Messaging is the new way to communicate. It is easier than talking on the phone or trying to pin someone down in person but it can also be expensive. Even though it is 2015, not all cell plans have unlimited text messaging, and sometimes you want to continue your conversation from your phone on your computer. That is where messenger apps come in. These five apps are free to download, free to use and incredibly easy.
1. Google Hangouts
If you’ve ever used Google Chat in Gmail you know how easy it is to use. It harkens back to the nostalgia of AOL Instant Messaging, but you can attach videos and photos. Download the app and it works exactly like it does on the computer. You can add as many Gmail accounts as you want and switch between them so all your conversations are in one place. Start a conversation on your computer, leave for lunch and continue to receive and respond to messages. One of the best features is you can create group chats, which makes planning a lot easier.
Skype is a great way to communicate with people across the world or across the room. Sign up for free and use the video-chatting, calling or messenger. Send photo and video to your friends through the messenger even if they aren’t online. When you first open Skype, it will ask permission to use the camera and microphone on your phone, but if you just want write to someone you don’t have to enable access to calls or video.
Dasher makes messaging in the 21st century very simple. Write a normal message, send a yes or no question or even search for GIFs. Simply type a hashtag followed by the mood you’re in and the app will pull up a popular GIF that matches that. Plan a lunch with friends and even send them a map of where you want to meet. Each person going can send their location so you know when people will start arriving, You can even send money through the app to pay your friends back for your meal. Even if your friends aren’t on Dasher, the app will convert your messages to SMS.
Send your friends messages, videos and photos using WhatsApp. To begin, verify your phone number so the app can pull in the contacts of the people who are also using WhatsApp. Then you can make your profile by either bringing in photos from your camera roll or syncing with Facebook. You won’t have to go searching for friends because the app will pull them all in for you and you can choose who to start a conversation with. You can privately share your location, customize your profile and even email message history. The most interesting feature is you can use the app overseas without extra charges.
Line combines a social media service with a messenger. Send photos, videos, text and custom stickers to your friends while also posting to a personal timeline. You can chat with one person or a group, and even send money through Line Pay. Use Line to make video and audio calls. The app can be used on an iPhone or Android phone but now it is available for Android Wear and the Apple Watch so you never miss a notification.