SMS Applications or SMS apps use text messages to communicate apart from the typical mobile phone. These applications may run on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
In a world where everyone is filled with activities and daily runs, email messaging is no longer given much thought. We see email inboxes overflowing with unread messages, notifications and some marketing campaigns.
According to studies, the average open rate for emails is only 20%! On the other hand, SMS text messages have an available and read rate of up to 98%!
SMS applications are a fantastic way to ensure that your customers see your appointment reminders, invoices, and discounts. They’re also great if you run a small business and want to make sure your appointment reminders, invoices, and offers are seen.
Personalizing your text message marketing is pretty simple; you may either send personal texts or have them automatically sent to your customers based on your booking calendar, marketing list, or the like. Even better, with all of the applications I recommend, your consumers can also text you right back!
So, let’s get to know more about SMS applications and find out the best SMS apps you can use for your business!
What is a SMS Application?
SMS applications are messaging apps that allow users to send SMS from various platforms. Mobile phones have a built-in option for sending SMS messages to family, friends or for business purposes. However, these are not always the best for all needs.
Although chat applications have gained popularity in the last few years, SMS messaging is still the top choice for many. SMS applications are taking the same path as chat applications.
The newest messaging applications have appeared to provide a wide range of social interactions, from free text messaging, to voice and video calling, to photo and file sharing with the added benefit of encryption. We’ve tried a lot of different options, so here are the most excellent messaging apps for both Android and iOS.
What is the First SMS App?
The first SMS app is Matti Makkonen’s ‘SMS Application’. He created it in 1992. It is a built-in service that came with the mobile device. At this time, there were no smartphones yet.
The first text message was sent on the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on December 3, 1992, and it included the words “Merry Christmas.” In 1996, Mirabilis launched ICQ (short for “I Seek You”), becoming the world’s most popular online messenger.
In 1997, Microsoft acquired the popular proprietary instant messaging service AIM from America Online and bought ICQ in 1998 to further cement its dominance in Instant Messaging.
The growing popularity of BlackBerry Messenger in the late 2000s suggested that mobile messaging would continue to grow in popularity. And by the time mobile chat applications like WhatsApp and Kik appeared in 2009, SMS had become a vital tool for communication. Mobile texting became a powerful method of interpersonal communication on a global scale, bringing billion-dollar windfalls to telecom firms.
What is the Purpose of Using SMS Applications?
The purpose of using the SMS application is highlighted in its role for business and marketing. There are a range of reasons why you may need an SMS app for your business. The main benefit of using an SMS application is that it will allow you to engage prospects in real-time. Keep in mind that you are not sending SMS messages; instead, your branding will be attached.
When an SMS message is sent, the consumer’s phone will display the business’s name (or the person) who is sending it. It means that it is best to use a personalized approach. For example, including “Dear” or “Hello” at the beginning of your message will clarify that you are aware of who is getting the message.
It is what makes contacting customers efficient and cost-effective. No need to send mass emails or mess with social media ads! There is no limit on the number of SMS messages you can send, but if you do not want to rent bulk SMS in real-time, you can also send text messages in batches.
SMS applications are also helpful for person to person messaging. People use SMS applications to send personal messages, conduct business and have group conversations with their friends and family.
What are the Benefits of SMS Applications?
There are many benefits when using an SMS application, whether for personal, business or marketing purposes. Various SMS apps offer fun features that make SMS messaging more engaging. For friends and family, some apps allow text blast services free of charge.
On the other hand, a business may opt for a paid SMS app to leverage their marketing campaign through SMS messaging. Here are some of the best benefits of using SMS application:
1) An integrated solution for business and marketing – With an SMS application, you can launch a more efficient marketing campaign. You are reaching out to your customer base via their mobile phone or handheld device.
2) Real-time engagement – SMS messaging is immediate. Since they are sent directly to the consumer’s phone, there is no delay in response, allowing instantaneous feedback and dialogue between yourself and your customer. It also helps engage prospects in real-time.
3) Cost-effective – SMS messaging does not require the use of applications or websites. You don’t even need to own a computer! It is free to send text messages, and it is accessible for people around the world.
4) Flexibility – there are no limits on how many SMS messages you can send. It is a great benefit for marketers who want to increase sales and manage the campaign from one platform.
5) Multiple features such as emoticons, stickers and file-sharing make texting more fun!
What are the Best SMS Applications?
There are many SMS applications available for a range of different purposes. On the other hand, some SMS apps stand out when compared to others. Some applications provide businesses with powerful functions like real-time text blasting, while others offer an array of fun stickers and emoticons. It all depends on what you’re looking for in an application. Let’s take a look at this list of SMS apps that made a mark on users worldwide!
It is one of the best SMS applications because it is free, easy to use, and you do not need an email address or password to sign up. Your friends need your phone number to send you messages through Facebook. They also function like regular text messages, meaning that if someone does not have access to Facebook, but they do have your number, they can send you messages.
However, the Facebook messenger also comes with significant battery, RAM and storage use. There are also ads everywhere. Still, it has excellent SMS integration, which makes it convenient for those already on the platform.
Facebook Messenger was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and had over 100,000,000 active users worldwide.
Pulse SMS is a free application that you can download on your Android or iOS device. Upon opening the app for the first time, it will prompt you to enter your phone number so you can send messages from within the interface. The great thing about this app is how it categorizes texts into different sections such as work, friends and family. With Pulse SMS, your readers are organized without you needing to do anything on your end.
Another great thing about this app is that it does not drain your battery or run up too much storage space like Facebook Messenger. It also has a modern-looking interface and features an alternate dark mode so you can use it at night. In addition, you can attach images and videos from your phone’s gallery or take a new picture directly from the app.
Pulse SMS is a one-of-a-kind texting software on this list. It’s similar to any other SMS program in terms of functionality. There is, however, a backend that allows you to communicate from your PC, tablet, and other devices.
Pulse SMS was founded by Sunil Paul and is used by more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Google’s SMS app is free with no in-app purchases or ads. You can also download additional themes to jazz up your conversations within the interface. Google messages have a more straightforward design and less clutter compared to other apps on this list. It still includes stickers, emoji, and a GIF search, though these features are not as heavily promoted.
It is one of the best SMS apps because it is likely pre-installed on your Android device. It’s a part of Google Play Services, so you don’t have to download anything from the App Store. What makes Google Messages different from other text messaging apps? It allows for previews before sending a message, and it’s intuitive to use. It’s also the default messaging app on your Android device, so no need for installation!
What also makes Google messages stand out is its SMS functionality with RCS, the new evolution of text messaging improving texting quality across mobile networks. It means for users higher quality images and videos in the app, rather than just plain old MMS files.
Google Messages was founded by Google and is used by more than 100,000 people worldwide.
QKSMS is a great SMS app that you can download on Android devices for free. Its claim to fame is its use of Material Design elements found on the Google Pixel phone. It includes a variety of material design themes and some dark ones if you prefer a more discreet interface. QKSMS also has a secure lock feature that locks your messages from strangers’ prying eyes.
It’s one of the best SMS apps because it is customizable beyond just themes and styles for notifications, alarm clock, LED settings and more. You can even download additional plugins from their website to compliment your messaging experience within this platform.
With a unique design, QKSMS brings a fresh take to the traditional SMS interface that smartphones use for years. The app has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a modern messaging app, including GIFs, stickers and emoji. QKSMS also includes MMS support for images and videos.
QKSMS was founded by Markus Karlsson and had over 50,000 active users worldwide.
The best thing about SMS Organizer is its ease of use. You can instantly access any conversation from your inbox without scrolling through a bunch of old chats. Conversations are automatically split up by contact name so you can quickly identify who’s texting you.
The app lets you block SMS messages for a designated period if necessary, too. It won’t keep outcalls, though! For people who have to be on call 24/7, the pro version allows you to suppress all notifications when you’re on the clock.
SMS Organizer is a project of Microsoft Garage and has an estimated 100,000 users worldwide.
Silence is a total replacement for the default messaging app for Android phones. The free version gives you all the functionality except for excellent additions like message scheduling and contact blocking. It also allows you to manage SIM card messages and MMS settings.
It’s a new SMS app that focuses on simplicity. It was created with Android Nougat in mind but worked with older versions of Android as well. Silence is trying to do away with the unnecessary bells and whistles that exist in other SMS apps. It’s just about sending messages, not much else.
Some known issues users have with Silence is that it is for Android users only, and there is no Live Customer Support.
Silence is formerly SMSSecure and has over 50,000 active users worldwide.
It’s an excellent text messaging app that includes customization options you can’t find on other apps. You can change your theme, font size, bubble styles and notifications to create the perfect interface for your device.
It’s one of the best SMS apps because it works well with WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, thanks to RCS. You can even use the same phone number for multiple apps, like SMS and chat-based applications.
Textra SMS is one of the most dependable texting solutions on the list. This well-known and highly stylish SMS software is also one of the most popular applications. It’s compatible with Android and iOS, and it supports a ton of other apps. It also includes support for Android Wear, Pushbullet, MightyText, and others. The majority of the features are free to use. The pro version is available for a single in-app purchase for only $2.99.
Textra was founded by Chris Lacy under Delicious Co. and had an estimated 100 million downloads worldwide.
Handcent Next SMS
One of Handcent’s best features is its support for dual SIM devices, which makes it stand out from other messaging apps. It also has an adjustable popup speed and a night mode for those who like to text at night without waking up their significant other.
Handcent Next SMS is supported by ads, making it another great free alternative to the default messaging app. It’s one of the best SMS apps because it can be used as a call and message blocker. The app has a great looking interface and excellent text bubble customization options. It also includes SMS blacklisting and scheduling for individual contacts.
Some of the cons of using Handcent Next SMS are that some features require premium access, like message blocking and night mode. There are ads in this app, but users can opt to buy an ad-free version for $2.99.
Handcent was founded by Cheetah Mobile Inc. and had an estimated 100 million downloads worldwide.
Simple SMS Messenger
It’s a lightweight app that doesn’t ask for much, and it does what it promises. You can expect an average messaging experience with nothing too fancy. It’s just about sending and receiving texts and little else.
There are great reviews on the Simple SMS app. It is part of the Simple Mobile Tools that are available for iOS and Android. Also, it’s one of the best SMS apps because it doesn’t include annoying ads or unnecessary features.
The con with using this is that you can’t use it with your desktop computer, which means no texting on your laptop or PC. Likewise, some users report issues in switching between accounts that aren’t clear, and the notifications aren’t very customizable. The chat heads feature is also missing.
Simple SMS Messenger was founded by Tibor Kaputa and had an estimated 10 million downloads worldwide.
YAATA SMS is one of the newest SMS applications that offer excellent features and services. Users like its group messaging support, SMS sending capabilities, and MMS availability. You’ll get SMS blacklisting, an auto-responder, auto-forwarding, and the ability to back up and restore your settings if you buy the premium version. The dashboard is Material Design-based, and it looks pretty nice. It also includes widgets, and it has chat heads comparable to Facebook Messenger. There are some bugs, but the majority of them aren’t significant.
One of the standout features of this app is that it works with older Android versions, while some other apps here are for Android version 4.4 or higher. The application is free, but the premium features cost $5.99 per month or $49.97 for a one-time payment of lifetime access with no ads.
Yalta was founded by Maurice Bos and had an estimated 10 million downloads worldwide.
It’s a recent messaging app on the list, having been released in 2017. It was created by one of the co-founders behind Pulse SMS. If you liked Pulse, Yaata is worth checking out.
Mood Messenger is one of the few applications on this list that automatically reads your incoming messages and changes its theme color depending on what it says. The developer claims it can distinguish between happy, sad, calm, busy, and other emotions.
It’s good SMS software. It performs all of the typical actions like texting, MMS, customizing, emoticons, etc. More so, you also get a dark mode, blacklisting for spam messages, and other features. The premium version is available as a single $10.99 payment or as a subscription. It includes backup and recovery, SMS encryption, additional themes, and a privacy locker to keep prying eyes off your phone. While the premium version is pricey, it’s usually a good experience overall.
Mood Messenger was released in 2017 by XDA Developers who are known for creating custom Android apps. It’s a new SMS application on this list, and it already has an estimated 10 million downloads worldwide.
Signal Private Messenger
In 2016, Signal Private Messenger also expanded to Android devices. It’s been used by famous whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and is trusted for its strong security features. It was one of the first apps on the market with comprehensive encryption measures. The downside of this app is that it can be a bit confusing for new users. It offers encrypted texts, phone calls, and media sharing on top of text messaging support.
The first thing you’ll notice about Signal Private Messenger is the colorful interface. There’s a light mode, but the default dark one looks better. Besides security features like disappearing messages, you also have the option of hiding your text messages on a remote server. The downside with this one is that it requires Android version 4.0 or later to work and currently lacks MMS support.
Signal is a service developed by Signal Messenger, LLC. However, it wasn’t always that way. In 2013, Matt Rosenfeld (Moxie Marlinspike) created Open Whisper Systems to create the Signal software and protocol. MarlinspikeIn 2018, WhatsApp co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum launched Signal Messenger, LLC. This firm is now in charge of creating the Signal app and the Signal Protocol, which provides security.
At present, there are an estimated 50 million users of Signal Private Messenger SMS App.
Mighty Text is one of the most feature-packed SMS applications on the list. You have support for all major messaging apps, customization options, and a dark mode, among other things. It doesn’t offer as much encryption as some other apps here, but it does provide warnings when you’re about to send a message that third parties can view. Mighty Text was released in 2014 and has had an estimated five million downloads worldwide so far.
The goal of Mighty Text is to make texting easier for people who love this mode of communication but are using various devices. The app’s key feature is its in-built address book, which allows you to take control of your communications by returning texts and calls to individuals. You’ll find that when you use the app for a while, it will become much easier to see who was cc’d on each message without having to check their complete name. It also shows your device’s battery level and notifies you of incoming and missed calls via pop-ups, among other things.
Mighty Text, formerly Texty, was launched by Ex-Google employees Maneesh Arora and Amit Sanghani. It’s currently downloaded more than five million times worldwide with its user-friendly interface and tons of features like customizing alerts, forward, reply, call or delete texts.
Chomp SMS has been around since the early days of Android and was one of the first, really fantastic third-party messaging programs. It’s now an app that combines Material Design while still providing numerous features. Some features include emojis, SMS blocking, quick replies in notifications, MMS, and group messaging. If necessary, you may even suspend a text mid-transmission.
It also has Android Wear and Pushbullet support as well as Android Wear and Pushbullet integration. There are several other adaptation possibilities if you desire them. Chomp SMS also provides an extensive collection of Android, Twitter, Emoji One, and iOS-style emoticons.
This SMS application was created by the same company that made Textra SMS. It has an estimated five million downloads on the Google Play Store.
Last but not least, we have Whatsapp. It is one of the most popular SMS apps, being downloaded by over one billion people worldwide. That’s right – one BILLION people have downloaded it. It might be surprising to some that Whatsapp was only released in 2009. But despite this short time frame, it has become a go-to app for many users looking for a secure way to communicate.
The goal of Whatsapp is to allow you to message people without needing a data connection. Still, the company has also expanded into other areas like voice calls and video calls through WhatsApp Messenger. You can use this app on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS, Apple Watch, PC/Mac via Chrome or Firefox plugins, and on Windows PCs. The only other similar app to have received enough users to be considered a competitor is Facebook Messenger, but Whatsapp has more features.
One of the significant features of Whatsapp is the end to end encryption. All messages will only be sent to the recipient. Also, third-party apps will not be able to listen or record calls on this application.
Whatsapp was founded by Jan Koum and co-founded by Brian Acton. The company was acquired by Facebook recently. It has more than two million monthly users that are growing continuously.
Are SMS Applications Free?
SMS Applications are generally free to download and install in their basic form. However, some SMS Applications offer a paid version with more features and services. Also, there are SMS Applications that give you a seven-day trial period to test whether you like them or not.
If you are interested in better features or love a particular SMS Application, consider subscribing to a paid version—the price range from $2.99 to $29.99.
Do SMS Applications Have Character Limits?
No, most of the SMS Applications don’t have a character limit. However, if you are sending a text message through your phone carrier network, they might apply a limit of 160 characters.
SMS applications that send messages through data or internet service can have longer messages and even include multi-media attachments such as images, video clips, GIFs, and more. However, this service is limited for those who have the same SMS applications installed on their smartphones.