Hot topics

The best messaging apps for 2020

AndroidPIT android collectibles telegram vs messenger vs allo copia
© nextpit

There are a ton of messaging apps out there to choose from. There's the obvious and unavoidable WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but apart from the must-have apps, there are plenty more out there to discover designed for sticker-lovers, busy professionals, the security-conscious, and even gamers. Check out our roundup of the best messaging apps for 2020.


Best overall messenger app: WhatsApp

While WhatsApp may not be the first messaging app to roll out cutting edge features, but it is simple to use, reliable, and everyone seems to have it. It uses phone numbers from your address book so you don't have to add contacts manually, which is a big help when setting things up for the first time.

WhatsApp has all the standard messenger features you've come to know and love: voice and video calling, messaging, group chats, voice messages, and fun features like the ability to send stickers, emoji, GIFs, and your own photos and videos of course.

Whasapp 07
WhatsApp is still the best all-round messenger app. / © NextPit

Everyone's on it, so it's a must-have: Facebook Messenger it or hate it, its ubiquity makes things convenient when it comes to messaging by eliminating the need to trade numbers with your Facebook friends. For those you aren't connected with on Facebook, you can still contact them via Messenger using their phone number.

Like WhatsApp, the interface is simple to navigate, and you get stickers, emoji, and GIFs galore alongside the standard features like calling, photo sharing, and messaging. Plus, Messenger also has polls (which comes in handy when rallying the friend group together to pick a brunch spot), a selection of games, and the ability to connect you directly with a growing number of businesses using chatbots.

AndroidPIT messenger app 1
Everyone's on it, so it's a must-have: Facebook Messenger. / © NextPit

The privacy-focused messenger: Threema

Threema is one of the more privacy-focused messenger apps on the market today. Contacts are identified through Threema IDs. They are stored on the Threema's servers so that you can backup and transfer your account from device to device. However, there are lots of extra security measures and features here that make Threema an ideal choice for those looking to take control of their personal data when messaging their friends. The only downsides to Threema are that it costs a couple of bucks and you'll have to convince your friends and family to pay up too if you want to have people to talk to on the app.

threema app
Threema is excellent for security and privacy. / © NextPit (screenshot)

The best for anonymity: Session

Session is, without doubt, the best messenger app for those who want to be anonymous and stay under the radar of the webmasters desperate to harvest our data and sell it to advertisers. Session can be used without a telephone number, and yet still functions as a WhatsApp-style messenger capable of both texting and calling. It comes from the same team as Signal messenger, but features a couple of advantages over its sibling such as encrypted group chats. Session is certainly one of the most promising messengers for the privacy paranoid. You can download Session from the Google Play Store.

AndroidPIT session messenger id2
You use a Session ID to create a unique address people can use to contact you. / © NextPit

The classic for video calling: Skype

The original go-to app for video calls, Skype, has been around for ages. As a result, it's seen some changes over time. It still has video calling and instant messaging, but now it's got a more sleek, modern design and works well on mobile devices. Plus, it has fun GIFs and moving emoji.

Adding contacts requires you to know their user ID, and while Skype-to-Skype calling and messaging is still free, there are paid options for calling or sending SMS messages to traditional phone numbers.

AndroidPIT skype for android tips tricks 5
The classic for video calling: Skype. / © NextPit

An underrated mainstay for SMS, calls, and Google Voice: Hangouts

Google set up Hangouts as the standard (but interchangeable) messaging app in Android 4.4 KitKat, and thanks to this it picked up a lot more users, and it still continues to gain steam after all this time.

Hangouts is a combined SMS and IM app that separates the two types of messages but can be used to automatically place voice calls and video calls from your phone via Hangouts. It's the key app for those who use a free Google Voice phone number, which is an incredibly handy thing to have. Because it handles both SMS and IM, it cuts down on the number of apps you need to be working with, and its video calling quality is arguably better than Skype's.

hangouts best message update
An underrated mainstay for SMS, calls, and Google Voice: Hangouts. / © NextPit

Social messaging for sticker lovers: Line

Line is jam-packed full of stickers and other fun stuff and is immensely popular throughout large parts of Asia as a social network and messenger app. You can get several sets of stickers for free, then for a small cost, you can get more from the in-app sticker store.

Line is kind of like Twitter, Facebook and Skype all rolled into one. It’s also feature-filled with group chats, multi-platform capabilities (phone, tablet, PC), timeline, recorded voice messages, media sharing and much, much more, including official account messages from celebrities you like. 

line video calls
Line can also do video calls. / © NextPit

Best for expanding your network: WeChat

WeChat works like other messenger apps, in fact, it works quite well. The big difference is that it tries to expand your network with potential contacts who are nearby. You just have to shake your phone and you could find someone on WeChat who's also looking for a new friend. You can then add them or choose not to.

You can use the 'Friend Radar' to find friends who are nearby so you can meet up with them. When you do this, a little 'radar' pops up on the app and searches for friends in your vicinity. Once you see them on your radar you can chat with them and propose a meeting.

AndroidPIT wechat 1
WeChat lets you find new contacts. / © NextPit

Best for secure messaging: Signal

With Signal, you can send encrypted messages, including images, videos, and voice notes. Plus, it can do one-to-one voice and video calling. Functionally, it's a lot like normal messengers, but with a focus on security and privacy. It does lack tablet support for now, though.

Thanks to its end-to-end encryption, you can trust that your messages and calls are secure. Additionally, no group chat metadata is passed to Signal's servers, so Signal can't access the list of your group members, the names of your groups, or the group icons. It also has a disappearing message feature that Snapchat users will be familiar with.

signal 2018 03
Best for secure messaging: Signal. / © NextPit

Best for the office: Slack

Slack is hands-down the best app for business messaging on mobile and desktop. While it doesn't totally replace email, it can come close by keeping all your day-to-day operational chatter and announcements in one place.

You can create channels by department, create groups of certain people collaborating on a project together, or do one-to-one messages. Emoji reactions also save time, since you can give a quick thumbs up to mean "roger that" or "great idea". Plus, it has extensions that work with other collaboration tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, Salesforce and Asana.

slack app new
Best for the office: Slack / © NextPit

Best for gamers: Discord

If you're a gamer, there's one messaging app you won't be able to live without. Discord lets you chat, and do audio and video calls, just like any other messaging app, but it's designed with gamers in mind and has a lot of additional features that make it perfect for keeping up with your community.

Private and public messaging, instant invite links, member roles for servers, the ability to organize in guilds, and see which games your friends are actively playing all make this the ultimate app for gamers. But, Discord is also used by Reddit communities, Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and other groups too. The more the merrier!

discord screenshot app
Best for gamers: Discord. / © NextPit

Do you have any other favorites not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

 The best smartphones under $400

  Editorial tip Price tip 3rd place 4th place 5th place
Image Google Pixel 6a Product Image Apple iPhone SE (2022) Product Image Samsung Galaxy A53 Product Image OnePlus Nord N20 Product Image Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) Product Image
Review: Google Pixel 6a
Review: Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Review: Samsung Galaxy A53
Not yet tested
Not yet tested
Price (MSRP)
  • $449.00
  • $429.00
  • $449.99
  • $299.00
  • $399.00
Go to comment (83)
David McCourt

David McCourt

David enjoys staying abreast of the latest technology and newest Android apps. Outside of the office, he can be found playing snooker and writing bad 00s indie songs.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • 1
    Eva Smith Dec 30, 2020 Link to comment

    I'd also advice to check Utopia p2p. In comparison with other popular messengers it seems more encrypted. I believe it deserves a chance at least because it didn't face any data breaks till now and is more safe.

    • 1
      Cindy Blake Jan 11, 2021 Link to comment

      Oh, By the way I also use Utopia p2p. Unfortunately, the mobile version has not been released yet, so I am forced to use less secure applications like Telegram. I've seen the news that the release of the mobile version is planned to the first half of 2021, so we just have to wait a bit.

  • Entony 5
    Entony Nov 13, 2020 Link to comment

    Great article, thanks. Maybe in the near future we will see a new revolutionary application, which TikTok once became. By the way, if someone has already come up with a concept for such an application, you can read the Cleveroad blog. There are many helpful articles on this topic out there.

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Sep 18, 2020 Link to comment

    Still, a good old fashioned phone call...

  • Jerry's W. 20
    Jerry's W. Mar 15, 2020 Link to comment

    How can you forget VIBER. Such an supercool IMHO way more better than WhatsApp.
    my guess is you don't even know how good it is.

    • marco sarli 39
      marco sarli
      • Admin
      Mar 16, 2020 Link to comment

      Viber is okay. Extremely popular in Vietnam and SE Asia generally.

  • 1
    BlackKat Oct 17, 2019 Link to comment

    These messengers are not the most reliable and some had security problems. It was hard for me to find a truly convenient and secure messenger, but I found Utopia. Never be afraid to try something new.

    • 1
      FullMoon Oct 21, 2019 Link to comment

      I would like to know more about Utopia

    • 1
      Tomorrow Dec 18, 2019 Link to comment

      Very unusual and one of a kind project

  • 12
    Franz Fifty May 13, 2019 Link to comment

    so you're going with the "the more use it, the better it is" approach. Whatsapp is used by many, so it's the best. Like an iphone used by many, so it's the best.
    interesting is, my list is so extremely different from yours (i only use Telegram and Threema) that we do simply not agree on anything - that's the beauty of choices!

    • Bastian Siewers 66
      Bastian Siewers May 13, 2019 Link to comment

      The problem with messengers is, what use are they if noone is using them? That's the difference to the iPhone. Even if everyone is using the iPhone and I am not, I can still call of them. If everyone is using WhatsApp and I am not, I can not contact them.

  • 25
    Deactivated Account May 11, 2019 Link to comment

    My favourite one among these is Signal Messenger.

    Deactivated AccountstormSorin

  • 1
    Alex Green Feb 20, 2019 Link to comment

    We need an app for messaging within our office local network. It shouldn't be connected to external online servers or use the Internet connection. I prefer security if we talk about corporate communications. All devices are connected in one Wi-Fi network. I think that's enough for creating group chats. File transfer will be a good option also. Any recommendations?

    • Samanta Hoffmann 1
      Samanta Hoffmann May 10, 2019 Link to comment

      Have you tried Softros LAN messenger? I think it can satisfy your needs.

  • 3
    AppExperts Dec 13, 2018 Link to comment

    After WhatsApp, WeChat is the most emerging instant app now days.

  • 1
    gore santo Dec 3, 2018 Link to comment

    I need my messenger calling in working

  • 27
    Sorin Dec 1, 2018 Link to comment

    For what I need, WhatsApp is okay. Obviously there are other communications solutions, yet I prefer WhatsApp for the reasons outlined in this article. I'm considering choosing another app, but I still do not know which.

  • 4
    Jack Smith Oct 6, 2017 Link to comment

    Great post! We can use both free and paid messaging apps for Android. If we prefer free version it lags at security, integration. Moving to the paid version or developing own instant messaging apps will help you on both security and integration. There are plenty of instant messaging apps are available in an internet market like Contus Fly. We just open an eye and think broader that depends on your needs.

  • Danielle Perkins 1
    Danielle Perkins Apr 19, 2017 Link to comment

    I would like to see a new category for the best messenger app to use with any contact regardless of the app they are using for messages?

  • Danielle Perkins 1
    Danielle Perkins Apr 19, 2017 Link to comment

    The problem I have with apps such as WhatsApp and Allo is the inability to message someone not using the same app. There is no way I can convince every person I know to use the same app, especially when they will have to also convince everyone they know to use the same app or they have to deal with multiple apps.

  • Danielle Perkins 1
    Danielle Perkins Apr 19, 2017 Link to comment

    Google is set to destroy the Hangouts feature that integrated carrier SMS in the very near future. There is no other app that I can find that will give me back what Hangouts had at its finest moment: merged messages for my contacts regardless of which method I or the contact used (Carrier SMS+Google Voice SMS+Hangouts online messenger) to send the text and complete access to view and send using all three methods from any device. I can't comprehend a company with a unique feature that I can't find anywhere else just ripping it out and throwing it away.

    Does anyone know of another app providing this functionality?

    Which app will now take the spot of Best for SMS: ???

  • Gary Blakely 2
    Gary Blakely Apr 14, 2017 Link to comment

    I don’t like or trust any of the messengers on the Android Market. It is my opinion that they make their money by invading your privacy. That is why they demand so many “dangerous permissions.”

    So, I took it upon myself to write a totally safe, honest, encrypted, stealth messenger that everyone could trust. I believe SafeTalk is the only messenger in the world that can make that claim.

    SafeTalk is a brand new messenger just out of beta testing in March of 2017. Having no permissions to access anything on your phone it virtually runs in an isolated environment unable to violate your privacy. There is no messenger anywhere in the world like it.

    SafeTalk is on Google Play

    • Danielle Perkins 1
      Danielle Perkins Apr 19, 2017 Link to comment

      safeTalk is also the name of a suicide prevention training program.

  • Shane CoOmBs 1
    Shane CoOmBs Jun 26, 2016 Link to comment

    I just got on INSTAGRAM just to try msging. Not too bad 6/26/2016

  • 1
    zabih jan Jun 14, 2016 Link to comment

    I don't agree with hangouts being the best sms messenger. Hangouts is useless when it comes to sms. Why is viber not included in any list

  • Alex 17
    Alex Apr 25, 2016 Link to comment

    I use Whatsapp and Messenger mostly !

  • Tamás Varga 1
    Tamás Varga Apr 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Only the WhatsApp can encrypt the communication end-to-end so I think it is the best app now.

    • Gary Blakely 2
      Gary Blakely Apr 14, 2017 Link to comment

      Not true. Several messengers offer end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp wants 20 dangerous permissions. Look at SafeTalk on google play

  • SocialMusker 3
    SocialMusker Apr 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Hey, Nice post ever on Messaging Apps which has become an industry. I have found "ringID" a great one from my point of view. It has Secret Chat, Voice call, Newsfeed features which make it a powerful competitor to other.

    Nikita K.

  • Ellilou Fabs 1
    Ellilou Fabs Apr 4, 2016 Link to comment

    Creative writing - I was fascinated by the facts - Does anyone know if I might access a fillable a form example to complete ?

  • 1
    rohtash Mar 19, 2016 Link to comment

    I think JeeO+ Messenger is also missing from the list single app having multiple services Must USE App for android users

    • Oscar 2
      Oscar Jul 23, 2016 Link to comment

      Send me the link 🔗

  • Diptangshu M. 15
    Diptangshu M. Mar 17, 2016 Link to comment

    I like Hike best, although use Whatsapp more because there are simply more people.

    surya kumar

  • Chris Wu 4
    Chris Wu Mar 16, 2016 Link to comment

    I'm conservative :) I use xmpp (jabber) and irc clients. I hate FB messenger.
    But thanks for sharing. I'll test it.

  • Amoun 12
    Amoun Mar 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I'm using messenger and Viber, I tried telegranm too, and I can judge that telegram is the best platform chatting in mobile " Good design, easy to use, easy to share fils and drivers etc.. and security communication " I give him 8/10

  • surya kumar 16
    surya kumar Mar 10, 2016 Link to comment

    I think you missed hike.I love it.Besides whatsapp is still great

    SorinDiptangshu M.

  • 18
    Deactivated Account Mar 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Nice article. I use skype, hangout & whatsapp. I'll try remaining ones also.

  • 14
    Alex Simpson Mar 10, 2016 Link to comment

    Even if the other apps are better, everbody is still using whatsapp so it makes no semse to change

    SorinCory Schmidt

    • Sundarsun 2527 7
      Sundarsun 2527 Nov 18, 2016 Link to comment

      ya sure i agree with your point, whatsapp is the best chat ever i have used.
      Want To make a Instant Messaging App like Whatsapp just
      Visit -

      SorinCory Schmidt

      • Cory Schmidt 19
        Cory Schmidt Nov 18, 2016 Link to comment

        Yes. The most important thing is that other people are using it and if they aren't then it's not really an messenger app.

        SorinSundarsun 2527

      • Sundarsun 2527 7
        Sundarsun 2527 Nov 21, 2016 Link to comment

        Thanks for the Great reply Mr. Cory

      • 3
        William Jones Dec 14, 2017 Link to comment

        Agreed! Since maximum number of people are using it, it is always the best ever chat app felt by everyone.

  • P Woodyatt 2
    P Woodyatt Feb 15, 2016 Link to comment


  • 7
    David Michael Jan 18, 2016 Link to comment

    Great Collection. Here i using this all messanger expect Tango. Actually i built an messanger app using Contus Fly for my enterprises. This article make me more energetic to work on.

  • 1
    Steve Dosan Dec 22, 2015 Link to comment

    Free is good but quality of video conferencing or video call is an important criterion. Hence, I would recommend use of quality desktop video conferencing apps like R-HUB desktop video conferencing server. It is easy to use and works well.

  • 1
    Deedra Herrmann Dec 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Hello Everybody,
    you should try WowApp.
    It's a top notch messaging app with all the features above. It also rewards its user real money. 70% of their revenue goes to the users. Optional advertising. Android + iOS + PC. Check it out!
    Accounts can be created here: www . wowapp. com/w/


  • Cooee Messenger 2
    Cooee Messenger Nov 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Thanks for your information - Cooee Messenger

  • Cooee Messenger 2
    Cooee Messenger Nov 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Thanks for this information from cooee messenger

  • 2
    Deactivated Account Nov 13, 2015 Link to comment


  • 4
    Adler Rothschild Nov 13, 2015 Link to comment

    I find nothing wrong with yahoo messenger. It's old but has been around for a while

  • 9
    Abhinav Nov 12, 2015 Link to comment

    hike is perfect because if its offline msg option

  • 1
    Laurentiu Perjeru Nov 12, 2015 Link to comment

    I invite you to join wowapp this is another messenger app but have something + earn moneys from adds and donate moneys to ONG from those earns or cash out the earns.

  • 1
    Mark Kensit Nov 11, 2015 Link to comment

    I use vihoapp. Built on the same framework as telegram but with better security and less bugs. No keyword searches either..... Bonus!!

  • 2
    Manni James Oct 26, 2015 Link to comment

    Where's Telegram? Telegram to WhatsApp is like Usain Bolt to a turtle!

    Rafael Bandeira

  • 8
    Rafael Bandeira Oct 13, 2015 Link to comment

    I think you might've forgot an importat IM app: Telegram, which is the best instant messenger I've ever tested. Of course it's missing internet calls, however it's the best option to replace WhatsApp.

    Manni James

  • 1
    kutekall Oct 1, 2015 Link to comment

    Try Kutekall pure peer to peer no data stored on the server instant voice/video/text messenger. Also peer to peer file transfer up to 2GB. All comms other than voice and video encrypted.

  • 3
    Dennis H. Sep 26, 2015 Link to comment

    Always amazed that these ummm....ahhh reviewers leave out mysms. See the play store. This has it all, a web version and a computer version and is 'friends-able' that allows SMS free over-sea's to friends list. Has a paid version but not forced or necessary for most normal users. NO ADs! Tried the rest and this is the best!

  • 1
    Achyut Badyal Aug 30, 2015 Link to comment

    hike is the best

  • 1
    Tom Paloma Aug 11, 2015 Link to comment

    I really liked my pal's San Francisco Messenger-it has encrypted messaging & file share! It's fast, reliable and very colorful! :)

  • 2
    william porter Jun 10, 2015 Link to comment

    I love to use BirdsBeep instant messaging app because privacy is still missing in some above mentioned apps. BirdsBeep chat app is a fully secured app with lots of exciting features

  • 2
    hybrid authority Apr 8, 2015 Link to comment

    A good collection for app for instant messaging
    and i good thing is that regular updates are provided giving best result in performance of this applications.

  • Scott Shrewsberry 7
    Scott Shrewsberry Apr 8, 2015 Link to comment

    Hangouts for me. Not much left to say other than I just like it.

  • 2
    Robert Nachum Apr 8, 2015 Link to comment

    Cool apps ! thanks for posting. I'll add just one more app to this list - Rounds.
    Rounds it's a video chat app that allows you to easily connect with your friends. The app has a lot of cool activities / games etc.
    Check it out on Google play store :p

  • Mr. Smartphone 33
    Mr. Smartphone Apr 6, 2015 Link to comment

    Is Threema avaible here in UK?
    (I'm german;)

    • MajorTom 58
      MajorTom Apr 6, 2015 Link to comment

      Bye WA , hello threema

      Spygame WA skype & co

      SorinMr. Smartphone

  • Henry 3
    Henry Apr 3, 2015 Link to comment

    whatsapp is my best chat forum

  • 1
    Lilja Mar 26, 2015 Link to comment

    What about Talkray? I use Viber and Wechat as well as BBM

  • 1
    Sam Shin Mar 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Skype and Watsapp I was using from last 4years but now I need to change and recently I started using JixChat ( free android and IOS chat app, providing best video quality that is being sent, lots of stickers and emojis to share your feelings instead of words. I recommend you all also to download it and try atleast once. You will defivitely enjoyed it.

  • 1
    FrenchPete Feb 28, 2015 Link to comment

    One more nice chatting web app I created :
    It allows you to geolocalize public/private chatrooms so you can easily share your hobbies/help each other with people you don't know yet but are physically around you.
    Android and iPhone apps will be launched soon.

  • Alphonse Elrique 2
    Alphonse Elrique Jan 13, 2015 Link to comment

    Good list!

    If you like customizing your messenger I suggest QB Messenger

  • 1
    Greg Merrit Dec 29, 2014 Link to comment

    whatsapp! because its big and most likely everyone around the world has it.
    skype for video call, nothing can compare the quality of video call on skype.
    Line for my asian freinds :p its BIG here haha and very good tbh.

  • 1
    Jon Dec 25, 2014 Link to comment

    My favorite is messenger from Google

  • 2
    Raoul Bhatia Nov 30, 2014 Link to comment

    What about using an XMPP server you trust and "Conversations (Jabber / XMPP)"?

  • 2
    Sathish Nov 30, 2014 Link to comment

    Hike messenger s best... @ India

  • S4BB Limited 4
    S4BB Limited Nov 30, 2014 Link to comment

    BBM is by far the best.

    WhatsApp is good too because everyone has it.

    Skype has seen better days, but is still around.

  • 35
    • Admin
    Nov 30, 2014 Link to comment

    My favourite one is whatsapp as everyone is available over their, BBM is also good choice but the problem is people don't use it, for some user of BBM like me it keeps sitting over our device but actuallly I never ever use it and at the same time I don't want to uninstall it too ! Skype it has just weird problem of not working by the time you want it to ! I would say Hangouts is way more better than Skype.


  • 14
    Sean Stockemer Nov 29, 2014 Link to comment

    I was hoping for an update about WhatsApp's encryption that's supposedly coming, and also Google messaging or whatever is missing...the new sms hangouts redundancy

  • 4
    parth Nov 29, 2014 Link to comment

    my favorite is hike😘😘😘😘

    Muhammad AbdullahSathishSaem Sarguroh

  • 3
    Robert Aug 20, 2014 Link to comment

    You are missing Telegram, which is very fast.

    Manni JamesGeorgian Stanescu

    • Georgian Stanescu 11
      Georgian Stanescu Dec 1, 2014 Link to comment

      Actualy Robert, Its the blog post is above. It menetioned that Telegram used to be the only "Secure" IM App out there, but since WhatsApp included the Secure feature, they ain't sure about Telegram. But its free.

    • 13
      Arjun Paliath Apr 3, 2015 Link to comment

      You read my mind..:) Telegram is way better that whatsapp at any point. I especially love cloud sync and the seamless multi device connectivity. And the amazing desktop apps.

      SorinManni James

  • 2
    Kelly T Jul 16, 2014 Link to comment

    Whatsapp, Viber, Skype are well settled in market. I use Whatsapp and Skype. I am happy to have them.

    Yąšįr JąmąlîJaved Mansuri

  • Diptangshu M. 15
    Diptangshu M. Jun 17, 2014 Link to comment

    My favourite IM service would be Hike. I specially like the free messaging service to non-hike users. Plus, it's way faster than the Facebook Messenger app, which I also use heavily.

    praxedes fernandezNeitesh TaralKishore YerraSaem Sarguroh

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing