The stock Android SMS app is passable if you only send text messages once in a while. For those who text as their major form of communication, the stock app may not have the features and usability options possible for the most enjoyable experience. Of course, some people just prefer a change of scenery every once in a while and like to change themes. If this sounds like you, then you're in luck because in this list we're going to take a look at the best SMS apps for Android. If you're looking for applications that replace SMS entirely with a whole new platform, you're going to want to check out our best SMS replacement apps list. Enjoy!
[Price: Free] First up is an app called 8sms. If you like the aesthetic of the stock Android SMS app and want something with a few more features, this is a really good one to try. It keeps much of the looks and features while adding a few extra ones. This includes enhanced emoji support, quick reply pop ups, an optional dark theme, and its compatible with Android 4.4 Kitkat.
It's a simple app that doesn't take away from the stock aesthetic so fans of stock Android can still use this and feel good about it. Also, it's free and free is always good.
[Price: Free] Chomp SMS is a relic in the world of Android. It's been around since the days of Eclair and FroYo and it was known as one of the two best SMS replacement apps. It's still wildly popular today and for good reason. There is amazing theme support that lets you make your SMS app look how you want it to look. Included also is over 800 emoticons, widgets, quick reply pop ups, and even SMS blocking if you're tired of getting texts from a number. If you need something with a lot of theming options, this is among the best options out there for you. Beware, though, it is a little bit bloated.
[Price: Free] Like Chomp SMS, Handcent is the other SMS replacement app that's been around and popular since the good old days. Handcent is packed with features including theme support, built-in spell checking, password protection for individual conversations to keep prying eyes away, group chatting, and cross platform support so you can use it on iOS and Windows Phone too. Simply put, it's one of the best out there, free to use, and loaded with features. What more could you ask for?
[Price: Free / $4.99] GO SMS Pro is developed by the same people who do GO Launcher, GO Keyboard, and every other GO app you can think of. As usual you can expect quality work and that’s quite evident as over 60 million people use this application according to GO Dev Team. With this app you get a boatload of themes and emojis, SMS blocking, schedule your outgoing messages to send at certain times, private inbox to protect from sneaky people, and that’s just the free version. With the paid version you also get improved private inbox, cloud storage for SMS backups, 20MB MMS size limit, and more theming options.
[Price: Free] Hangouts is one of the newer options as it only gained SMS support a few months ago. It's totally free to use and integrates perfectly with the existing Hangouts platform. If you use Hangouts already, this helps consolidate everything into a single app which a lot of people like. It has a massive amount of emojis, MMS support, GIF support, and location support. It also supports video calls. About the only downside is what you see is what you get which means there are no themes available for Hangouts. If you don't mind the light theme, then that's really not a big deal.
[Price: Free] If you text a lot of people all the time, then Hello SMS might be for you. In a unique twist, Hello SMS puts all of your conversations in the left margin making each one available very quickly with just a click. This means you don't have to back out (or slide out) to the main menu and tap on a new conversation. You wouldn't think so, but that extra step gets unbelievably tedious when you text people all the time. Many of these others focus on complex theming and a lot of features, but Hello SMS really works on keeping it simple. So if you need something a little more complicated, this may not work for you.
[Price: Free / $1.50] Ninja SMS is also a unique SMS app because it takes place entirely in a floating window. That's right, there is no main interface with this app. A window pops up when you have a message. You answer the message right there in the window, and the window disappears when you'e done. Hence the name as it pops in and out like a ninja whenever you have SMS. It can be themed, has a security feature to make it hard for snoopers to snoop on your SMS, multiple floating window support, emoji support, and you can always pop out full screen texting mode whenever if you need to. It's a great option for those looking for something a little different.
[Price: $1.99] If you're a fan of Talon for Twitter, you may like Sliding Messaging Pro because they were created by the same developer. Much like Hello SMS, Sliding Messaging Pro uses tabs to let you slide between conversations instead of backing out to the main screen to do it. It comes with 10 themes but you can make your own if you're ambitious. Also included is Google Voice support, emoji support, Light Flow support, animation selections, and security settings. It's $1.99 which makes it one of the more expensive options but for the most part, you get what you pay for.
[Price: Free] Textra SMS is made by the same people who did Chomp SMS above. What we’re guessing happened is the Chomp crew realized that their SMS app was getting a little bloated with all the features they offer so instead of scaling down their prized app, they just made another one. Textra, unlike Chomp, is much lighter on the features and thus feels less bloated. It still comes with some decent features like emoji support, gif support, a dark theme, quick reply pop up window, and group messaging. As a unique spin, you can customize the text bubble colors in each chat individually so you can actually kind of color-code your conversations which we found pretty nifty. If this seems up your alley, click the button!
Whatever your texting style is, there is an app for you. If you'e one of those ones who like floating windows and quick replies you can find it. If you need something more traditional but more powerful, those are there too. There are a lot of SMS apps out there and it’s conceivable that we may have missed one. So if we did and you want to tell us about it, feel free to let us know in the comments. Happy texting!