The Best Messaging Apps for Android of 2022

Written by: BestApp.com App Testing Team - Updated: Mar 14, 2022

   Best Messaging Apps for Android Badge

If you’re looking for the best messaging experience on Android, we recommend Google Messages thanks to its accessibility, flexibility, and customizability. But if you’re looking for a messaging app that offers more privacy, security, or customization options, we found nine other great apps to check out. Here are the 10 best messaging apps for Android.

Top 10 Messaging Apps for Android to Try

How We Chose the Best Messaging Apps for Android

After researching and reviewing a selection of apps, we based our list of the 10 best messaging apps for Android on a selection of features that make it easy for users to customize and control their experience. The best messaging apps for Android include custom themes, scheduled messages, quick-reply options, and the ability to pin important messages and conversations for easy reference.

Choose the messaging app that’s right for you

For basic text messaging with plenty of customization options, we recommend apps like Google Messages and WhatsApp, while users more focused on privacy and security will likely prefer apps like Signal. Since all of these apps offer a free version, we recommend trying out a few for yourself to find the one that best suits your needs.

Take advantage of encrypted messaging

As more and more users become concerned about how tech companies handle their data, apps like Signal and WhatsApp have become more popular thanks to their strong encryption protocols. To take advantage of encrypted messaging, though, you’ll have to convince your friends and family members to start using these apps as well. This is recommended for users focused on protecting their data and private messages.

Our Messaging Apps for Android Reviews

Google Messages — Top Pick

Google Messages App feature

Download: Android

Google Messages is Google’s official Android app for texting and is the overall best messaging app for Android users. Users can send and receive messages over Wi-Fi or data, share high-quality images and videos, send GIFs and stickers, and sync their contacts across their devices. Google Messages offers advanced group messaging features and built-in spam protection to shield you from scams. Google Messages is also unique thanks to its Google Assistant integration, which lets you search without leaving your messaging app. You can send Smart Replies to save time, and if you don’t have your phone with you, you can even respond to messages on your computer.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Help Center, Help Community
Google Messages Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Google Assistant integration End-to-end encryption not available in group chats
Smart Replies  
Easy photo and video sharing  

Signal Private Messenger — Best Free Messaging App

Signal Private Messenger App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Signal Private Messenger is the ideal option for users concerned about the privacy of their data and messages. The app is completely free to use and uses the open-source Signal Protocol to encrypt your messages and keep your conversations secure. Unlike other encrypted messaging apps, Signal not only encrypts your messages but also encrypts your voice calls for maximum privacy. Signal does not feature any ads or trackers and operates as a nonprofit, so you don’t have to worry about your data being sold for profit. You can use your existing phone number and contacts on Signal, make video calls, and set custom alerts for each contact. Signal also includes a built-in photo editor for sending high-quality photos.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Help Center, Ticket
Signal Private Messenger Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Open-source encryption protocol Doesn’t support scheduled messages
Encrypted voice calls  
Built-in image editor  

Pulse SMS — Best for Automated Replies

Pulse SMS App feature

Download: Android

Pulse SMS is a full-featured messaging app that rivals Google’s own messaging app. It’s free to use and offers everything you need for an optimized messaging experience, including per-conversation customization options, password-protected conversations, and image, video, and GIF sharing. If you lose your messages, you can easily restore them because the app automatically backs up your conversations. Pulse SMS also stands out thanks to its Smart Replies, which offer personalized reply suggestions based on keywords, the contact, your location, and other factors. Users can easily block spammers and preview web links in the app to avoid scams and fraud.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: $1.99/month
  • Support available: Email, Help Center
Pulse SMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Advanced Smart Replies Includes in-app purchases
Password-protected conversations  
Automatic message backups  

QKSMS — Best for Multi-SIM Support

QKSMS App feature

Download: Android

QKSMS is a completely ad-free and open-source messaging app built for Android. Users can create custom themes, backup and restore their messages, schedule messages, search messages with ease, and send quick replies to save time. You can set up per-contact notifications to customize your experience further and turn on automatic night mode to protect your vision when it’s dark. QKSMS stands out from other messaging apps thanks to its dual-SIM and multi-SIM phone support. QKSMS also makes it easy to block contacts and automatically filter out spam with Should I Answer? integration.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $9.99 per item
  • Support available: Email
QKSMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Automatic spam filtering Can’t pin important messages
Ad-free and open-source  
Multi-SIM support  

Textra SMS — Most Customizable Themes

Textra SMS App feature

Download: Android

If you’re looking for the most customizable messaging app for Android, Textra SMS is the best option for you. Notably, Textra SMS includes over 180 customizable themes and app icons. You can customize the app color, change the colors of text bubbles, choose from different emoji styles, and more. Textra also includes 21 different font sizes and styles, and you can select different themes for each conversation. Textra allows users to send quick replies, voice memos, images and videos, and group messages. The app’s biggest downside is that it does contain occasional ads that can be removed with a one-time purchase.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $4.49 per item
  • Support available: Email, Knowledge Base, Forum
Textra SMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
180+ customizable themes Requires one-time purchase to remove ads
Per-conversation customization options  
Android Wear support  

Chomp SMS — Best for Password Protection

Chomp SMS App feature

Download: Android

Chomp SMS is a highly customizable messaging app with strong security features that many other messaging apps don’t offer, including a passcode lock to protect your messages and conversations. Users can schedule messages, stop a text before it sends, pin their most important conversations, backup messages, block spammers, and send quick replies from the lock screen. You can share multiple images at a time, send high-quality videos, and choose a background image to customize the app to your liking. Chomp does contain ads, and though they’re removable with a one-time in-app purchase, many users will prefer a messaging app that offers a completely ad-free experience.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $1.59 – $2.99 per item
  • Support available: Email, Knowledge Base, Forum
Chomp SMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Highly customizable Contains ads
Passcode protection  

Handcent Next SMS — Best for Wear OS Support

Handcent Next SMS App feature

Handcent Next SMS is a feature-rich messaging app for Android and a great choice for users looking for an app with high-level Wear OS integration. Unlike some third-party messaging apps, Handcent Next SMS lets you receive and reply to messages with any Android wearable device, including smartwatches. This also includes support for hands-free features like voice-to-text. You can enable Driving Mode to automatically reply to messages while on the road or use Handcent on your desktop when you don’t have access to your phone. The app also features customizable themes, password-protected conversations, message reactions, and other great features.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $5.99 – $39.99 per item
  • Support available: Email, Help Center/FAQs
Handcent Next SMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Wear OS support Includes costly in-app purchases
Driving mode for safer commutes Contains ads
Password-protected conversations  

Facebook Messenger — Best for Facebook Users

Facebook Messenger App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Facebook Messenger is the only app on our list that integrates directly with Facebook and makes it easy to stay in touch with your Facebook friends via text chats, group chats, video chats, and voice calls. Facebook Messenger also lets you contact your Instagram friends so you can expand your contact network. Users can send disappearing messages with Vanish Mode, choose from a selection of fun chat themes, send custom reactions and emojis, and host video calls with up to 50 people. Unlike other messaging apps, Facebook Messenger also lets users create watch parties to watch shows, movies, and videos with their friends.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $399.99 per item
  • Support available: Email, Help Center
Facebook Messenger Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Free text, voice, and video calls No scheduled messages
Video chats support up to 50 users Costly in-app purchases
Users can create watch parties  

Mood SMS — Best for Caller ID

Mood SMS App feature

Download: Android

Mood SMS is a popular alternative to the native Android messaging app thanks to its customizability and powerful messaging features. Users can customize text bubble shapes and colors, choose from over 100 themes, set custom backgrounds, change fonts and text sizes, and set custom notifications. The app supports group messages, and unlike some third-party messaging apps, Mood SMS also includes real-time caller ID to help protect against spam. You can easily share your location with other users, create password-protected conversations, and send delayed messages. Mood SMS isn’t ideal for privacy-focused users, though, as end-to-end encryption is only available with a Premium subscription.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: Premium: $1.99/month or $10.99/year
  • Support available: Email
Mood SMS Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Highly customizable Chat encryption only available with Premium
Password-protected conversations Contains ads
Real-time caller ID  

WhatsApp — Best for International Calling & Messaging

WhatsApp App feature

Download: Android | iOS

WhatsApp is a completely free-to-use messaging app for iOS and Android and the best option on our list for sending messages and making calls internationally. The app offers secure end-to-end encryption for messages and calls, and all you need to get started is your phone number — no names or other personal information required. You can add up to eight people to voice and video calls, and unlike any other messaging app on our list, WhatsApp lets you make international calls for free. Other unique features include the ability to share your location, record voice messages, and share moments via Status — a feature similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Notable features:

  • Free version available
  • Subscription plans: None
  • Support available: Email, Help Center
WhatsApp Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Free international calls Doesn’t allow scheduled messages
Encrypted text and voice calls  
Includes social features like Status  

Messaging Apps for Android: Features Summary Table

Messaging Apps for Android Comparison Table
App Subscription Fees or In-App Purchases Features
Google Messages — Top Pick None Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Signal Private Messenger — Best Free Messaging App None Custom Themes
X Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Pulse SMS — Best for Automated Replies $1.99/month Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
QKSMS — Best for Multi-SIM Support $0.99 – $9.99 per item Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
X Pin-to-Top
Textra SMS — Most Customizable Themes $4.49 per item Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Chomp SMS — Best for Password Protection $1.59 – $2.99 per item Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Handcent Next SMS — Best for Wear OS Support $5.99 – $39.99 per item Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Facebook Messenger — Best for Facebook Users $0.99 – $399.99 per item Custom Themes
X Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
Mood SMS — Best for Caller ID Premium: $1.99/month or $10.99/year Custom Themes
Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top
WhatsApp — Best for International Calling & Messaging None Custom Themes
X Scheduled Messages
Quick Replies
Pin-to-Top