So there are over 700,000 apps on the Google Play Store currently, so there are plenty of choices for SMS app replacements, backup/restoring your SMS and MMS messages and even more. But which ones are the ones useful enough to download? That's what we are here to tell you. We've got a few texting replacement apps, some free-texting apps, and some that will allow you to back up and restore your messages. So let's get started, shall we?
10. Handcent SMS
Handcent SMS is a SMS app replacement. It will replace the stock messaging app on your device. This is one of those oldie but goodies. It's been around for a few years, dating back to Android 2.2 if not earlier. Handcent brings you goodies like Quick-reply, so instead of opening up the messaging app to reply, you can do it directly from whatever app you're already in. Pretty neat right? Handcent has plenty of other goodies for you too. Give it a try.
Tango is more than just a texting app. It allows you to do free video and voice calls in addition to free texting and messaging. It's the complete package. Best part about this app, its cross-platform. So if you can't get your friends to see the light and switch to Android, you can still message them on Tango, and this includes iPhone and Windows phone users.
8. SMS Backup & Restore
Ever wanted to back up your messages just in case? Thanks to this SMS Backup & Restore app, you can do just that. It'll backup all your texts and picture messages into an XML file on your device which it can later restore. There is also an option to email the XML backup file to your email. So it's not quite backing up to the cloud, but you can make it do so.
7. Kik Messenger
Looking for an alternative to texting? Here's one. Kik messenger is a free texting service which utilizes your data connection, whether it be 3G, 4G, or Wifi, to send texts to other devices with the app installed. So you're only able to text people who have Kik installed on their iPhone, Android device, Blackberry and Windows phone. Kik provides you with read and delivered receipts so you know when your messages have been read. If you're looking to eliminate texting from your monthly bill you might want to give this one a try.
6. SMS Backup+ (Holo-ified)
This is a more up-to-date version of the SMS Backup+ app, including the Android 4.x theming, a.k.a. Holo themed. SMS Backup+ allows you to back up your text messages and send them straight to your Gmail account. Making it easy to go through your texts and search using Gmail's searching functionality.
5. Pinger Textfree
Pinger Textfree is another free texting app similar to Kik (above) and Whatsapp (below). It also uses your data connection to send texts to other people. This app also integrates with Facebook, so you can chat with your Facebook friends in the same app. Doesn't have a complicated UI which makes it easy to use for all user levels. If you're looking to save a few bucks on your monthly bill by cutting out texting, give this one a try.
4. WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp is a cross-platform messenger that allows you to send messages to users on other devices including iPhones and Blackberries. Similar to Pinger Textfree and Kik above, these can replace your texting service from your carrier. While the interface isn't quite up to par with Android 4.x, it's still a beautiful application. Try it out and kiss your texting plan goodbye.
Here is yet another app that allows you to send texts through your data connection, eliminating your texting plan. But this one allows you to get a second number, similar to Google Voice. So it's kind of confusing to some users. But there are still many people using it. Textplus recently went through a major interface redesign and it looks gorgeous now. If you've used it before in the past, you may want to give it another chance.
2. GO SMS Pro
Now we've got another messaging app replacement. This does still use your texting plan though. It basically replaces your messaging app on your phone and brings many more cool features that you'll love. Including the infamous quick-reply we've seen brought into CyanogenMod 10 and MIUI custom ROMs. This app is probably the most popular app on the Play Store, for the amount of time it's been around. So it's a good one.
1. Google Voice
Now this is my favorite app, I use it for my messaging needs. With Google Voice you can replace your phone and messaging apps on your phone. You are able to text using your Google Voice number, or if you're a Sprint customer you can use your Sprint number as your Google Voice number. It's a great app, and it's made by Google, so it's using the latest design guidelines put forth from Google.