Here’s The 5 Best Free Apps for Private Texting & Calling on Android

The more we use mobile devices to communicate, the more information we store on our phones and tablets that we wouldn’t necessarily want others to see.

Fortunately, whether you’re looking to keep sensitive photos or attachments safe from prying eyes or looking to lock down your messages and contacts, there’s a number of apps ready to help.

Telegram

Telegram App Screenshots

This app allows for full end-to-end encryption so you don’t have to worry about anyone intercepting your messages. However, if you’re looking to hide the messages and activity on your phone too, you’ll need to look at their Secret Chats or Self-Destructing Messages features. Both of these take a different approach to minimize the chances of anyone snooping through your phone and finding your communications.

Get the app on Google Play.

Signal

Signal App Screenshots

Signal’s been in the spotlight lately due to the increased interest in secure messaging. However, it also offers features that can help you keep people out of your phone’s stored messages as well. The best options are setting a password and using Disappearing Messages. The password locks Signal until you enter it keeping nosey people out of your messages. Disappearing messages allows you to automatically delete messages sent to another device after a specified time.

Get the app on Google Play.

CoverMe

CoverMe App Screenshots

CoverMe includes features similar to the previous apps but adds another important feature if you’re not looking to simply protect communications–a secure file vault. Any file you put in your vault is locked behind a password and encrypted to keep prying eyes out. You can also set a decoy password that displays an empty vault upon entry. Other features include a basic password manager and self-destructing messages.

Get the app on Google Play.

Privatext

Privatext App Screenshots

Though this app is relatively new, it offers an easy-to-use take on secret messages. Once you set a password, no one can view your messages without it. By default, all messages self-destruct in 20 minutes. However, there’s a handy clear button if you need to delete messages in a hurry. There’s also a dedicated camera and photo storage that allows you to take and save photos without them showing up in your device’s camera roll. While it might not offer the fancy features of some of the other apps, it’s discrete interface and simple controls make it a promising option.

Get the app on Google Play.

Couchgram

Couchgram App Screenshot

Couchgram allows you to password protect other apps on your phone–so you can still use WhatsApp or Messenger if you’d like. But the big feature we’d never seen is the incoming call lock. This allows you to set a pattern that you have to swipe before a call can be answered. You can also quick reject the call and the app will send a message through the secret message feature that lets the caller know you’re not available. Other features include hiding contacts or numbers from caller ID and call logs, automatic picture capture if someone tries to unlock your phone and fails and a privacy filter that dims your screen below stock settings.

Get the app on Google Play.

Verdict

Due to its comprehensive features and great styling, we think Couchgram is the top pick for secret text messaging apps in 2017. It offers a great balance of easy use and detailed settings to make it easy to suit your situation. But be sure to experiment with all of these apps. They all work differently and you might find an alternate favorite.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that all of these apps will have strengths and weaknesses.

Much of keeping your phone activity privacy has to do with timing. Regardless of the app you choose, disabling notifications can go a long way toward ensuring no one is prying into your call or messaging logs.

However, in the end, anything you do on your phone includes a risk of discovery. These apps don’t make up for a lack of discretion and good practices.

Stay safe!

P.S.

If you’re just looking for a way to lock down specific apps–even if the feature isn’t included in the app–check out CM Security Master. It allows you to lock any app using a pattern or fingerprint. It can also clear your browsing history and snap a picture of anyone who tries to unlock your phone and fails.

Looking for a secure messenger but don’t need the secrecy features? You can find an in-depth breakdown of the best secure messaging options over at The Informr!