Texting was, at one time, a revolutionary mode of communication but technology has moved on. Messaging apps have taken over and they don’t limit you to just text based messages. You can send almost any type of content over a modern day messaging app like Whatsapp. We’re not just talking photos, videos, and audio files here. You can send files too. Still, text messages have yet to go the way of the dinosaurs and there are times when texting becomes the most reliable (sometimes only) means of communication. If you are out of data an SMS will still deliver your message. To that end, here are the 8 best texting apps for Android.
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1. Android Messages
Android Messages has gone through numerous design changes since its inception. Builds earlier than February 2017 gave the impression that Google was not focused on SMS, but they turned it around. Now it supports emojis, highlights hyperlinks and phone numbers when shared, and lets you call contacts directly from the app.
2. Messenger (Facebook)
Messenger was originally part of Facebook’s regular communication, but they have since turned it into its own entity called simply Messenger. It is primarily a means to communicate with your Facebook friends, but when it moved away into its own app, it also integrated text messages. You can send and receive texts if you set the Messenger as the default messaging app. You can assign nicknames, change colors, play games with other players (ala iMessages), if you are connected to the internet. Otherwise you can send a regular text.
3. GO SMS Pro
GO SMS Pro is one of the most ad-heavy apps in this list. The ads appear between actions and if you accidentally click on one there is no getting rid of it until its time has passed. If you are willing to shill the money to get a full version (which it refers to as AdBlock), then you get downloadable stickers, themes and fonts. Sans the ads, this is a decent SMS app, however, with ads it gets old.
4. Textra SMS
Textra SMS has some standout features that include a tonne of material designed themes. It has customizable bubble & app icon colors, dark, light & auto-night modes, and multiple bubble styles. Textra gives you the ability to stop a text while it’s being sent. It also boasts Samsung like slide to delete and slide to call features. It supports a quick reply popup, message blocker/blacklisting, and lets you pin a conversation/text to the top. You can even download add-on Emoji apps to add to the experience.
5. Chomp SMS
Chomp SMS adds a layer of security to texting apps with passcode app lock and privacy options. It also lets you schedule sending an SMS (for reminders, birthday wishes). It even has a few features similar to Textra in that you can stop a text mid-send, pin favourites to the top, and blacklist or block messages from a particular sender. Additionally, you can add signatures, text snippets, and customize everything about the app from notification icons, to LED colors, fonts and backgrounds.
Pulse SMS is the only in this list that sorts texts in sections differentiated by time, between today, yesterday, this week, last week, etc. With Pulse SMS, you can install a custom theme for each individual contact/conversation. You can even set one theme throughout all conversations. You can share GIFs from Giphy, set sending delays, get snooze notifications, and use built-in browser to open links without having to leave the app. The app lets you archive conversations, schedule messages, and set an automatic backup and restore system with a web account.
EvolveSMS takes a different approach to layout in that it launches directly into the latest conversation you were having. In order to access your entire text library, tap on the hamburger icon on the left and select a different conversation to view. It simplifies texting to the point that you can immediately get into it, but since it is so against the norm, it takes a learning curve to get used to not seeing your full message list immediately.
Messaging does not let you take screenshots due to a “security policy” otherwise it was standard operations. The app launched and started downloading all messages into itself and that is why it must prevent screenshots because it controls the environment. Unlike other apps on this list, Messaging does not ask for any permissions before accessing content. Other than that little detail, it offers the standard messaging options. There are no customizations that we found, which would have been moot anyway because of the aforementioned inability to take screenshots.