SMS messages have been with us for 25 years, although they may not have reached their peak popularity. The messaging applications have eaten away much of the ground, becoming for many a service that only receive spam and notifications.
Be that as it may, for now SMS are still needed in Android. Since Hangouts stopped including them, the official Google application is Android Messages, but of course it’s not the only and probably not the best one either. Here you will find seven alternatives to send and receive SMS on Android …
Your pre-installed message application
Unless your mobile came with Hangouts as a pre-installed message application, it is most likely that you have a “home” SMS messaging application. Sometimes when looking for alternatives we launch to Google Play without bothering to look at what we already have, and this could be one of those cases.
Virtually all manufacturers include their own pre-installed SMS application. Sometimes it includes special functions such as floating messages or pre-recorded responses, while at other times they are more similar to the AOSP SMS reader.
The good thing about pre-installed message applications is that they are free and have no intention of making money with them, so they do not have ads, Pro versions or similar. Some manufacturers put their applications on Google Play for anyone to download.
Android Messages is the application previously known as Messenger and the official replacement of SMS in Hangouts. For years, Messenger has competed with his brother Hangouts to get your SMS until in the end there has only been one, Android Messages.
As an SMS application, Android Messages is acceptable. It stands out mainly for its Material Design interface and for serving as an RCS messaging client in compatible markets. Without RCS it is still interesting, although it may be a bit simple.
Probably you did not expect to find in this list an application as heavy and poorly optimized as Messenger, but let me explain. If you already have Facebook Messenger installed and use it to talk to your friends on Facebook, why not use it for your SMS?
Obviously, I would not recommend installing Facebook Messenger just to read and write SMS, since the SMS function is not bad in itself, but it is confusing and poorly integrated when mixed with the rest of Messenger conversations. After all, as Hangouts has learned the hard way, mixing SMS with other things has never finished.
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Following the same line as in the previous alternative, Skype Lite is another communication application that includes the SMS message function as an added feature. In this case, at least, it is a light application and easier to use, even when mixing two types of messaging.
Skype Lite clearly differentiates what are SMS and what are Skype messages, which together with a simple and fast interface make it a good alternative. If you use SMS messages a lot, it may not convince you too much, but otherwise it is an alternative to consider.
We could not miss on our list what for many is the best SMS application for Android, Textra SMS. Textra has everything you can ask for an SMS application, and more. It has prerecorded answers, support for Android Wear and Android Auto, support for dual SIM and much more.
Another point in which Textra stands out is in personalization. With more than a hundred themes, clear and dark themes, different styles for bubbles and the latest Unicode 9, you can configure it to show exactly how you like it. Textra is an application indicated for those who use SMS frequently.
Another of the most famous SMS applications, from the same author, is Chomp SMS. Chomp is easier to use than Textra, because the interface is more simplified and in a way resembles that of Android Messages.
Chomp SMS shares with Textra the customization capabilities (it also includes more than a hundred themes and a good number of configuration settings). It is indicated for those who are looking for an application halfway through complexity between Android and Textra messages.
We finish our list with a relatively unknown application, AwSMS. It is a simple application with a nice and colorful interface that reminds of Android Messages and Chomp.
AwSMS includes quick responses from the notification, a good number of customization options, night mode, support for Android Wear, multiple selection of messages and themes, although it lacks support for Dual SIM.