Top 10 Best Messaging Apps
The conventional SMS text message is speedily becoming passe, specially in light of the explosion of popular, easy-to-use messaging apps. Whats-app, Telegram, Send, Line and other apps all offer free text messaging. And that's not even mentioning the options for voice, video and file-sharing to other users. Check out our favorite mobile messaging apps.
WhatsApp (Android, iOS, WP8)
(Free download, $0.99/year)
WhatsApp automatic syncing with your phone's contacts and a feature-rich, ad-free experience all combine to make WhatsApp (Android, iOS, WP8) a wildly popular mobile messaging app. Users can send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. The app does require phone functionality, so it won't work on all devices. WhatsApp is free to use for the first year, with a cost of $0.99 per year.
Viber (Android, iOS, WP8)
Viber amazing app and is easy to set up and still offers a variety of options. Viber uses your phone number as your login, and the app syncs with your phone to help you find Viber using contacts. You can use this app to send text, stickers and emoticons, photos, voice and video messages for free to other Viber users. The Viber Out feature lets you call non-Viber numbers and landline phones worldwide (for a fee). The fee is considered an in app purchase, and the amount depends on where you're calling. You will need a SIM card and phone functionality to set up Viber.
Yahoo's relaunched Yahoo Messenger app on Android and iOS comes with a slew of social media features. It's got all the bells and whistles of a top of the line messaging app, including group chat. It also includes some neat additions, such as cloud-based photo sharing, GIF search and support, and an offline/low-connectivity mode that allows you to write up messages and automatically send them when you get wireless signal.
PlayStation Messages (Android, iOS)
A good messaging app can be key to rounding up the gang for a great online game night, or at least that seems to be the idea behind Sony's new PlayStation Messages app (Android, iOS). It decouples chat features from the main PlayStation experience, much like what Facebook has done with Messenger, while allowing users to check out which of their friends are online and what they're playing.
Telegram A mobile messaging app for the post-Snowden age, Telegram (Android, iOS) is aimed squarely at the security conscious user. Telegram features fast, encrypted chat messaging, with client-server encryption for standard chats. A Secure Chat mode provides end-to-end encryption so that only you and your intended recipient can read it. You can even set messages to self-destruct.
Signal (Android, iOS) (Free)
Blackberry Messenger (Android, iOS) (Free)
BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS is a especially robust instant messaging app that allows you to send free text and voice calls, photo, file and location sharing, as well as including delivery and receipt tags for your messages. A PIN system allows you to share your BBM contacts without having to share phone or email details, while two-way opt-in for communications allows you to control who can send you messages.
Facebook Messenger (Android, iOS) (Free)
Facebook's own foray into the mobile messaging field is Facebook Messenger (Android, iOS), a dedicated messaging app that builds on Facebook's existing chat network and adds more mobile messaging features. Users sign in via Facebook and can send other users the usual chat messages, as well as voice messages and voice calls to other Messenger users.
Skype (Android, iOS, Windows & Free) While Microsoft's Skype (Android, iOS, Windows) is most known for its video and voice call functionality, the app also boasts a reasonably robust instant messaging system. It lets you send text, photos and even short video messages to other Skype users, even when they're not online. Additionally, you can use Skype Credits to make calls to mobile phones and landlines.
WeChat (Android, iOS & Free)
WeChat With 438 million users (more than 70 million outside of China), WeChat (Android, iOS) dominaes in the Chinese mobile Web and beyond. WeChat provides users with free mobile instant messaging, video and voice calls, group chat, and multimedia messaging (images, video, audio, stickers, etc). The app also includes quirky features such as "Friend Radar," "People Nearby" and "Shake" to quickly find new people to chat with nearby. Android Wear and Apple Watch apps are also available.
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