In an earlier post I talked about Android email apps for lawyers. I dedicated that post to exploring options beyond Google’s Gmail app, even though that’s the best option.

Now I’ll answer the second part of Nichole’s question, “what about Android SMS?”

The Android SMS and text messaging problem

Admittedly, Android sucks at handling SMS or MMS text messages. Apple’s messages application is great for making sense of individual or group messages and for sharing files. However, when it comes to text messaging, Android doesn’t fail miserably. Here are a few suggestions to help find happiness with your Android messaging.

Google+ Hangouts

Google released its Hangouts (free) app to accompany its Hangouts program for browsers.

Google+ Hangouts

Most people associate Hangouts with video or text chat, but Hangouts also supports SMS/MMS integration. I really dig the fact that Hangouts handles group messages well, or at least closer to iPhone’s text messaging style.

One of the things I’ve started doing is using Hangouts chat, rather than SMS to communicate. Since Google encrypts all information and messages transmitted across its servers, in theory, your Hangouts chat (and videos) conversations get the same encryption. Maybe I’ll get around to writing a post about this, and perhaps advocating for all Hangouts all the time.


chompSMS (free) is a fun text messaging app with a lot of features, including the fact it’ll handle group messages well.

chomp SMS

The chomp SMS app is robust and allows you to customize your text application with themes and different icon packs. There are other cool features too, like message lock, privacy options, and a scheduled SMS sender for reminders or birthday wishes. I like that you can stop a text while sending and blacklist or block recipients or senders.

I noticed my friend Brandon Wilson rated chomp SMS in Google Play. Here are his comments:

Brandon Wilson Google Play chomp SMS

Get this app on Google Play

Textra SMS

Textra SMS (free) is chomp SMS’s baby brother (or sister).

Textra SMS

Textra SMS is more “lightweight,” which I think brings the app a professional feel. Personally, I prefer Textra SMS over Chomp SMS.

Get this app on Google Play

Handcent SMS

Handcent SMS (free) is one of my favorite text messaging apps.

Handcent SMS

Handcent SMS is customizable, similar to chomp SMS, but I love the design and interface the most. One of Handcent’s newest features is the ability to back up messages in the cloud. The app also supports a number of different languages.

And finally, you’ll notice that you can run into issues where your wireless carrier restricts the number of messages sent at one time. Handcent helps bypass these restrictions, allowing you to spam distribute to more people.

Get this app on Google Play


EvolveSMS (free) is a newer text messaging app, which boasts a clean design and easy-to-use features.

You won’t find a lot of flashy additions in this app, since the developers focused on design above all else. I like the way EvolveSMS handles group messages — perhaps the best one available now — and the fact you can password protect your messaging app. The app also gives you access to Dropbox for backing up text messages. That’s really handy if you’re going to factory reset your phone.

Get this app on Google Play

What’s your flavor?

Android has a lot of options to replace your phone’s (often) dumbest app. Android SMS app abound, and hopefully you’ve found one on the list you like. But if you have a favorite that’s not on here, let me know. Why, how, and what gives it that flavor or style you love? Leave a comment below.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


Steven Sciple · July 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm

My biggest complaint about Hangouts is that I am unable to have mms messages. They will not receive and/or download. I think it is a Verizon APN issue that I cannot resolve.

Rob Crockett · July 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Try Hoverchat. I love it.

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