SMS apps, all phones come with at least one. But why do they all have to be so boring? Well, the good news is that you can easily spice up your texting experience.

Since the first SMS message was sent back in 1992, text messaging has become one of the most popular forms of communication, especially among the younger crowd.

Being able to send short, written texts via mobile phones has clearly advanced communication in certain respects. And the greatest benefit of texting it that it allows you to communicate instantly with other people wherever you are, without interrupting them in a way that a call would.

Phone manufacturers usually bundle their phone products with a default SMS app, but thanks to the Android’s open ecosystem, if you’re not happy with it, you can easily change it.

There are many third-party SMS apps available via the Google Play Store you can download right now. So below we’ve assembled a list of some of the best SMS app-alternatives you might want to try on your Android smartphone or tablet.


What it is:

A clean-looking SMS app that lets you customize your texting experience in numerous ways.

Why we like it:

  • Textra transforms the drab experience of your default SMS app into a customizable adventure: users can change almost anything from theme colors and notifications to the style and colors of the message bubbles.
  • A fan of iMessages? Textra can give you the sense you’re using an iPhone when you’re texting.
  • The app also offers useful features such as SMS scheduling, quick replies, SMS blocking, dark, light & auto-night modes and a lot more.
  • Tap into the 2000+ Android, Twitter, Emoji One & iOS style-emojis to spice up your text messages.

Install Textra


What it is:

Pulse is a next-generation SMS app which brings together all your texts from all the devices you use including phones, tablets or computers.

Why we like it:

  • The app is highly customizable just like Textra, offering the ability to set themes, share GIFs with your messages from Giphy and enable sound effects.
  • Pulse’s standout feature is that it makes your messages available across all your devices. You can send and receive text messages from your phone number on your computer, tablet or smartwatch. Basically on any device that has access to a web browser. Note: This feature is available for a paid subscription, but you get a 7-day free trial
  • The app includes other useful features such as delayed SMS sending, spam blocking and advanced search in messages and contacts.

Install Pulse

Mood Messenger

What it is:

Mood Messenger aims to combine both text messaging and web messaging into one. So, the app can be a great alternative to WhatsApp, but also a worthy default SMS replacement app.

Why we like it:

  • Aptly named Mood Messenger, the app lets you send texts with mood. Users are invited to customize everything from the colors and shapes of the message bubbles and style of each font to backgrounds and notifications sounds. Add emoticons, emojis, and smileys for an enhanced effect.
  • The app also acts as a basic photo editor by allowing you to do things like add text or emoji and even draw on your pic, before sending it along.
  • Pulse is a modern SMS app, so its privacy-oriented, keeping your messages away from private eyes.

Install Mood Messenger

Handcent Next SMS

What it is:

Handcent Next SMS brings next-generation texting to your Android device. Available since 2010, the app has embraced Material Design thus offering a fresh, modern look.

Why we like it:

  • Like Pulse, Handcent Next SMS lets you send messages from any device that has a browser installed on it. You can also use the app to make free calls over the Internet.
  • Includes a feature called Privacy Box, an encrypted message box which can only be opened by a unique pre-set passcode.
  • The app is riddled with emoji, stickers and everything you need to make your texts more fun.
  • There’s also a Stick on top feature which pins your favorite contacts on the top.

Install Handcent Next SMS

Chomp SMS

What it is:

Chomp SMS is a third-party messaging app which comes equipped with an impressive set of features, as well as with many customization options.

Why we like it:

  • Chomp SMS enables texters to create their own unique look by tapping into the 100 free themes/skins. You can also customize things like notification icons, LED colors, ringtones, vibrate patterns and a lot more.
  • Boasts advanced features such as passcode app lock, privacy options, scheduled SMS senders, stop a text while sending, backup, blacklisting, and signatures.
  • Includes a large 1600+ database of Android, Twitter, Emoji One and iOS-style emojis for your enjoyment.

Install Chomp SMS


What it is:

An interesting replacement for regular SMS apps with a focus on security and privacy.

Why we like it:

  • Privacy is what everyone is worried these days, right? Well, then you’ll be glad to hear Silence stores all messages you receive in an encrypted database. By default, it’s not protected by a password, but you can set one if you so desire.
  • When both parties use Silence the app automatically recognizes this and starts using end-to-end encryption to send messages and media. Otherwise, it works just as a standard SMS app.
  • Silence is open source, which means its code can be scrutinized for vulnerabilities, backdoors and other shady stuff.

Install Silence


What it is:

Like Silence, QKSMS is an open source messenger which wants to help you re-live the glory days of text messaging.

Why we like it:

  • The app offers access to nearly 200 themes including dark ones. There’s also an Automatic Night Mode which can turn itself on when it’s dark out.
  • The QK Reply tool enables you to reply to messaging without having to stop what you’re doing.
  • Other useful features include floating notifications, MMS, group chats and a search tool.

Install QKSMS


What it is:

EvolveSMS is a powerful texting replacement app that makes keeping in touch with your friends and family a breeze.

Why we like it:

  • On top of letting you customize your SMS experience any way you want, EvolveSMS’ most important feat is probably allowing users to swiftly send/receive all kinds of media including images, videos, and GIFs.
  • The app allows you to reply to your chats directly from your notification bar. It also lets you set up a password to protect your private conversations.
  • EvolveSMS comes with Android Wear support and Facebook integration.

So what do you think? Which of these apps sounds more promising in your opinion? Do you have a favorite app for texting? Is it the stock app that comes with your phone or one of the titles above? Let us know in the comments!

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