The 6 Best Free and Open-Source SMS Apps for Android
Text messages are still a hugely popular way to stay connected with friends and family. And while Android comes with an SMS app built-in, it’s usually Google’s app, which may not be to everyone’s liking.
Fortunately, there are lots of secure, open-source apps that you can choose from instead. Here’s a list of the top six free and open-source text messaging apps for Android.
1. Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger is one of the most popular open-source mobile messenger apps for Android. Plus, it’s completely free, so it’s a great option if you want an app that doesn’t charge money for texting.
The app supports one-on-one conversations, group chats, photo attachments, voice calls, and video calls. It also features all of the other bells and whistles you’d expect from an app like this: themes, emojis, read receipts, and so on.
Signal is completely open-source, peer-reviewed, and isn’t tied to any major tech company. Best of all, it allows you to communicate securely over the internet via a strong end-to-end encryption protocol. That means no one can read your messages or see your conversations except the people you are talking to.
Where you go, what you do, who you talk to on Signal is no one’s business but yours. But how does the app help keep your communications secure? Here’s how Signal works.
Download: Signal Private Messenger (Free)
QKSMS is a user-friendly, quick messaging app for Android. The app supports SMS, MMS, group chats (with group media support), and end-to-end encrypted chats with data protection.
The free app is open-source and doesn’t have any ads or hidden features that might compromise your privacy.
QKSMS is unique because it allows you to track all the messages you send to ensure that they’re delivered properly. You can also backup your messages in case something happens to your phone, so nothing gets lost.
In addition, the app lets you schedule messages so that they go out at a predetermined time or on a specific day. This makes it a great choice for sending birthday messages.
Download: QKSMS (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Wickr Me
Wickr Me is a privacy-focused app for encrypted text messaging, video calling, and file sharing. The free app is open-source, so there isn’t anything to hide from you.
The messaging platform has no ads or hidden features that spy on you for money. It also doesn’t rely on a central server to store your messages, and it never keeps them permanently.
Wickr includes an end-to-end encrypted “secret chats” feature. It also does not require a phone number or email address upon registration.
The SMS app includes self-destruct timers for messages sent, meaning no one can read your messages, and you can use the app to send a message to a bunch of contacts at the same time.
Download: Wickr Me (Free)
4. Pulse SMS
Pulse SMS is another ad-free and open-source texting app for Android. The app lets you send images, make audio recordings, and attach videos to your messages. You can also choose from an unlimited number of emoticons when texting using the app.
Pulse SMS is one of the best free SMS scheduler apps for Android. It allows you to schedule your messages for a later date.
The messages are all stored in one place where you can easily organize them into conversations by contact or by topic so that you always know where to go when you want to retrieve a particular message.
The app is fully integrated with Google Voice, allowing you to send text messages from your email or phone number using Gmail. You can even opt for a phone call instead of an SMS if the person isn’t available at that moment.
Download: Pulse SMS (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Simple SMS Messenger
Simple SMS Messenger is an open-source, lightweight application that allows you to send and receive text messages on your Android device. It also includes a search function that helps you find messages quickly.
The ads-free SMS app lets you add different types of media to your texts. You can attach photos, videos, or even voice messages to your texts and send them to any of your contacts.
Simple SMS Messenger allows you to create groups with other users, and send messages from the group. You can also blacklist certain phone numbers and thus prevent them from sending messages.
The app is also capable of sending multimedia messages. It supports both static and animated GIF images, and pictures taken by the device’s camera or downloaded from the internet.
Download: Simple SMS Messenger (Free)
Element (formerly Riot.im) is a free and open-source messaging app that’s also encrypted and secure. The app protects you from unwanted ads and data mining while securing all your messages with end-to-end encryption.
Plus, it’s based on the Matrix open-source framework and supports self-hosting to give you maximum ownership of your data. The app uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) and supports two-step verification.
The messaging and collaboration app allows you to manage projects more efficiently. You can use it to share files securely while chatting about them in real-time through voice calls or screen share. So, if you’re looking for a free WhatsApp alternative, Element might be a great choice.
Element also lets you pick up where you left off thanks to its ability to fully synchronize message history across multiple devices.
Download: Element (Free)
Keep Texting With These Free and Open-Source SMS Apps
So, there you have it: six of the best free and open-source SMS apps for Android. You can choose from Signal Private Messenger, Simple SMS Messenger, or one of the other four listed in this article, depending on your preferences.
We hope you’ve found this list of SMS apps for Android useful. If not, we know there are many other great options out there to choose from, especially if you have more specific needs—like the ability to send text messages in bulk.
Need to send messages to hundreds of recipients quickly? Here are Android apps for the job.
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