As you might expect, all Android phones come with a stock messaging app that handles SMS and MMS messages. This app provides basic functionality, and may be modified in different ways based on the phone you’re using. It works well enough, but just well enough.
If you’re looking for more options, however, you’ll need a third-party SMS app. Fortunately, there are several great alternatives to the stock messaging app available, and best of all, they’re free.