There are a ton of messaging applications available for Android, and chances are you’re using more than one. Various messaging services like Viber, WhatsApp, and (Facebook) Messenger grew quite a bit over the years, not to mention that plenty of people are still using SMS as the main form of messaging each other, so we’ll cover everything in this article. In the list down below, you will find our top 10 picks for messaging applications that are currently available for Android. Do keep in mind that we are limited to 10 only, and these are only our picks, as there are plenty of choices to go with.
Most Android device owners are probably quite familiar with Android Messages, as this is Android’s official SMS and chat (RCS) application. You will find Android Messages pre-installed on a ton of Android devices, and aside from supporting SMS messaging (including MMS, of course), it also supports sending and receiving messages over Wi-Fi or your data network, on supported carriers only, though. Android Messages is kind of Google’s way of competing with iMessage, so it remains to be seen if Android Messages will grow as much as Google expects it to.
Messenger is one of the most popular chatting apps, and it’s also known as Facebook Messenger. You can use Messenger with or without a Facebook account. Messenger has been downloaded over 1 billion times from the Play Store, which is not something many apps can say, and this app allows you to send stickers, GIFs, voice notes, images, video, and so on… not to mention you can also make voice calls and video calls via your internet connection.
Textra SMS is regarded as one of the best third-party SMS applications. If you’re looking for more features and more customization than you get with Android Messages, Textra SMS may be a solution for you. Not only does this app support a dark theme, but it also allows you to tweak other visual aspects of it. This app comes with full support for dual SIM smartphones, while it also has a blacklist feature built-in. It also allows you to pin chats on top, send GIFs, and so on.
Google Allo is made primarily for messaging, and it comes with Google Assistant built-in. The ‘Smart Reply’ feature is also a part of the package, as is the ability to share stickers. This app also comes with an ‘Ink’ feature which lets you doodle on images, and you can also send messages with end-to-end encryption if you fire up the ‘Incognito mode’ which is also available in Allo.
Needless to say, Viber is one of the more popular messaging apps. This app has been downloaded in excess of 500 million times from the Play Store, and is currently holding a 4.3-star rating in the Play Store. Viber lets you message other Viber contacts, and also call them, using either a regular voice call or a video call. Viber comes with support for GIFs, and it allows you to have group chats with up to 250 people. Stickers are also supported by the app, and so is the ‘Hidden Chats’ feature.
WhatsApp is an app that most will users will also be familiar with as it’s one of the most widespread and popular messaging apps on the Play Store. WhatsApp actually functions similar to Viber, and it comes with a really clean UI. Much like most other apps on the list, you can send free messages over your internet connection using WhatsApp, while you can also send photos, videos, documents and voice messages without a problem. Free voice and video calls are included in the package, while group chats are supported as well.
Pulse SMS is yet another really capable SMS app for Android. This app gives you plenty of customization, a clean UI, and you can also connect it to your computer and send messages from it. Themes are supported by Pulse SMS, and so are GIFs, as this app comes with Giphy integration. Private conversation support also comes as part of the package, while Pulse SMS has full support for dual SIM smartphones as well. Spam lists are available, and so are automatic replies.
Messenger Lite is a light version of (Facebook) Messenger. This app does resemble Messenger in terms of design, though they’re not the same. Messenger Lite does not come with support for games, or for GIFs. This is intentional and part of the app's attempt to be as light as possible. Messenger does have support for voice and video calls, while stickers are also supported here. Messenger Lite consumes way less battery and memory, so if you can live without those extra features, this is the way to go.
Hangouts is an app that does come pre-installed on a number of smartphones. This app replaced Google Talk way back, and it basically uses your Google account to log you in. You can contact anyone else who has Hangouts on the phone, and you can also use Hangouts to chat with people via your desktop PC. This app has a really clean UI, and it supports group video chats and voice calls, as well as the ability to send various media.
Kik is the last messaging app on the list, but this app is actually quite a compelling one, and in spite of not being as widespread as some of the other ones listed above. It supports regular and group chats, while you can share various media using the app as well, including pictures, videos, GIFs, and so on. Video chatting is also supported here, while the app comes with a number of added features. Kik has been downloaded over 100 million times and currently holds a 4.3-star rating in the Play Store.