Text messaging apps are tools that make communication with friends, family, and businesses more manageable and convenient. With internet connectivity, you can quickly send messages to anyone for free!
There are hundreds of free text messaging apps available for various mobile systems. Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android device, you can find a messaging app that will work for your needs. Some services focus entirely on security and privacy, while others emphasize broader communication in audio and video calling. Additionally, messaging apps are similar to social media platforms, while others offer activities like games and bill payments.
But what features make an excellent text messaging app? This article aims to help you find the best text messaging apps that will suit your needs. Check out our seven top choices.
WhatsApp is a messaging application initially developed to allow users to send messages over their data connection rather than SMS. In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp. Since then, the service has expanded its functionality and user base, reaching one billion daily users in 2017.
How it Works: The program is an essential chat software that allows you to send messages, photos, videos, and voice messaging. You can also send up to 100MB of files to other WhatsApp users. Chats are one-on-one conversations with other WhatsApp users or group discussions of 256 people.
WhatsApp has a distinctive look and feel. You can customize your experience by changing the chat wallpaper under the app’s settings, renaming groups, and setting custom alerts on a per-chat basis.
Security: In April 2016, WhatsApp addressed one of the service’s long-standing flaws by encrypting all communications. File transfers are now secured using current versions of WhatsApp. When a message is sent over WhatsApp, it’s deleted from the server.
Popularity: WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps globally, with over 1.5 billion monthly active users in early 2018.
Cost: WhatsApp is free to download and use with no ads. There are in-app purchases for some features like WhatsApp Gold, which gives users access to advanced features such as the ability to send 100 files at once.
Reviews: WhatsApp is generally well-rated, with a 4.5/5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4+ rating on Apple’s App Store.
2. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a standalone app that allows you to chat with and send messages to your Facebook friends. You can also start group chats, make video calls, and use stickers. It is one of the most convenient methods of communication for social media users because of its integration with Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
How it Works: Facebook Messenger is an essential chat software that uses your Facebook account to connect you with your Facebook friends. You can also start group chats, make video calls, and use stickers. The app also supports bots and automated accounts that provide information or perform actions.
You may use Messenger Camera to deliver voice messages, pictures, and videos or create your content with Snapchat-like filters. You can also conduct polls to obtain a consensus from many people quickly.
Facebook Messenger is more than a messaging app. You can play games, watch videos together, and share music.
Security: Facebook Messenger uses the same security as Facebook. You can also encrypt individual messages. Tap on your contact’s name in any interaction, then choose Go to Secret Conversation from the drop-down menu. You can enable end-to-end encryption for all messages by doing this.
Messenger also scans images for indications of child abuse, as Facebook has done to stop messages that could cause harm or unrest. The firm maintains that it does not monitor your private conversations for commercial purposes.
Popularity: Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps globally, with over 1.3 billion monthly active users as of early 2018.
Cost: Facebook Messenger is free to download and use. In-app purchases for features like games, stickers, and other content.
Reviews: Many users consider Messenger to be a bloatware app that is not as good as other messaging apps. However, the app has a 4.5/5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4+ rating on Apple’s App Store.
Telegram is a cross-platform messaging app with a focus on speed and security. You may send text messages, pictures, videos, and files to other Telegram users and create group chats with a cap of 200,000 participants. Your conversations are saved in the cloud and available from any Telegram client.
How it Works: Telegram is a basic chat that does not offer voice and video calls. It’s a messaging app that looks and works similarly to WhatsApp, with busy decorative backgrounds.
The Telegram “Secret Chats” encrypt messages on both ends: Simply start a new message and select New secret chat from the menu. You may also create self-destruct timers for any secret communications you send so they’ll disappear when their function is complete. Secret chats aren’t stored in the cloud. Telegram conversations are encrypted and kept on the server before being decrypted when they’re downloaded.
Security: Telegram offers two layers of protection: server-client encryption and end-to-end encryption. The former is enabled by default and protects against third-party interception, while the latter requires both sides to have the app installed and can be turned on in secret chats.
Popularity: Telegram has over 200 million monthly active users as early as 2018.
Cost: Telegram is free to download and use with no ads. There are in-app purchases for some features like games and stickers.
Reviews: Telegram has a 4.5/5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4+ rating on Apple’s App Store. It tops user preferences for its security features.
Signal is one of the most basic texting apps available. It has only a single screen for all of your conversations and a single compose button. There isn’t much customization possible. It’s commonly recommended as a WhatsApp alternative. You’ll see WhatsApp-style double ticks while chatting, similar to the way you would on WhatsApp. Signal includes free encrypted one-on-one voice and video calling to other Signal users. These conversations are secured similarly to all those sent using the app.
How it Works: You may communicate with individuals or groups via SMS, pictures, videos, documents, and voice messages. Unlike WhatsApp, there is no limit on the number of people you can join a group with Signal. Your messages are secure using end-to-end encryption, with the option to provide expiration dates for each chat. Your communications will become inaccessible after they’ve expired. There’s also a handy “Note to Self” contact to save your ideas.
To complement Signal’s functionality, you may install Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop software. And when it comes to Android, Signal can serve as a replacement for your stock SMS program. You can use the same interface to send both Signal messages and standard SMS texts to non-Signal users.
Security: Signal is considerably more secure than WhatsApp. Both services use end-to-end encryption to protect the content of their communications. They are equally protected against data theft as far as security is concerned.
Popularity: Millions of people rely on Signal every day for free and immediate communication across the globe.
Cost: Signal is free to download and use with no ads.
Reviews: Signal has a 4.5/5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4+ rating on Apple’s App Store. It is highly recommended for its security features.
Viber is another excellent all-around messaging app with large user bases in India, the United States, Russia, and Brazil. The software combines text and multimedia messaging with a free voice and video calling feature that may be used by anybody who isn’t already using Viber. The company started in Israel but was acquired by Japan’s Rakuten in 2014.
How it Works: Viber is a texting app focusing on multimedia messaging. You may share photos, videos, voice messages, contacts, and locations with your connections. The app also offers group chats and the ability to “like” messages with a heart icon.
You may communicate with individuals or start group chats with up to 250 people, where you may exchange instant voice and video messages without having to make a call. It’s ideal for when you’re too preoccupied to speak and too lazy to type.
Viber’s interface is basic, relying on white and blue tones. A Dark Mode may be toggled under the app’s Appearance menu for an understated but elegant look. Chats and conversations are split into separate tabs, with Viber’s non-essential features (like the Sticker Market) relegated to a different third tab.
Security: All Viber communications are protected by end-to-end encryption. You may go a step further and share secret keys with select buddies to secure your account. To do so, tap Free Viber Call, talk to the person you want to contact, and verify their identity; then, you will touch the lock symbol on the call screen.
Popularity: Viber has more than 1 billion registered users and is available in 193 countries.
Cost: Viber is free to download and use but offers in-app purchases for stickers and other content.
Reviews: Viber has a 4.4/5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4+ rating on Apple’s App Store. The platform reassures users of its security standards and is designed for easy use.
Tox is a cross-platform, decentralized messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption for all its communications. Tox was created with user privacy in mind and is built using an open-source development method. There are applications available for almost every platform; they’re not “official” apps but user-made projects. The software was created in 2013 to provide secure messaging that couldn’t be monitored or censored by governments.
How it Works: Tox is a fully decentralized service that eliminates the possibility of a central server being hacked. The app supports simple one-on-one and group text messaging, photo and video messaging, and file sharing. All communications are encrypted on both ends, and there are no central servers that can be shut down. It means there are no servers that can be hacked, and the distributed approach removes the potential for server downtime.
There are several varieties of the Tox app, depending on your system. You can use Antidote for Tox if you use iOS or Antox for Android devices. Additionally, you have the option to get qTox or uTox for desktop.
Security: This app is secure by design and offers end-to-end encryption for all communications.
Popularity: There is a small but dedicated following of users who value the privacy and security offered by Tox.
Cost: Tox is free to download and use with no ads or in-app purchases.
Reviews: Tox is in active development. The app’s fragmented structure may cause problems with how the service works. But if you want a free, decentralized chat solution, try this one. Google Play Store rated Tox 3.1/5 stars, and the App Store has it at 4+ stars.
7. Wickr Me
There are many different chat applications to select from if security is a significant concern. However, Wickr Me might be the most secure, thanks to certain features that aren’t available in Telegram, Signal, and others. This private messenger software is developed by Wicker LLC, with headquarters in California.
How it Works: Wickr Me adds fully encrypted voice calling, memos, and other new features to the trusted end-to-end secure sharing of files, pictures, and videos.
It is a free (ad-free) flagship app that is the most trusted and secure messenger platform. It boosts the most advanced multi-layered encryption secured by millions of users worldwide.
Wickr Me was created to offer a secure communication platform that people can trust, teams, and businesses in all industries, sizes, and scales.
Security: Wickr Messenger’s Message Encryption protocol ensures secure end-to-end encryption and forward and backward secrecy for user content.
Popularity: Wickr Me is still in its early days, with only a few users. It implies you may have problems connecting with friends and family on this system.
Cost: Wickr Me is a free app with no ads or in-app purchases.
Review: Wickr Me has a 4.6/5 rating on Google Play Store and is positively reviewed for its security features. The app is easy to use, but some users complain about the lack of people using the platform.
How Does Text Messaging App Work?
Text messaging apps work by sending and receiving messages through an internet connection. It is different from SMS, which employs your carrier’s proprietary protocols to send and receive messages when you have a cellular connection.
There are a few different ways to use text messaging apps. You can use it as your primary messaging app, or you can use them as a supplement to your regular messaging app.
If you use them as your primary messaging app, you will need to download the app and set it up on your phone. It can be done by signing up for an account with your email address or phone number. Once you have signed up, you will be able to add contacts and start chatting with them.
What are the Things to Consider in Choosing a Text Messaging App?
There are five essential factors to consider when choosing a text messaging app that suits your needs. These are the following:
- Security – Choose a text messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption to prevent third parties from intercepting your messages. It is one of the foremost considerations of users when choosing a text messaging app.
- Ease of use – The app should be easy to use and understand. It should have a user-friendly interface.
- Cross-platform compatibility – The app should be compatible with Android and iOS devices. It should also offer desktop versions to allow users to switch devices without losing data.
- Cost – The app should be free to download and use or offer a free trial period. In-app purchases may be optional.
- Rich features – The app should offer features such as group chats, file sharing, voice, and video calls, etc.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Text Messaging App?
Using a text messaging app comes with advantages and disadvantages. For businesses, it may help increase productivity, or it may also encourage non-business chatting. Let us look at the pros and cons of using text messaging apps.
The use of text messaging apps has several advantages. It connects people from all around the world. For instance, employees may communicate in real-time with colleagues or clients. Files can be shared during chat sessions and group chats. Some platforms also offer video conferencing. Its rich features, user-friendliness, and cost-efficiency make text messaging apps appealing to businesses and individuals.
Several disadvantages also come with the use of text messaging apps. It can be distracting, mainly when used for non-business purposes. If the app is not adequately secured, it can also lead to data breaches. Additionally, some features may not be available in all countries. It also uses a lot of data, leading to higher phone bills. Lastly, it may not be compatible with all devices.
What is the Difference Between Text Messaging Apps and iMessage?
Although both use internet connectivity to work, text messaging apps are different from iMessage in several ways.
First, iMessage is a service provided by Apple that is only available on devices that run on iOS. Text messaging apps can be downloaded and installed on different systems such as Android, iOS, Blackberry, and desktop computers.
iMessage sync with iCloud, while text message apps store messages on the device.
iMessage offers features such as Group Chat, Read Receipts, and Tapbacks. Not all text messaging apps offer these features.
Lastly, iMessages are encrypted end-to-end, while some text messaging apps are not highly secured.
Which is the Best Free Texting App?
There are a lot of free texting apps available on the market. But the best one would be the one that suits your needs. The app should be user-friendly, offer rich features, and be compatible with different devices. It should also provide security to protect your messages from being intercepted by third parties.
Which is the Best Messaging App for Android?
The best messaging app for Android phones would depend upon the users’ requirements. There are so many apps on the Play Store, and there are also pre-installed services on Android devices. However, based on the number of downloads and reviews, the top choices for text messaging platforms for Android include the following:
- WhatsApp – It is one of the most popular messaging apps with more than 1 billion downloads.
- Facebook Messenger – Facebook Messenger is a pre-installed app on most Android devices. It has over 1 billion downloads on the Play Store.
- Telegram – Telegram is a cross-platform app with more than 100 million downloads.
- Viber – Viber has over 260 million users worldwide.
What is the Best Messaging App for iPhone?
Like Android phones, there are many text messaging apps available for iPhones. The best app would be the one that fits your needs in terms of features and security. iMessage is the default text messaging app for iPhones. Other popular choices include:
Can Text Messaging Apps be Traced?
Text messaging apps can be traced if the proper tools are used. The app itself does not have a trace function, but there are other ways to track the user’s location.
For instance, if the app is linked to a user’s email or social media account, it can be traced through those platforms. Additionally, the user’s IP address can be used to track their location.
Does Text Messaging Apps Use Data?
Text messaging apps use data to send and receive messages. The amount of data used depends on the app and the user’s settings. For instance, WhatsApp uses about 50 MB per hour for voice calls and approximately 1 MB per hour for regular texting.
One way to reduce the amount of data used is to enable the “low data usage” setting in the app. It will compress the data used for each text message.
Another way to reduce data usage is to turn off video and audio calling features. These use more data than standard text messaging.
Lastly, users can also set their app only to send text messages when connected to Wi-Fi. It will prevent the app from using data when the user is not on a Wi-Fi connection.