December 3rd 2012 marked the 20 year anniversary of SMS texting. By mid 1990s texting had already taken off even while limited to 160 characters. Although SMS is now widely used as means of communication even by official institutions, the fact that the service costs money has resulted in the ever increasing popularity of texting apps which are free of charge. Here are the top ones:
This app is available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia and it allows you to message your contacts on most messaging networks including: Facebook, Google Talk, Skype and Aim. It features free high-quality voice calls, fast and reliable messaging, with group messaging and photo sharing, multimedia attachments, Google Maps and Places. It has searchable chat history which is accessible on your mobile as well as on the web.
This is a private social networking app, cross-platform and packed with features. It enables individual and group messaging using text, voice notes, images, video data and free HD video calls. Message history is locally stored and accessible offline. Syncing with contacts is easy, friends are added by shaking your phones together, scanning QR codes or you can use the location-based service.
This app offers more free texting with the option of attaching pictures and sending to more than 100 countries around the world. When you are offline, you can be sure that the app will inform you of the received messages as soon as you go online and there is also the option to get notified when your message has been read. The interface is photo-based which makes the conversations better organised and easily accessible.
This app will provide you with a free phone number and unlimited free messaging. It runs on sponsor support and there are no hidden costs for overseas texting. Among others, its features include free picture messaging, group texting, voice notes, push notifications, texts in clouds and signatures to personalize your texts.
WhatsApp is last on the list because it is only free during the first year of usage. It’s among the favourite texting apps as it offers multimedia i.e. sending videos, images and voice notes, group chats and there are no international charges. The app is always on, so there is no need for logging in and rather than passwords and usernames, it works with just your phone number integrating with your existing phone book. In addition, you can share location, exchange contacts, have a custom wallpaper and sounds and save your chat history.
The ones who benefit most from the plethora of texting apps are those who have had to spend a small fortune on SMS texting to their contacts abroad. Now this can be done just as fast, if not faster and rather than paying for this service they can now put the money aside for the plain ticket for some face to face chatting- and nothing beats that!
By Melissa Mayer – Follow her on Google+.