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10 messaging apps that are worth downloading

Because there is much more to messaging apps than Whatsapp and Viber.

Google Hangouts is one app which made the jump from desktop to mobile.
Google Hangouts is one app which made the jump from desktop to mobile.
Image: Google/YouTube

OF THE MANY benefits smartphones have brought us, staying in touch with friends and family is probably the biggest one. Thanks to 3G, 4G and wifi, we can be halfway across the world and still chat to friends in real-time.

While we all know of WhatsApp, Skype and Viber, there are many more messaging apps out there that are just as useful and as fun. Here are some of the best.

Voxer

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free (€2.69 per month/€26.99 per year for pro version)
Desktop Version: Yes (for business users)

While it portrays itself as a serious app, Voxer is guaranteed to bring your childhood memories flooding back. The walkie-talkie app is all about snappy messaging, allowing you to record quick messages to friends or groups. Finishing each message with ‘Over’ is optional, but encouraged.

image

(Image: Voxer/Windows Phone)

MessageMe

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: Yes

If you feel that text isn’t enough to get a view across, MessageMe could be the app for you. With over 180 stickers, emoticons and emoji to choose from, you’ll find an image or picture to match whatever you’re saying.


(Video: MessageMe/YouTube)

Google Hangouts

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: Yes

Google hasn’t won many friends thanks to its insistence on placing Google+ everywhere you go, but Google Hangouts is one example of it getting it right. Combining the best of Gchat with group video calls, it’s a great app for both text and group video chat.


(Video: Google/YouTube)

WeChat

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry,
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: No

Think of WeChat as a cross between Voxer and MessageMe and you’re close to what it can do. Combining the best of voice messaging with text and imagery,  it allows you to chat with friends in a wide number of ways.

image

(Image: WeChat/Google Play)

Line

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry
Cost: Free (add-ons vary in price)
Desktop Version: Yes

Quickly becoming one of the most popular messaging apps out there, Line adds some twists to a familiar concept. With specialised apps, games, and a shake feature that allows you to friend someone nearby, it’s one of the more creative messaging apps out there.

image

(Image: Line/Windows Phone)

Tango

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: Yes (Windows)

While it offers the usual text, photos, stickers and music messaging features, Tango’s real strength is in video. Not only can you chat to someone through video calling, you can also record your own video message for your friends to watch later.

image

(Image: Tango/Google Play)

Snapchat

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: No

Considering the app is all about sharing photos and videos that self-destruct within ten seconds, it would be wrong not to include it. With its new Stories feature giving users a way of sending group photos and videos, it’s transforming from a fun photo app into a new way of messaging. If you’re curious as to why it’s worth $3 billion, now’s a good time to find out.


(Video: Snapchat/YouTube)

Jelly

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free, €4.49 for full version.
Desktop Version: Yes

It’s easy to forget that not everyone has a smartphone so if you’re regularly texting friends on SMS, this will come in handy. Jelly allows you to send webtexts from your phone to anyone you wish, regardless of provider. You will have to pay to either remove ads or send photo messages, but if most of your friends still rely on SMS, it will definitely come in useful.

Update: the latest update for Jelly on iOS now includes picture messaging for free.

image

(Image: JellySMS/App Store)

GroupMe

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: Yes

As you probably guessed, GroupMe focuses on group messaging, but it keeps things simple to ensure a pleasant experience. Relying on text, photos and location, it’s probably the easiest app for both savvy users and non-tech users.image

(Image: GroupMe/Google Play)

Facebook Messenger

For: iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Desktop Version: Yes

Since it got a major update recently, it’s worth revisiting Facebook’s own messaging app if you’re not using it already. With a new look and a much better layout, you can now find out whether your friends are on mobile or web, as well as message people from your phone book, even if they’re not on Facebook.

image

(Image: Facebook/App Store)

Read: Phones, tablets, notebooks: Numbers using mobile data surging, says Vodafone >

Read: A smartphone will soon help you do physio exercises >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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