Do you spend money every month on a text messaging plan for your smartphone? If you are, no matter how much you are spending and what kind of plan you have, you may be spending too much. There are a variety of apps out there for your smartphone that let you send messages and stay connected to your friends without spending a dime.
WhatsApp is a free application that is compatible with iPhones and BlackBerrys, as well Nokia, Android, and Windows phones. You can send text messages, pictures, audio files, and videos for free anywhere in the world to someone who also has this app downloaded. You can have conversations with one person or a group of people at a time. WhatsApp even syncs with your contact list so you know which of your friends you can contact through the app. You can set statuses to let other WhatsApp users know what you are up to.
Viber lets you call or text anyone in the world for free as long as they also have Viber downloaded. This app works with all of the same phones that WhatsApp does except for Nokia devices. Unlike WhatsApp, you can use Viber on newer iPod touch and iPad models as long as they are connected to the Internet. Both Viber and WhatsApp are completely free of advertisements.
Blackberry Messenger lets you do more than any of the other apps on this page, but it is only available for BlackBerry users. However, where all iPhone or Android users are not using a special app for communication, just about all BlackBerry users are using BlackBerry Messenger and love it. You can send individual and group text messages with this app and socialize over a variety of other things. You can share your phone’s entire music collection with friends on BlackBerry Messenger and even tag locations to show your friends where you are or recently have been. This application also syncs with games, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps giving you one place to manage all of your social activities.
Skype can be found and downloaded in just about every smartphone’s app store, but Skype has an agreement with Verizon Wireless and therefore its features are only compatible with Verizon phones. With this app on a Verizon phone you can call or text another Skype user for free. You can also use Skype for your regular phone calls to users who don’t have Skype and or Verizon, but you have to buy Skype credits to do that. For most smartphone users, the Skype app is not worth downloading over other communication apps. The one exception is for Verizon Wireless smartphone owners who are using their phones on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Those users can video chat other users for free regardless of their location. This can also be done on 3G Verizon devices, but the connection is not nearly as smooth or reliable.
Text Me! was voted the best text messaging app of 2012 by About.com. This app works on iPhones, Androids, and Windows phones. This app is also compatible with iPod touches and iPads. Like Viber, you can send text messages and call anyone in the world for free if they have this app. One thing that is unique to Text Me! is that you can set up a voice-mail box on the app so that you can be left voice-mails by people using the app to make free calls. Another great feature of Text Me! is that it syncs with Facebook so that you can chat with your Facebook friends on this app when they are on Facebook.