Best Android SMS text messaging replacement apps [March 2014]


One of the great things about Android is that you can replace the default apps if you want to. This can help you personalize your phone so that it’s really custom to you. We’ve put together a list of the best SMS replacement apps on the market. Check them out for yourself and find the one that best suits you!

1. Google Hangouts by Google


While Google Hangouts is already the default SMS app for Nexus devices and other Play Store edition devices, it certainly isn’t for most Android phones on the market. Google Hangouts for Android combines texting with the Google Hangouts Internet messaging service and video chatting. Furthermore, Google Hangouts syncs with your Google Account so you can change from your desktop to your mobile device without any problems, provided your device has data. However, Hangouts can be a little cumbersome sifting through both SMS messages and Hangouts messages.

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Play Store Link

2. Handcent SMS by handcent_market

handcent_screenshot_1 handcent_screenshot_2Handcent SMS is one of the most popular texting apps on the Android market, and with good reason. As one of the most powerful texting apps, Handcent SMS allows for much more than simple messaging. Features include a built-in spell check with support for over 20 languages, the ability to backup your messages, and even mimic themes of other messages apps, including the iPhone. You can even use the app to send eCards, which are also found within the app. Handcent has a much longer list of features than we can describe in one paragraph, so be sure to head to the Play Store and check it out for yourself!

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Play Store Link

3. Chomp SMS by Delicious Inc.

chomp_sms_screenshot_1 chomp_sms_screenshot_2Chomp SMS is another popular messaging app that claims to be easier to use, more intuitive and faster than most stock texting apps. If you like using emoji’s in your texting, then Chomp SMS might just be the app for you, with over 800 emoji’s. Apart from the hundreds of emoji’s, Chomp SMS includes features like scheduled texting, SMS signatures, blocking messages from others, and the ability to stop a text from sending while it’s sending. Chomp SMS is quite a powerful app, and is also quite customizable, allowing for custom backgrounds, and so on.

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Play Store Link 

4. Textra SMS by Delicious Inc.

textra_sms_screenshot_1 textra_sms_screenshot_2Testra SMS is made by the same company as Chomp SMS but that doesn’t mean that they’re the same app. In fact, the two apps are rather different. While Textra SMS does include the same emoji’s as Chomp SMS, Textra SMS is much more focused in looks, giving a number of extremely classy themes to choose from. Textra SMS also includes the ability to customize individual contacts’ colors, signatures, and even notifications (vibrate pattern, LED color, etc.). Or you can simply use the great default settings!

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Play Store Link

5. hello sms by hello sms

hello_sms_screenshot_1 hello_sms_screenshot_2Hello sms is also quite a powerful app, but apart from its power, it’s probably the best looking app on the list. It allows users to be able to switch message threads in one touch, and is very intuitive. It is also excellent when it comes to sending and receiving photos, giving the user a simple camera button within the app that allows the user to simply take a photo and send it. The minimalist design certainly makes the app different than the others, and also makes it extremely easy to use. Last but not least, the app automatically switches to a “dark mode” at night, which is much easier on your eyes!

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Play Store Link

6. Evolve SMS by Klinker Apps

evolve_sms_screenshot_1 evolve_sms_screenshot_2

Evolve SMS is another rather powerful SMS app to replace your default SMS app. It offers quite a classy looking Google+ style user interface, as well as a number of great features. The app has full support for all multimedia types (images, video, music), as well as support for widgets and lock screens. The app also has over 850 emoji’s, and you can set it to be password protected if you want. Like Google Hangouts, you can swipe to archive a conversation. You can also customize the notifications that you get when an SMS or MMS is received.

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Play Store Link

As you can see, each app is a little different from the others. Some offer power, while some go for the look. For me, Google Hangouts certainly gets the job done, and I like the fact that it has both an Internet messaging app and a texting app. Did I miss your favorite SMS replacement app? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author: Christian de Looper

Christian was born and raised in Canberra, Australia, lived for 5 years in Paris, France, and is currently living in the USA. He spends much of his time playing with his Android devices and researching new and improved technology. When Christian isn't writing for TalkAndroid, he normally can be found in a music studio producing either his own music or someone else's.

  • Blane Stroud

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of Hoverchat (formerly Ninja SMS)

    I liked EvolveSMS, but it never worked quite right on my Moto X. It was always buggy, crashing, and made my device freeze on more than one occasions, not to mention it wasn’t remotely smooth or particularly useful.

    • Sam Connell

      I’m with you. Hoverchat is pretty neat.

    • yowdabz

      hoverchat yeah.. my default sms for about weeks after i switched from 8sms thats only working best above all those mentioned above.

    • cs

      yes, EvolveSMS downloaded to try it, just keeps crashing

  • Bret

    I’m just testing out MySMS. What I like about it is that I can send text from my PC or tablet too. Works with PC and Macs also. Only thing I miss so far is I want to be able to schedule text messages to send later in the day as a reminder.

    • Peng Shao

      I’m huge into MySMS, it has it’s problems, but TBH, the ability to use any device as a native SMS client is worth it. Plus auto backup, i personally think it’s the best option for the person who has to use an iPad, phone, and 2 or 3 computers.

  • Dillon Shepherd

    GO SMS all the way!

    • GridRider

      Until 6.0 update… now looking for another one.

  • Basali

    8sms is a great alternative as well. One of the features I like the most is that you can customize notification lights and you have the option of waking up the screen when you get a new message.

  • James andrew

    Google Hangouts becoming pretty smart !

  • Luke

    Invi is a great a SMS app

    • dailen

      OMG I have been trying to remember the name of this app forever, thanks for mentioning it!

  • Michael Cella

    No GoSms? It gives you 5 seconds to change your mind on sending a message, that’s a boss move

    • Travis

      gosms was great. i love the pop up messages over lock screen, schedule messages, good with group messaging on all platforms, and the delay send feature that you mentioned. BUT with their updates, some of these features are lost and i’m also having trouble sending pictures. So now i’m looking for a new app for texting.

  • nhoj

    well i tried all of those but only 8sms worked best for me, i had used it for months until i met sliding sms and it’s just so damn great! you should try it..

  • kyril

    what about kik messenger snapchat and oovoo

    • Karen Cruz

      Other people have to have those apps installed in their phone too. The above mentioned do not.

    • Brianne

      They aren’t SMS apps, those are messenger apps that you make an account and message other people’s accounts. SMS apps are the apps you use to send your actual text messages.

    • spaghetti123

      u a bowl of spaghetti

  • Brian

    Have a look at SMS MMS Privacy of arXanum. Fixed all of my worries and I can now finally have all conversations safely secured which I do not want to disclose to everyone which is picking up my phone….

  • Peter Parker

    You forget to mention about whats app test messaging app..

    • dailen

      WhatsApp is a instant messaging app, not text messaging…

      • Peter Parker

        You can easily text your message in whats app so we can say that whats app is an instant text messaging app.

        • The Amazing Spiderman

          Dear stupid parker. by text messaging, he/she meant “sms”. Now shut your trap you ignorant fool.

          • Jes Quintana


          • stopTrolling

            No need to be mean! You troll!

          • Dan

            Bit harsh.

  • CEC

    Is there an Android text message app that is similar to the Nokia Symbian text message app which has the capability of creating templates and creating individual folders for storing text messages?

  • Djinn linn

    I love evolve… I love is layout, I love is interface, I love the pop-up.
    But I have NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS with it. It tells me apns aren’t at when they are, or arms texts over and over and over, and I paid actual money to unlock all the feature and customization packs, than reinstalled the app in an attempt to fix the above, than couldn’t restore my purchases.

  • Umarr

    You have missed HoverChat. It is a very good, light text messaging app.

  • geonsge

    Do you want to transfer text message from android phone to Computer? iPubsoft
    Android Desktop Manager must be the best choice for you. It is designed to
    transfer SMS or text message from Android phone to PC directly. Connect your
    android phone to computer, and you will get it done in a few seconds.

  • RottenJeeves

    I love hello sms. It’s my favorite.

  • LaRocky

    I tried every one of these apps, and every single one has problems
    Hangouts – In typical Google fashion, No customization at all. Hope you like white
    Handcent – Excellent customization (best of the list on this page) but have to use their services to do basic stuff like backup/restore settings
    Chomp SMS – Bubbles.
    Textra SMS – If you like messaging on iPhone, you’ll like this (I don’t) because you get the glorious bubbles, the time stamp grouping (even has the slide to see time stamp as on iPhone). Ok customization options.
    Hello SMS – Way too few options. Missing all kinds of basic ones. Hard to read the conversation at a glance. No divider between conversation. No customization for font colors and time stamp grouping
    Evolve SMS – $0.99 in-app purchase just to see customization options and kinda laggy on a S5, can’t imagine older phones. Good customization. Plenty of themes in google app store

    GoSMS – Excellent customization (just as good as Handcent) just becoming way too bloated and the lastest updates seem to be removing features. I do like you can export/import your settings.
    8ms – Great straight forward app, just seems early in development. Some small issues like on message split, will split word instead of splitting at space. The attachment icon always shows if you had attachment anytime in the conversation. Ok customization
    HoverChat – Excellent. It’s just missing some options like notification options and there isn’t enough themes. You can have conversations popup over what you are doing or can completely disable popups. It has also has bubbles but at least they don’t take up a bunch of wasted space.

    I was using GoSMS until recently. I used 8ms for a few days and now I’ve switched to HoverChat. Hopefully they can add some additional options and more themes.

    • Joseph

      GoSMS – Way too many ads. Used to be a great SMS app though.

  • mpixel

    I need see exact time when sms was received/sent …. on sms list. (first screen)
    All apps display time only for current day.

    • Tony

      Textra does this.

  • Richard

    Where do i find the talk to get app. For meager taxing?

  • Shankar Kumar

    You can also try this new chat app: Photo4tune which provides Premium features like cool and funky emoticons for Free. It is easy to use, you can instantly share pics, videos audio files and that too without any subscription fee! You can check it out on Google Playstore. It is also available for free download on other android platforms as well!

  • I-C-E-D

    I’d recommend staying away from EvolveSMS. I really wanted to use it because of the PushBullet integration, but it didn’t work out because MMS didn’t work for some reason. I couldn’t figure out why for the life of me. All other texting apps send MMS just fine.

    • Charlie

      I had the same issue when I first used Evolve. All you need to do is manually input the MMS details. You can find out what they are by doing a google search.For example (Telstra MMS settings).

      I didnt like Evolve all that much because for 1 I can’t stand the colour orange and 2 after emailing the creator about some feedback I had a very rude response.

      • I-C-E-D

        Yeah, when I emailed the creator the response was really rude as well. Overall not something worth the hassle when MightyText exists anyway.

  • Larry Richelli

    you can’t text from your google voice number in hangouts without jumping through a lot of hoops….what a bummer

  • mboeker

    Big plus for Hello: it’s the quickest and most responsive SMS app that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried most of the apps on this list)

  • DaGeneral

    are any of these replacement apps compatible with the galaxy gear 2

  • x-15a2

    Textra was a great app until their latest release. Now it just awkward and clunky. Time to move on.

    • Raga Harshith Reddy B

      It is Nt updating soo fast even if we restart also

  • Rebecca

    Handcents new update made everything extremely boring. Very few themes to choose from and they’re all so plain.

  • Friv2G

    Great post. Thanks

  • Aishen

    Does one of these work offline? My tablet has a micro-sim and says it supports sms texting but the only stock app it comes with is Messenger, which doesn’t seem to work offline, and I’m having some issues with the 3G connection so I’m looking for an app that lets me text without one. I’m going to look the apps mentioned in this post over (thanks for the list :) ) but in case it doesn’t work out, any suggestions?

  • Brianna

    Handcent recently forced ads at the top of your message list. Jumping ship now to another app!

  • Amy

    Hancent just added the most obtrusive ads with their latest update. It is terrible! They appear at the top of your screen and look like a text message. Have used this app for years, but am looking for a new app. UGH

  • Jenny Isupov

    invi SMS is where it’s at!