Texting, though it still may seem cumbersome to some, has become a very popular trend over the years. The youngsters of today especially seem to be highly attuned to this practice and are quite adept at carrying on other chores at the same time. If you own an iPhone and use it more frequently for texting than calling or web browsing, chances are that you would already be using a set of preferential apps suited to your needs. After all, no matter what plan your cell company gives you, SMS and MMS still cost you money and if you could do it without paying a single penny, who would say no to such an offer?
With Apple app store brimming with millions of apps, today we bring you the top 5 messaging apps that can save you some extra bucks on connecting with your family and friends.
WhatsApp is the one of the most popular and covers almost half a billion users around the globe. It works across multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows phone. On WhatsApp, you sign up using your phone number. Although that takes away the hassle of remembering usernames and passwords, it does restrict you to devices that carry a phone number, which means you cannot use it on an iPad for example. The app compares all of the phone numbers on your phone against known users and automatically adds your friends to your contact list.
The app allows you to send texts, photos, audio, and video files to individuals and groups alike, completely for free, only that you can’t send or receive them from non-WhatsApp users. You can save the photos you receive and edit them using the photo-editing tools on your iPhone. You can create as many as 50 groups at a time and send Broadcasts too.
WhatsApp is completely free to download and use for the first year, after which you would need to pay a subscription charge of $1 per year to continue enjoying the services.
Skype is probably one of the most popular apps when it comes to voice/ video calling services. It is a cross-platform app compatible with iOS and both mobile and desktop OS. You can sign up on Skype from the web or within the Skype app. You need a dedicated username and a password to sign in to Skype
In-app signup can be done using the credentials for your Microsoft account that you could have created to use Windows Live or Windows 8. This is so because Skype is owned by Microsoft itself. The Web signup, however, can use a Facebook ID.
Apart from video/voice calling, Skype endorses free instant messaging (IM) service along with group chat and the sending of media files and video messages. Skype offers an assortment of smileys and fun animations to add an emotional touch to plain text. It can be downloaded for free from the web, however, you have to take a paid plan for more advanced options such as connecting to regular phone networks through SMS or call.
Viber also has millions of users worldwide. It also works across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows phone and also supports Windows desktop clients so that you can send, receive and view your messaging history directly from your PC. It helps you to send messages as well as make free calls to any other Viber user around the globe, irrespective of the network or device they might be using. You can also make calls to non-Viber users on their mobiles and landlines at very low rates using ViberOut. It also supports sending of multimedia files such as photos, audio, and video messages. All you need to sign up for Viber is your phone number. It considers your phone number as your unique identity and compares the numbers in your address book with its already registered users, syncing them with your friend list.
The name may sound familiar to you, and indeed it is. The Facebook messenger serves as a mobile version of the Facebook itself. It allows you to connect with any Facebook user for free as well as those friends and family members who aren’t using Facebook at all. You can exchange texts, photos, locations and even make Wi-Fi supported voice calls. It works harmoniously across different mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Blackberry and even supports a Windows desktop client, which means that you can track your messages without turning on your phone.
To use the Facebook messenger, you just need a name and a phone number. In case you don’t have the app installed on your phone, you can still receive messages from your friends and family using the messenger only if you choose to submit your phone number on Facebook.
TextMe is a cross-platform messaging application that allows you to text (real SMS messages) to any phone number across 200 countries worldwide including United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, China, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and many others for free. If your friends install the same app, you would be able to do even more, including free calls and free video calls across Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Moreover, you can find, chat, call and video chat with your Facebook friends for free. After signing up with their Facebook account or email address, the app automatically scrolls through your phone’s address book to discover which of your contacts also use the same service and let you get in touch with them. You can also share your location, photos, and videos with individuals and groups alike. Text Me uses credit, supplying only 10 at the time of installation, but can be increased by buying as well as earned by watching videos by the company. Using the application itself can earn you rewards. Normally texting inside the United States do not eat up your credit, but contacting people outside the U.S. usually does.