The traditional SMS text message has become obsolete, especially with the explosion of popular and easy-to-use messaging applications. WhatsApp, Telegram, Send, Line, Kik and other apps offer free text messaging. And that’s not to mention the options to share voice, video, and files with other users.
With so many apps available, it can be difficult to know which one is the best for you and your friends. To help you make that choice, we’ve browsed through the densely populated mass of chat apps to select the best ones for you.
Skype (Android, iOS: Free)
While Microsoft’s Skype (Android, iOS, Windows) is best known for its video calling and voice calling functionality, the app also has a pretty solid instant messaging system. It allows you to send text, photos and even short video messages to other Skype users, even when they are offline. In addition, you can use Skype credits to make calls to landlines and mobile phones. The cross-platform functionality between desktop and mobile, the ease of use for business in its professional versions and its great ubiquity have kept the old workhorse relevant even in the face of tough mobile competition. Microsoft is also trying to increase the power of bots in Skype, as they are working to allow artificially intelligent programs to handle certain tasks such as reservations.
Line (Android, iOS: Free)
Another Asian mobile phone giant that has made its mark is the Japanese instant messaging application Line (Android, iOS), which now has more than 600 million users worldwide. Line covers your needs with chat messages, photos, video and audio, along with animated stickers and location sharing, as well as a timeline system similar to a social network. The app has support for monstrously large group conversations and calls with up to 200 participants and also has a provision for making paid international calls to mobile and landline numbers. In addition, Line allows users to follow your favorite brands, celebrities and companies with official channels so that you can have the latest information about them. Newly added Keep features make it easy to store certain images, messages, and videos so you can share them again with your friends.
Kik (Android, iOS: Free)
The most important part of Kik is that it is not linked to a phone number. It does not require the use of a SIM card or even share the mail. All you need is a nickname, which users call ‘kik’, like the app itself. The reality is that teens have a taste for anonymity and Kik allows it much better than any digital communication tool. This, of course, means that it may have more dangers, but from the user’s point of view it is an important advantage since it is very easy to start using it and above all you do not have to give anything in return. There are also plenty of online tools that allow you to search for your Kik friends, such as KikFriendz which you can find here.
Viber (Android, iOS: Free)
Viber (Android, iOS) is easy to set up and offers a variety of options. Viber uses your phone number as the login, and the app syncs with your phone to help you find contacts who use Viber. You can use this application to send texts, stickers and emoticons, photos, voice messages and video for free to other Viber users. The Viber Out feature allows you to call non-Viber numbers and landlines around the world (for a fee). Additionally, Viber also introduced encrypted messaging features to the app, with a color-coded icon indicating chat security and encryption. You will need a SIM card and phone functionality to set up Viber.