A quick Google search for “what is the best messaging app for Android” will spit back tons of results. You could read listicle after listicle but still end up exactly where you started—wondering which app is not only the best but the best for YOUR business.
We’re here not to simply list out your options but to help you actually choose the one that best suits what your business needs.
As a business ourselves specializing in digital communication, we know a thing or two about messaging apps. At the same time, we recognize that our software isn’t right for everyone. And that’s cool. A one-size-fits-all tool doesn’t exist.
Hence why exploring your options is so important.
If your business needs include integration with other apps, a laser focus on security, the ability to administrate users, or if you’re looking for a tool that lets you do multiple things under one subscription, let’s chat. RingCentral could be perfect for you.
If not, or if you’re looking for something more basic, keep reading to explore other good candidates.
Below, we’re going to break down the following:
- The differences between messaging apps for the average consumer vs. for businesses
- The features you absolutely need in a text messaging app for Android
- The 5 best Android messaging apps (with pointers on how to choose one, plus what customers have to say)
First, let’s look at the how messaging apps for businesses are different from. your everyday messaging apps.
Instant messaging apps: The biggest difference between the apps your friends use and the ones designed for businesses
Not all messaging apps are built equal.
Here are the key differences between consumer apps (like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) and business-focused apps (like RingCentral):
Business-focused apps are built with security at top of mind.
The last thing you want to skimp on is the protection of your company’s data. Messaging apps built for businesses know this and uphold rigorous security certifications as well as follow authentication processes that simply aren’t as big a deal for consumer-centric apps.
Business-focused apps can integrate with your other software.
This is super important for managing your communications and preventing information silos. Not all apps integrate with everything though—something to look out for when shopping around. Some messaging apps integrate with project management tools and email automation software, for instance, to send your team or group channel updates whenever there’s been an update on a particular project.
Business-focused apps offer analytics.
Unlike with consumer-centric apps, you can measure the effectiveness of your business’s communications. These insights can help you make important decisions, like what your teams talk about the most, the best channel to interact with each other, and the type of content that receives the most interaction.
Business-focused apps have administration capabilities.
Administration lets you define exactly who your users are and who can communicate with whom, e.g., the help desk team with employees, sales reps with leads, and so on.
Business-focused apps often offer more than just messaging.
That’s because we’re generally conscious of the fact you don’t want to be paying for 20 different tools every month when just three could do the same tasks.
Like we mentioned earlier, no one messaging app is going to work for every business. There are some key functions, however, that every business can use and should look out for when making a decision.
- A messaging app that’s separate from what your team uses to message friends and family. Because the number of distractions in a day, both during work and personal hours, will be a disaster.
- Should work with both cellular data and Wi-Fi. This will make sure everyone can reach their messages no matter where they are on the planet—and is especially important if you’re using this as a key remote working tool.
- Should work and sync across devices. You don’t want to constantly have to flip between your phone and your computer, so make sure you get a messaging app that works and syncs between both. Speaking of which, RingCentral lets you flip a meeting between, say, your phone and computer—without a break in the meeting:
- Bulk messaging and group chats. You want to make sure you can relay messages to multiple team members as easily and efficiently as possible, whether it means mass messaging everyone at once or sending a single message in a group chat with everyone who needs to know.
- Accessible customer support. How quickly can you get help or answers to your questions? Does the developer continue to provide support, or are you on your own post-download?
- Bonus points: software integrations. Ideally, all of your business’s different tools will work together in perfect harmony so you don’t need to switch back and forth from one app to another all day.
So what is the best text messaging app for Android? Based on the above criteria, we rounded up five different text messaging apps—at least one of which is sure to work perfectly for your business.
Okay, so we’ve established there are big differences between the features, functionalities, security, and overall quality of consumer vs. business-focused apps. We’ve also noted the non-negotiables—things your business’s messaging app should definitely have.
Now it’s time to jump into the top five best Android messaging apps for small to medium businesses.
1. RingCentral (our personal favorite 😉)
Best for: businesses looking for something scalable that integrates with their existing tech stack, allows real-time collaboration, and gives you several tools with just one software (like video conferencing and phone calling solutions)
RingCentral is a leading all-in-one team messaging, video conferencing, and phone calling app. Some of the things that make it so awesome are that it:
- Makes real-time team collaboration a breeze. Not only does it bring remote workers together, but it also lets everyone on your team easily share files, tasks, and calendars. (And that’s just the free stuff.)
- Lets you do video meetings with screen sharing, on top of messaging. Start video meetings with a client right from the app for face-to-face collaboration no matter where you are.
- Has the call quality of an enterprise phone system. RingCentral is no small fish, meaning we have advanced features like HD voice quality and call forwarding, and it works with either Wi-Fi or cellular data on any mobile device.
- Allows you to send professional SMS messages to both clients and coworkers. For on-the-go communications, you can use SMS from your RingCentral business number safely and confidently.
Want to see for yourself if RingCentral would be a good fit? You can book a quick 15 to 20-minute product tour to see it in action.
Here’s what RingCentral’s customers have to say1:
“Very well-integrated app incorporating phone, video, messaging, calendar, task listing, and minimalist project management. Works seamlessly around the world with [the] same phone number. Good integration with G Suite. These two are the only infrastructure most SMBs will need.” — Joshua P.
“If you’re a system admin, you need to learn it well enough to teach your users. They will use different features and have different preferences, so learn them all if you can. RC has a huge library of online videos and training if that’s your style. Their phone support tries to be overly helpful! In my opinion, the chat support is the best.” — Robin P.
“RingCentral meetings and calls are […] friendly and seamless. Connects to all the apps we use anyway for messaging, video, storage and email. Cloud integration is also very good. No complaints on security either. Best for small sized teams and BUs.” — Al E.
🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:
2. Android Messages
Best for: micro-businesses that just need to be able to relay messages to each other as quickly and easily as possible, without the need for real-time collaboration
Google’s Android Messages is a free text messaging app known and loved by many for its lightweight features and straightforward interface. While the app does have a reasonable list of features, including theming, backup, and search, they’re kept pretty minimal. It rocks a “Material Design,” meaning it’s aesthetically pleasing to look at and easy to use too.
Some neat facts about Android Messages:
- It has a web version for texting from your desktop. This is convenient because you can access your messages from multiple devices. The only downside to this is it’s a battery drainer, something to keep in mind if you’re working on the go.
- There’s a good chance your team is already using it. Android Messages comes pre-loaded on Pixel devices and several other phones, meaning not only that your team likely has it already but knows how to use it too. No learning curve.
- It has all the basics covered. Single or group chat messages, high-quality photo/audio/video sharing, GIFs/emojis/stickers, location sharing, read receipts—it’s got it.
Here’s what Android Message’s customers have to say2:
“I absolutely love this app. It’s so much better than my default messaging app. I love the fact that I can use Wi-Fi as well as the Cellular Service. It really helps when I don’t have service because I can send the texts by using my Data.” — Isaac D.
“This app would get a 5 star [rating] if it was not missing one major feature—SCHEDULED MESSAGES.” — Scott S.
“I like it a lot. More than using WhatsApp because of the emojis and gifs access. The only thing is that I wish to have a way to make reference of old messages on the conversation, just to help bring more sense to the conversation.” — Felito G.
3. Chomp SMS
Best for: businesses who are looking for something simple but a tier above Android Messages, value customization, and mainly send text-only messages (not so much audio/video)
Chomp SMS is an OG app that’s been around for a while now and has some of the best customer reviews on this list. Like Android Messages, it’s built on Material Design principles but offers more robust features.
Its most noteworthy features are:
- Quick reply pop-up. You can respond right from the notifications, letting you answer messages without switching apps. It’s little things like this that add up to big-time savings.
- A whole lot of customization power. Including 100 free themes to choose from, every emoji you could think of (Android, Emoji One, iOs, and Twitter emojis), notification LED colors, ringtones and vibrate patterns, font size and style, and more.
- Ability to stop a text mid-send. For when you’re typing a bit too fast and send the wrong message. This app lets you stop it in its tracks, similar to email recall.
- Ability to schedule messages. Think of something outside of work hours? Don’t be that person that interrupts a team member’s family dinner with a work text. Schedule it to deliver once your team members are back on the clock. (Or just use it to schedule happy birthday messages.)
- Advanced privacy options. Text block/blacklisting and passcode app lock? Yes, please.
Here’s what Chomp SMS’s customers have to say3:
“Wonderful text messaging app! If you go into settings you can customize all kinds of features. You can basically customize everything including the font size, text color, bar color, etc.” — Francine E.
“Most flexible theming features but missing a major feature SEARCH in conversations!” — Homayoun Y.
“Can’t attach video to any message. Says 6 second video is too large… Kind of disappointing…” — Liz W.
4. Handcent Next SMS
Best for: on-the-go teams who want to text from anywhere on any device and have it sync across all of them. If your team’s work phones double as personal phones, the advanced security options will come in extra handy as well
Handcent Next SMS is right up there with Chomp SMS as a top text messaging app for Android. It has a lot of similar features, including bulk messaging, advanced privacy settings, backup and sync functionality, tons of emojis, and customization options.
The thing that really sets Handcent Next SMS apart, however, is Handcent Anywhere: a feature that lets you send messages from wherever you are and from any device, whether it’s a computer, phone, tablet, or even smartwatch. According to reviews, it’s a bit buggy at times but overall a pretty slick feature.
In addition to Handcent Anywhere, the app comes with the following features:
- Great balance of aesthetics and features. While many of the other apps on this list place a high value on aesthetics, often opting to keep features minimal, Handscent works hard on both fronts.
- Attention to the finer details. Built-in spell check, theme support, and password protection are all examples of how the developers of this app go a step above the rest.
- Free cloud backup. So there’s no such thing as too many texts. Plus, if you switch devices or lose your phone, you can rest assured your data’s been saved so you can restore all your messages on your new one.
- Tons of customization. Free themes, fonts, stickers, colors, ringtones, vibration patterns, you name it. You also have the option to buy additional themes (but you won’t need it).
- Advanced security. You can lock the app so that your work messages are kept private. This is done through a private messenger box that is totally encrypted and can only be accessed with a passcode.
Here’s what Handcent Next SMS’s customers have to say4:
“I have used this app for all my texting needs for a number of years, and it only gets better. It has options that most default messaging apps are missing, like the ability to set a scheduled message, rather than just sending one now.” — Daaave W.
“One of the best messaging apps on e market. Easy to set up, easy to use. Great themes. Overall, I recommend. The only thing is I wish the emojis were a little more imaginative, or maybe more to choose from. That’s my biggest complaint!” — Scott T.
“Customer service very helpful, responding immediately when I reached out for help installing on my wearable. App now on my Galaxy watch and I am so happy with it I will probably invest in the paid version. Thanks again!” — Karen E.
Best for: businesses who rely a lot on sending quick professional bulk messages to colleagues and clients, from either their phone or desktop. The Gmail plugin makes it a great pick for G Suite users as well
Named one of Time Magazine‘s “Best 50 Android Apps”, some of MightyText’s top features include:
- Schedule messages. Using the Gmail plugin, you can schedule messages to go out a later time (like during work hours, so you don’t disturb anyone during their off time). The messages will be sent from your phone but you can schedule them on a computer as well (as long as you’re using Chrome).
- Automatic sync between your devices. Whether you’re on your phone, tablet, or computer, you can access your messages from anywhere. This is especially nice when you’re sitting at your desk, so you’re not constantly checking your phone.
- Bulk messaging and template saving. You can text multiple people at the same time, all from one screen. This is not only useful for teams, but also for businesses that have a lot of clients (like if you work in sales). You can also save templates for quick use in the future.
Here’s what MightyText’s customers have to say5:
“Works fantastically with lots of options. For an old geezer like me it is so much easier to use my computer to respond to text than the small keyboard on my phone. In particular I like the way it sends my text messages to my email inbox as well which I am far better at looking at more often during the day.” — Alan G.
“What a lifesaver! I don’t have to carry a different work phone to see my work messages. As with all of the other great reviews, I am thrilled to have complete control over where and how I receive and respond to text messages to my work line.” — Gerry B.
“There are advantages to this app and disadvantages, like everything else. I like being able to send text from my computer instead of having to pull out the phone, and I can see who’s calling and what’s being texted. There’s a limit on the number of conversations, though, and I’ve noticed it doesn’t completely sync the prior conversations. For me, that’s a problem because I need to have the entire conversation in front of me when I’m on the computer.” — Jenna L.
The final verdict: what’s the best business messaging app for Android users?
Aaand the winner is… RingCentral!
Okay, we may be a bit biased, but in all seriousness, all five of these Android messaging apps are strong contenders for your business. It all depends on what you’re looking for.