The default messenger on Android leaves a lot to be desired. The most you can do without some extra help is to give everyone on your contacts custom pictures, but some themes, backgrounds, and apps would make your messenger look even better. It’s tough to just cram a custom theme into your messenger from scratch, but some apps have multiple options.
To make sure your text messenger looks and handles its best, I’ve got a few apps, and then different skins for those apps that add some amazing themes and backgrounds to your messenger.
New Text Messenger Apps
Almost all of the apps I’m mentioning here have extra backgrounds and themes to download, but I’ll get into those in later sections. Right now I want to focus on the looks of the apps themselves, and all of the features they offer over your standard messenger.
Let’s start with one of my favorites.
1. GO SMS Pro – Free (In-App Purchases)
GO SMS has been around for a long time, but there are quite a few reasons why people still use it. When GO SMS is crammed with features like proper encryption, pop up messages with pictures, the ability to pin texts and group messages, and features an extensive list of emoji and text emoticons, it’s hard not to love it.
When compared to the standard Android messenger it’s leagues ahead, but while downloading GO SMS Pro is free, you’ll have ads as a part of your messenger experience unless you decide to pay a small fee to remove them. Purchases don’t just stop at ads either, there are multiple themes and backgrounds up for sale.
However, once you actually purchase the Pro version of GO SMS you get access to all paid themes and backgrounds for free as an added bonus. GO SMS works wonderfully with GO Keyboard, but since we’ve already covered that here, I won’t go into all of the details.
- Plenty of theme and background options
- Lets you stick messages to the top of your messenger
- Has an option to make your own themes
- Buying the app gives you all the paid themes for free
- Has Dual SIM support
- Features encryption on messages sent
- Ads are ever present unless you pay to remove them
- Not all themes and backgrounds are free, some cost money
- Group messages are on the slow side
GO SMS Pro Download
2. Textra SMS – Free (In-App Purchases)
Next up is Textra which is a text messenger that looks deceptively simple, but houses a robust amount of customization features.
At a base level, Textra lets you change the color of your theme, the style, the shape of text bubbles, and even your emoji style while you text. The app has some extra downloads that I’ll get into later, but for now even the base package is worth messing around with. If you don’t like the 100+ themes available for the app you can even make your own.
Much like with GO SMS, Textra’s major downfall is that it isn’t completely free. You can use it for free, but there are extra purchases inside of the app. The store in Textra isn’t as extensive, or maybe even as intimidating as GO SMS Pro, but it’s something you’ll have to get used to seeing.
- Lets you create custom themes
- Has a number of free themes and background to choose from
- Has Dual SIM capabilities
- Extra downloads are available for even more customization
- Highly customizable even without downloading anything extra
- Has in-app purchases
- Looks pretty simple if you don’t change anything around
Textra SMS Download
3. Mood Messenger – SMS & MMS – Free
Mood Messenger is all about creating a convenient experience, and letting you express yourself through different emotes and emoji almost automatically depending on your settings in the app.
The app itself comes with a number of themes and backgrounds to help reflect your mood, and even the mood of the people you’re talking with. One of my favorite features is the notification system that shows you who’s texting you with a small bubble that’s easy to check on, or put aside for later.
Mood Messenger isn’t just for SMS, it works just as well with MMS, if not better. If you’re short on data for either SMS or MMS, if two users are using Mood Messenger, you can text for free between each other over wi-fi.
I’m trying to think of any downsides to Mood Messenger, but besides needing an extra app to get the most out of its themes, it’s a messenger I easily recommend.
- A healthy amount of customization options
- Free texting over wi-fi to other Mood Messenger users
- Snappy SMS & MMS
- A great head notification system
- Completely free with no in-app purchases
- Needs a second app for better backgrounds and themes
- Auto-convert to emoji is turned on by default and can get in the way if not disabled
Mood Messenger – SMS & MMS Download
4. EvolveSMS (Text Messaging) – Free (In-App Purchases)
Last on my app list is EvolveSMS which at a glance doesn’t look all that different from the standard Android messenger, but beneath the surface is plenty of customization to keep anyone happy.
When compared to the standard Android messenger it’s faster, has many more built in themes, colors, and backgrounds, and easily supports different media files types like gifs. However, some of these extra features don’t come with the free version of the app. If you want to use EvolveSMS at its best, you’ll have to pay a little extra.
EvolveSMS in its most basic form is elegant enough to stand on its own, even if you don’t play around with the theme and background system.While the in app purchases make the app better overall, they aren’t needed to use it as a competent messenger with a good sense of style.
- Looks plenty stylish even without a new theme
- Quick and easy to use
- Has an Android Wear app that comes along with it
- Plenty of themes in-app to chose from
- Has in-app purchases
- Features locked behind two separate purchases
EvolveSMS (Text Messaging) Download
Additional Text Messenger Themes and Backgrounds
With some of the apps I mentioned above there are other apps that let you augment your new messenger with additional themes, backgrounds, and even make changes to your keyboard. These aren’t by any means necessary, but each additional download here will help you customize your new messenger to your heart’s content.
1. GO SMS Additional Apps and Downloads
GO SMS has almost has too many additional downloads for me to cover, but I’ll try my best to pick out the ones that are worth your time.
First and foremost is GO Keyboard. There are two different version of Go Keyboard, and while one came out recently in 2017 I recommend the older one to most users. The newer version of the app features a different typing recognition system for swipe typing, but some users are still having problems with it.
With the old model of the keyboard you get something fast and responsive with multimedia support, a slew of new emoji, and different themes.
GO Keyboard Download
Next up are some themes for GO SMS that you can get straight from the Play Store without going through the GO SMS system itself. I’ve got four that I like, so let’s quickly run through them:
- Black and White Theme: This theme is pretty basic and is just what it sounds like, but sometimes basic is all you need to enjoy your text messenger a little more.
- Jungle Jewels Theme: With jungle jewels you get a vibrant and almost candy like theme with plenty of colorful animals in a bright jungle setting.
- Glass Theme EX: The glass theme has a style that almost looks cartoonish, but is simple and pleasing at the same time. It’s great for someone that wants a minimalist theme that’s still pleasing to the eyes.
- Clear Water Theme: Last but not least is this water themed background, it’s a simple but colorful one that makes your messenger look like it’s under water.
There are plenty of other themes available for download on GO SMS Pro, but if you somehow don’t like any of the, there’s even an app for you to make your own.
Put your creativity to the test with the theme maker and really show off what you can do using GO SMS tools to make something you’ll really be proud of. When you’re done making your theme you can use it anytime you want, or even upload it for other users to rate and use themselves.
GO SMS Pro Theme Maker Download
Remember that you need GO SMS Pro installed to get any of these themes to work, they won’t install properly otherwise.
2. Textra Additional Apps and Downloads
Textra features a theme and background maker right inside of the app, so it doesn’t have any additional downloads for themes outside of it. However, it does have a few different plugins to change your emoji style.
There are five different styles, and you can get them all here. Downloading each plugin gives you access to each different set, so you don’t have to only choose one to set, and then overwrite them when you want to switch. Download all of the Textra plug ins and then chose which emoji style you want to use in the app.
Try and choose emoji that match your custom theme, or just use whatever style you feel like using that day, it’s all up to you.
3. Mood Messenger Additional Apps and Downloads
While GO SMS Pro has the mod addons to download in the Play Store, Mood Messenger most likely has the least. While you have themes to choose from in the stock version of Mood Messenger, there’s an additional app that opens up a new theme marketplace to browse and install from.
From simple skins, vibrant backgrounds, to animated themes; Mood Messenger has a little bit of something for everyone, making this app a must if you want to have the best text app possible.
Themes for Mood Messenger Download
4. EvolveSMS Additional Apps and Downloads
EvolveSMS has plenty of themes right on the Play Store, but that won’t stop me from listing a few of my favorites. Feel free to look through all of the ones available, but here are three that I like the most out of all of them:
- Posties Theme: This theme changes your texts into little post it notes and makes your background look like a board to stick them to for a cute package. The theme costs $0.99.
- Rainy Wrap Theme: The rainy wrap theme is minimalistic and features, you guessed it, a rain motif that works well with its simple design. It’s almost relaxing to just look at, and you can install it for $0.99.
- Hangouts Theme: Last we have a hangouts theme which takes the design from Google Hangouts and gives it a minty fresh color scheme and look that makes EvolveSMS look brand new.
All of these themes only work when you have EvolveSMS installed, so please download that first before you add any new themes through the Play Store.
These are the best four apps I know of for getting a different feeling from your text app, and they all come with extra apps and themes to help make your experience unique. All of these apps are free, even if some are “more” free to use than others on the list.
If you don’t see your favorite texting app up here please don’t hesitate to tell me about it!