The default messaging app on Android is very simplistic. But at the same time it is also very bland. Plain text messages are shown on a plain background in the form of a messaging thread. Multiple messages received from a single sender are grouped together and you need to go through the group to find the latest message you received. But there are lot of messaging apps from third party app developers on the Play Store which can change your messaging experience. The substandard default messaging app on Android phones made third party messaging apps the most downloaded app category on the Google Play Store.

Below are some of the best alternative messaging apps for android phones:

Handcent SMS

Handcent SMS is the most popular messaging app on the Play Store. The app offers a vast variety of options for its users to choose from. Composing a message on the app is a breeze with the integrated spell check option. The app can be completely customized through the countless themes and skins available for download from the app developers website. There are lot of security options available in the app which help in protecting individual or all messages received through a password. Group messaging feature of the app allows you to send up to 1,100 SMS per hour overcoming the Android OS’ limitation of 100 SMS per hour. A separate Plugin to the app called ‘Contact Locator’ facilitates finding the exact location of your friends through GPS.

Download link on the Play Store

Chomp SMS

Chomp SMS is another good alternative to the default messaging app on Android smart phones. This app has a very simple user interface which is very easy to learn. It is very easy to scroll through the messages and conversation lists, open a message, and send a reply to it. The app never hangs even when while handling longer messages. If you are not satisfied with the default look of the app, there are lots of free themes available to customize the app according to your tastes and preferences. Customization options extend to the physical buttons of the phone too. With a unique feature called Quick Compose, you can select any of the physical buttons on your phone like the search button or camera click button to compose and send a new message. Chomp SMS is totally free and makes money by selling ChompSMS credits which allow international SMS for lower rates.

Download link on the Play Store

GO SMS Pro

GO SMS Pro is a ¬†light messaging app for Android phone which offers more number of customization options than any other messaging app available on the Play Store. GO SMS Pro delivers incoming messages as a pop up on the phone’s home screen so that you can view and send a reply to them without the need to open the app. The app can be customized with the hundreds of themes which are regularly updated. The vibration alert when you receive a new message can also be customized by deciding on a pattern of pulse sequences (the default is a 1200 millisecond burst). Messages can handwritten with your fingers or through a stylus. You can send messages to your friends through WFi too and cut the messaging costs from your phone bill. Other interesting features of the app include message encryption, cloud backup of messages, photo editor, password protection, etc.

Download link on the Play Store