These five apps have excellent quality and security if you only need to use one device. Wire and WickrMe can be used with a single device but can also be used on multiple devices, so if you do choose to start using multiple devices in the future those apps will make that transition easy.

Wire

Pros:
  • Has a nice clean, modern look, lots of features
  • Communicate with text, voice, video or group text chat
  • You can optionally set messages to automatically delete up to 4 weeks after delivery
  • You can login to the Wire website and chat from any computer
  • Has apps for iOS and Android, as well as desktop clients for MacOS, Windows and Linux.
  • Based in Switzerland (great privacy laws)
Cons:
  • You need to provide an email or phone number to create an account. But this information is never given to any of your contacts.
  • On some small number of Android devices notifications are an issue. The Wire support page lists a number of possible solutions that require user intervention that other messenger apps don't seem to have. The Android app issue tracker consistently has notification bugs for Android opened.
Other features:
  • Send photos, videos, audio clips, files and location
  • Draw on a photo before sending it
  • Quote prior messages
  • Search for words in a chat
  • Mention other participants
  • Like a comment
  • Manually delete a message including from all participants' devices
  • Delivery and read receipts in individual chats
  • Up to 300 participants per group chat
  • Link previews
  • Pings
  • Contact verification through device fingerprint comparison
Install Wire

Threema

Pros:
  • Very nice look, lots of features
  • Communicate with text, voice or group text chat
  • Based in Switzerland (great privacy laws)
  • No personal information such as an email address or phone number is needed to create an account
Cons:
  • Video chat is not available
  • No option for automatic deletion of messages
Other features:
  • Send photos, videos, audio clips, files, contacts and location
  • Create polls
  • Draw on a photo before sending it
  • Quote prior messages
  • Search for words in a chat
  • Mention other participants
  • Thumbs up/down on messages in individual chats
  • Delivery and read receipts in individual chats
  • Up to 100 participants per group chat
  • Contact verification through key fingerprint comparison
Install Threema

WickrMe

Pros:
  • Communicate with text, voice and group text chat
  • All messages automatically delete up to 6 days after delivery
  • No personal information such as an email address or phone number is needed to create an account
Cons:
  • Doesn't have as many features as other apps
  • Video chat is not available in the personal free version
  • The 6 day maximum retention period for messages may be too short if you like to be able to go back to old messages
  • Based in the USA, if you are worried about using something from a 5 eyes country
  • No web app. You must install the desktop application on work or public computers to chat. This may be an issue if you do not have permissions to install the application.
Other features:
  • Send photos, videos, audio clips, files and location
  • Search for words in a chat
  • Messages can be locked until you touch them to reveal text
  • Star a comment (only you see this)
  • Recall a message to delete it from all participants' devices
  • Up to 10 participants per group chat
  • Online status indicator
  • Contact verification through a recorded video
Install WickrMe

SafeSwiss

Pros:
  • Communicate with text, voice and group text chat
  • Messages can be set to automatically delete up to 1 year after delivery
  • Based in Switzerland (great privacy laws)
  • No personal information such as an email address or phone number is needed to create an account
Cons:
  • Doesn't have as many features as other apps
  • Video chat is currently in beta
Other features:
  • Send photos, videos, audio clips, files, contacts and location
  • Crop a photo before sending it
  • Search for words in a chat
  • Manually delete a message including from all participants' devices
  • Delivery and read receipts in individual chats??
  • Contact verification through key fingerprint comparison
Install SafeSwiss

TwinMe

Pros:
  • Communicate with text, voice, video and group text chat
  • Connections are made directly between your device and your chat partner's device, no server acts as the middle man
  • No personal information such as an email address or phone number is needed to create an account
Cons:
  • No option for automatic deletion of messages
  • You can't make a backup or export your keys or messages to move to another device
  • No contact verification
Other features:
  • Create multiple profiles in the app
  • Send photos, videos, audio clips, files and streaming music
  • Manually delete a message including from all participants' devices
  • Delivery and read receipts in individual chats
Install TwinMe


Did you change your mind? Do you want to use a messaging app on multiple devices? Then you can follow this guide:

I want to use multiple devices