21 Best Messaging Apps (2019) – Top Texting Apps for Android & iOS

Get texting with our best messaging apps for iOS and Android


Our smartphones allow us to have a constant and instant line of communication with our family, friends, workmates and even clients, but as with most things, the built-in options out of the box aren’t always the best. Messaging apps (or texting apps) are able to provide rich services offering all kinds of interactions with others, from free text messaging, to voice and video calling, to photo and file sharing with the added benefit of encryption. We’ve tested out a lot of different options, so here are some of the best messaging apps you will find on both Android and iOS.

Let’s dive in!


#1. Telegram

With millions of users on the Telegram platform it’s one of the more popular messenger apps but it’s mostly known for its solid end-to-end encryption which keeps your messages and calls private. There are others on this list that challenge Telegrams claims about its ability to keep users communication truly private.


What we like

  • Messaging data is synchronized without any limitations across all devices and operating systems
  • Good intuitive design and user interface
  • Flexible security options
  • Some good customizations
  • No limit on file size sharing


What we dislike

  • No video calling option
  • The contact list is based on phone numbers and requires contact permissions on mobile devices.
  • Voice calls weren’t as good as some other apps but that have been a connection issue?
  • Search function needs improvement can be a little tedious to find what you want


Telegram features

  • Store messaging history in the cloud
  • 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie-Hellman secure key exchange
  • Stickers and GIFs
  • Photo and video editing
  • Group messaging for up to 100,000 people




#2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp has well over a billion users making it one of the most widely used messaging apps on the market. It’s easy to setup and covers all of the major features we’ve come to expect from today’s messenger apps but one of the features we really like is the end-to-end encryption which bolsters its privacy and security, that said, it is owned by Facebook which, to be honest, makes me a little cautious.


What we like

  • Ease of use
  • Large user base so friends are likely to have it installed
  • Group feature is good and you can give admin rights to selected members
  • Voice calling is clear


What we dislike

  • Future Security concerns: Mark Zuckerberg wants to make it possible for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram to send messages to each other which raises real security concerns for those users.
  • Need fairly strong internet speeds to get a good clear video call
  • It does require a phone number to work. While we don’t have a problem with this, some users do so we’ve included it.
  • Can’t hide online status so when you’re online everyone knows


WhatsApp features

  • Free video and voice calls
  • Free messaging
  • Location sharing
  • Share photos and documents
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Editing and GIFs



#3. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a stand-alone messaging app which allows you to stay in touch with friends and family even if you don’t have the Facebook app installed on your phone which is good. It comes with the typical feature set video calls, group messaging etc. but it also allows you to send money in some countries.

Facebook Messenger is intuitive, clean and easy to use and the best part is that it’s likely that your friends, family and co-workers are going to have this on their phone so there’s no need to move them over to a new app.


What we like

  • Simplicity and ease of use
  • Has all of the basic features required


What we dislike

  • Security is a concern since Facebook Messenger part of the Facebook mothership which is in the business of collecting personal data which tends to make us nervous.


Facebook features

  • Group messaging
  • Free video calls
  • File sharing
  • End-to-end encryption



#4. Line

LINE is undoubtedly one of the most popular messaging apps in Asia, boasting a user-base of over 600 million users. LINE comes built in with a lot of the standard features you’d expect but you can also do other things like order a taxi, send money and call international landlines.


What we like

  • It’s not chained to your smartphone, you can use Line on your PC or Mac too.
  • Calls to landlines, it’s not free but they’re cheap.
  • Keeps all of your conversations in one place
  • Add-on apps to extend its capabilities
  • You can almost run your life from this single app. It covers your social media needs, you make purchases using Line Pay or if you’re in Japan use it to hail a cab!


What we dislike

  • It’s not well-known outside of Asia, chances are your friends will already be fully invested in another messenger app so it may take some convincing to get them to migrate all of their contacts over to a new service.
  • It’s kind of busy to look at and there are ads of course but what app doesn’t have them, the point is that it just adds more noise overall.
  • The interface isn’t as slick as other apps or easy to use as other well-known social media apps like Twitter so it will take some time to adjust to the layout.


LINE features

  • Group video calls with up to 200 people
  • Polls
  • Free voice and video calls
  • Share messages, photos, stickers, voice messages and locations
  • Social timeline
  • International calling with LINE Out



#5. Viber

Viber boasts over 1 billion users worldwide and chances are your social or work contacts are going to have this messaging app on their phone. It allows you to send text messages, stickers, emoticons, make free app to app voice and video calls plus you can make cheap international calls using Viber Out.


What we like

  • Good clear audio
  • Multi-platform (iOS, Android, Mac or PC)
  • A strong user base in the west, so chances are your friends, will have it
  • Doodle and send feature is handy in business to get ideas across quickly
  • Speedy app to use


What we dislike

  • Viber doesn’t seem to be updating as frequently
  • User base does seem to be dropping most likely due to other apps offering more features
  • Users have complained about Viber using too much data


Viber features

  • Group messaging
  • Text messaging
  • Cheap international calls
  • Free app to app video and voice calls
  • Self-destructing messages



#6. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is one of the main messaging apps we use at the office to communicate with our team members mostly because it’s simple and fast. To use it you do need to have a Google account, once you’re all set up you can message people on your email contacts list.


What we like

  • Simple to use and lightweight
  • Full integration into your Gmail and Gsuite
  • Virtually everyone has a Gmail account so you can communicate easily with new contacts at work or with clients


What we dislike

  • Can’t edit a sent message
  • We do notice frequent call drops on conference calls and audio lag which means we’re often stepping on other people’s sentences
  • Video calls can get laggy with screen sharing
  • Google doesn’t seem to care about adding new features or updates which people have come to expect from messaging apps


Google features

  • Send files
  • Real-time messaging
  • Share photos, GIF’s etc.
  • Video ad group calls



#7. WeChat

WeChat is one of the other major messaging apps on our list with over 1 billion users. This is the number #1 messaging app in China and allows photo sharing, voice and video calls as well as being able to find any friends that happen to be nearby to share snapshots and moments.


What we like

  • Registration is easy just use your mobile number or Facebook account.
  • Good quality video and voice calls
  • Available for all common platforms
  • “Look around” feature which makes you visible to others meaning you can meet new friends.


What we dislike

  • The interface isn’t as slick and intuitive as the other big messaging apps
  • Mostly used in China so your friends and contacts may not have it


WeChat features

  • Voice calls
  • Video calls
  • Meet friends nearby
  • Share photos
  • Make payments
  • Play games



#8. IM+

IM+ is basically an all-in-one app that allows you to pull all of your older messaging apps (i.e. Google, AIM, Twitter, ICQ, Yahoo, Facebook, Live, WhatsApp, LINE, Skype, MSN Live etc.) into one platform. This makes it a lot easier to stay in touch all from one familiar interface.


What we like

  • You can connect all of your older apps to this one platform
  • It’s not pretty but it works well and has few bugs


What we dislike

  • It doesn’t integrate into all of the newer messaging apps
  • Lacks features found in other all-in-one style apps



#9. Signal

Signal is one of my favourite messaging apps because it has solid encryption and comes highly recommended by top security experts. I’m not trying to ‘get off the grid’ but I do prefer apps that offer strong security features when it comes to personal use.


What we like

  • Advanced end-to-end encryption (Edward Snowden-Approved Security)
  • Chrome extension available
  • You can easily view all media shared inside the chat without scrolling back to when it was shared


What we dislike

  • Doesn’t encrypt SMS/MMS messages to your phone contacts, only works when sending to other Signal users.
  • Needs access to your phone number


Signal features

  • Military grade end-to-end encryption
  • Texts
  • Voice calls
  • Group messaging
  • File sharing



#10. Snapchat

Snapchat was made famous by its seemingly weird self-destructing messaging feature which is now a standard feature in most messaging apps today. While it’s not as popular as it once was it still has a enormous following especially with celebs.


What we like

  • Hasn’t deviated from what it does so well and that’s photo sharing
  • Geofilters
  • The ability to build stories for people to follow along
  • You get to see who is watching your snaps


What we dislike

  • The new interface is a little confusing and hides a lot of the stories from friends, family and, customers
  • Lacks analytics


Snapchat features

  • Self-destructing messages, photos and videos
  • Photo editing
  • Awesome filters
  • Group texting and group stories



#11. Slack

Slack is a team-orientated messaging app available for both Android and iOS. With features like real-time messaging, scheduling, management tools, app integration, file sharing setting up sub-groups and more it’s not hard to see why corporations and even casual user groups have quickly adopted this great messaging app.


What we like

  • Instant notification on feeds, so nothing gets missed
  • Different channels to help keep things organized
  • Video calls are good quality especially when compared to other video conferencing providers
  • Document sharing is very good, you can see all documents in thread with a single click


What we dislike

  • A lot of notifications
  • Lack of storage space of older conversations (free version)
  • The search feature needs a little improvement
  • Interface not user-friendly for non-techies


Slack features

  • Share files
  • Create sub-groups
  • App integration
  • Real-time messaging
  • Cross-platform (PC and mobile)
  • Scheduling
  • Management tools



#12. Microsoft Teams

If your team is already using Microsoft’s Office 365, then Microsoft Teams for Android and iOS would be a good alternative to Slack. Boasting a massive feature-rich set of productivity-focused tools you wouldn’t go wrong using this app at all.


What we like

  • Integrates easily into all of your Microsoft products
  • Extend the functionality of teams by adding 100+ other apps
  • Create bots to execute repetitive tasks


What we dislike

  • A lot of the tools are very similar making it tough to decide which tool to use for which job
  • 100 channel limit, not a problem for small organizations but big multi-nationals will likely run into problems


Microsoft Teams features

  • Group messaging
  • Chat channels
  • Organization tools
  • Video and voice calling
  • Searchable messages
  • Enterprise-level security and compliance features
  • Full integration across MS Office’s suite of tools



#13. Band

Band is one of the most fun group messaging apps available for Android and iOS. Fundamentally, this is a group chat messaging app but it comes packed with cool features like community boards that allow you to broadcast your updates, joining public group chats and of course creating your own private chats and invite your friends. Share files with your group, take part in polls, create photo albums and more.


What we like

  • Join other bands
  • Fun features


What we dislike

  • Not widely used so you need to convince people to use it


Band features

  • Public or private Group chat
  • Join other groups
  • Share media files
  • Polls
  • Broadcast updates via a community board



#14. GroupMe

GroupMe is one of the most popular social messaging apps in the app market, one of the reasons is because it actually supports SMS group chat and while you might be thinking “doesn’t my mobile already do SMS group chat?” you’d be wrong because standard SMS group chat is really just a Bulk SMS blast.
With GroupMe the people are actually added to a virtual chat room where they can interact.


What we like

  • It’s specialized so it has everything you need for group chatting
  • Easy to use
  • Photo and video sharing that allows participants to ‘like’


What we dislike

  • Doesn’t have a massive user base (10 million) so will have to get your friends to install most likely


GroupMe features

  • Unlimited chat groups
  • Supports SMS group texting
  • Cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and standard mobile)
  • Emojis
  • Share photos, GIF’s and videos



#15. Discord

Discord is the go-to messaging app for gamers but it’s also being picked up by companies as a communication channel. Discord allows you to join group servers, set up channels that are focused on specific topics as well as voice and text chat features.


What we like

  • User-friendly and Slack users will instantly feel familiar with the interface
  • No account creation required – just send a person a web link and they can join in
  • Voice channel
  • Friendly invite mechanics, just send a web link to friends and they can get access to the channel without going through a length sign up process


What we dislike

  • Susceptible to people harassing each other, server raids and chat bombarding
  • Not well-managed Discord has become an attractive platform for trolling other groups


Discord features

  • Live text, voice, and video chat
  • Server tools
  • Create or join servers
  • Community management
  • Private and public messaging
  • Push notifications
  • Cross-platform (PC and mobile)



#16. Skype

Skype is one of the original gangsters of messaging apps that allows you to send short video messages, call international landlines and mobile numbers using Skype credits, chat messages, send media files and video chat. It’s cross-platform so you can continue your conversations on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS etc.


What we like

  • Cross-platform (iOS, Android, PC, Linux and Mac)
  • Screen sharing
  • Massive user base so friends likely have it installed
  • Cheap overseas calls


What we dislike

  • Lots of dropped calls. Needs a strong internet connection otherwise, the video will freeze audio will lag and calls will drop
  • Not that great for teams


Skype features

  • Cheap calls to international landlines and mobile phones
  • Cross-platform
  • File sharing
  • Video messages
  • Free app to app voice and video calls



#17. Voxer

Voxer is essentially a walkie-talkie app but while that may not sound that appealing but it is very useful if you have a team because it allows you to answer voice messages in your own time and reply back with an answer with perhaps some media files. There is a paid option that gives you message recall (you sent a message but now want to delete it off their phone), group chats, unlimited message history.


What we like

  • Message recall – ever said something you wish you hadn’t? Voxer allows you to recall that voice message like it never happened.
  • Unlimited message storage (but only in the Pro version)
  • Have conversations at your own convenience
  • Better than sending texts, just send a voice message to clarify things


What we dislike

  • People have reported bugs in relation to sending messages (it says it’s sent even though it hasn’t) we didn’t experience any of this, however.


Voxer features

  • Send and receive voice messages
  • Send and receive media (photos, videos, documents)
  • Messaging
  • Message recall (Paid)
  • Unlimited message history (Paid)
  • Group chat (Paid)



#18. Textra

Textra takes your stock standard SMS messaging app and replaces it with a juiced up version including features like customizable interface, themes, message scheduling, 2,000 emojis, quick replies, floating lollipop style notifications and more.


What we like

  • Nice sleek and minimal design
  • Highly customizable user-interface
  • Reply to SMS messages without having to open the app
  • Does texting well


What we dislike

  • Displays ads


Textra features

  • Customizable interface and themes
  • Message scheduling
  • 2,000 emojis
  • MMS
  • Quick snap camera
  • Multi-select picture



#19. Silence

For the more security conscious person who is looking to keep their communications private Silence is definitely worth a look. Silence upgrades your stand SMS/MMS on your phone so that you can now send encrypted messages even if your phone is lost or stolen everything is still protected.


What we like

  • Industry leading encryption
  • Minimal…everything. Not much of an interface (we don’t mind this, however)
  • Encrypted group chats, file sharing and app to app messaging


What we dislike

  • Standard text messages are not encrypted


Silence features

  • Encrypted SMS and MMS texting
  • End-to-end encryption using the Axolotl encryption protocol




#20. Dust

Dust is another security focused app that includes multiple security features to help its users remain secure and private. Messages can be set self-destruct after they’ve been read or at a time within 24 hours plus you can unsend any message you’ve sent and will let you know if someone has taken a screenshot of your message.


What we like

  • Erase your messages off other people’s phones
  • An app that is designed for social interactions while keeping everyone’s information private
  • Search the web without websites tracking your browser


What we dislike

  • Need a mobile number to register


Dust features

  • AES 128 and RSA 2048 encryption
  • Self-destructing text messages
  • Stealth search (no cookies and no tracking)
  • Your history is erased after 24 hours



#21. Wire

Continuing on with the security them comes Wire, a European company that has designed their app to fall in line with European data protection laws. As with our other security messaging apps Wire comes with end-to-end encryption to make sure that your text messaging, voice and video calls are all private.


What we like

  • Great UI
  • The privacy settings and ability to manage groups.
  • Ease of use, strong encryption, good call quality (audio and video)
  • Encrypted chat and file sharing


What we dislike

  • A little slow as compared to other apps in its category
  • Bit of a learning curve to get started
  • Screen sharing needs work


Wire features

  • Proteus encryption protocol (inspired by Signal)
  • Video and voice calling
  • File sharing
  • GIF’s
  • Cross-device
  • Private group chat



Yabb Messenger

Yabb Instant Messenger is an all-in-one social networking chat app for Android and iOS that gives you the opportunity to communicate the way you prefer to communicate, whether that’s messaging, voice or video calling or sending Snapchat style photos.

Yabb was designed for people to socialize with their existing networks but also meet new friends’ in a safe environment. You can see who is open to communicating and add them to your friend’s list and also see other Yabbers who are near you who are keen to meet.

Yabb has its own social media wall so you can add photos and videos to that wall so people can share and like your content.

We also moderate content so any photos that are deemed to be inappropriate are removed.

Yabb Instant Messenger is available on Google Play and iTunes


Yabb’s Features

  • Free VoIP calls (no phone number required)
  • Emoticons and animated stickers
  • Self-destructing text messages – set a timer for how long you’d like your message to “stay alive” once someone sees it before it is gone forever.
  • Group chat
  • Video chat
  • Real-time push messages
  • Location sharing
  • Meet new people nearby
  • Photo sharing
  • Social media wall where people can share and like
  • Share YouTube videos with your friends
  • Moderated content (if someone uploads inappropriate photos we remove them)
  • Real-time social updates