly subscription for $1.99 for 1 month or $10.99 for 1 year. But even without the messaging from everywhere functionality, it’s still a solid, full-featured messaging app.

Download: Pulse SMS (Free, with subscription)


QKSMS is an open source application for all lovers of more transparent technology. It also simply dies. All options are hidden behind the hamburger menu icon in the upper left. You can leave it alone and just have a simple yet effective messaging app, or you can dig into the settings and tweak themes, colors, bubble styles, and a bunch of other options.

And you can also edit all of this on a per-chat basis. This is a fast, easy yet powerful open source application. There are no ads and you can donate within the app if you feel generous. What if you don’t love?

Download: QKSMS (Free, with subscription)

Textra has been around for a while, but it has evolved gracefully. It includes Textra Bot if you want to ask it some questions about the app, but aside from that, it offers a ton of customization features in one speedy package. You can even edit emoji styles in the app so you can have iOS style emojis.

You can customize individual chats or even bulk edit multiple chats at once. If you want, you can call people directly from the messaging screen, or scroll through all the photos and videos you’ve sent to each other. There’s not much you can’t do with Textra.

While it may seem like a completely free app, Textra actually starts you off with a 14-day ad-free trial. You can then continue with ads or upgrade to Pro for a one-time payment of $4.49. By upgrading to the Pro version, you can send premium text messages to any of your contacts.

Download: Textra SMS (Free, in-app purchases available)

5. Chomp SMS

Chomp SMS is brought to you by the same people who created Textra. It’s anyone’s guess why they made two very similar messaging apps, but Chomp is also a great choice. There’s no Textra Bot, but just all the other features: themes, emoji styles, individual chat editing, scheduled messages, blacklists and more.

The good thing about using Chomp SMS is that you are not limited to the number of scheduled messages. However, we don’t recommend using Chomp to send bulk messages, because messages are sometimes delayed. Instead, use one of the recommended Android apps to send SMS messages in bulk.

All in all, it’s a pretty reliable option for those who just want personalization. Just like with Textra, at some point Chomp SMS will start showing ads or ask you to pay a small in-app purchase to continue without them.

Download: Chomp SMS (Free, in-app purchases available)

6. Mood SMS

Mood SMS is definitely the most unique of them all. The theme goes wild in Mood, with the default theme now winter in style. The settings menu is colorful and striking, and the keyboard features animated iOS-style emojis. It’s an eclectic and unique experience that’s not for everyone, but it will work for some.

There are tons of themes to choose from, you can hide some messages in a private box, there are small notifications like Chat Head, it supports GIFs and YouTube videos in-line, and it’s as customizable as all. All other apps on this list.

It also has a dedicated emoji store where you can download free emojis or make in-app purchases to unlock premium emojis. Besides, for a monthly subscription or $12 one-time payment, you can unlock more features like premium themes, message encryption, backup and restore and the ability to remove all advertising at the same time.

For a quirky, super customizable messaging app, you should choose Mood SMS.

Download: Mood SMS (Free, with subscription)

What is the best Android SMS app?

The SMS messaging app that works best for you may not work best for someone else, and most of these apps offer similar customization capabilities. We would recommend Google’s Messages app for you if you don’t need any fancy features, QKSMS for open source enthusiasts, Mood SMS if you want customization and Pulse SMS for others.

If you prefer to send messages over the internet instead of via SMS, there are also plenty of great apps to choose from.

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8 Best Free Messaging Apps For Android

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