Alternative Messaging Apps for Your Smartphone

Friday, October 25th, 2013 by Melissa C.

What do I mean exactly by the ‘Alternative Messaging App’? It’s basically referring to the 3rd party’s Apps that are similar to the SMS function. Before the introduction of these alternative messaging Apps, we tend to text each another with the SMS and the costs (per SMS) would vary according to the different service providers as well as location.

 

However, the majority of us (especially for smartphone users) have moved from the traditional SMS platform towards this 3rd party’s Apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, Tango, Viber and much more. The main reason being is due to the actual cost being waived. Yes, it’s FREE! if you’re connected through the Wi-Fi. But if you’re on your data package, there might be some slight variations. Still, it’s a whole lot cheaper compared to the SMS.

 

The alternative messaging Apps are also very popular for their cross-platform instant messaging ability. There are plenty of emoticons and other features to keep you entertain too. Some of the Apps support voice calling or even video calling which works perfectly for those who’s on travel or away from their loved ones.

 

Apart from being spared with the hefty phone bills, the connection is pretty steady compared to the initial period of launch. Long gone is the story of the ‘pause…’ felt during long distance calling. The Apps would smartly update your existing contacts in your smartphone and identify family or friends that are on the same platform, saving you the hassle of having to add them in one by one.

 

Most importantly, there’s no conflict or clash point if you wish to download and use more than one App on your smartphone. For instance, you prefer to have Viber because you can perform long distance calls free of charge, but at the same time find WhatsApp’s messaging system to be better equipped. Then why not?

 

Let’s have a quick look into some basic info of the 3rd party’s Apps mentioned above (you can download the Apps from Google Play, App Store or from their respective official website):

 

WhatsApp

  • One of the favorite (or first on the list) messaging App for the time being,
  • Started up in the Silicon Valley back in 2009 by two Yahoo! Veterans,
  • Currently available in 37 languages,
  • Support exchanges of messages (inclusive of voice messages), pictures, videos, contacts as well as location sharing.

 

LINE

  • Launched in 2011 back in Japan, also initially meant for the local market but quickly gained international recognition,
  • Currently available in 16 languages,
  • Support exchanges of video calls, messages (inclusive of voice messages), pictures, videos, games, photo album, scan QR codes as well as location sharing,
  • Can also be downloaded as a desktop application.

 

WeChat

  • Started off in 2011 by a Chinese company headquartered in Shenzhen meant for the local market but swiftly gained international recognition,
  • Currently available in 18 languages,
  • Support exchanges of video calls, messages (inclusive of voice messages), pictures, videos, games, photo album, scan QR codes as well as location sharing.

 

Tango

  • Founded in 2009, based in Mountain View, California,
  • Currently available in 14 languages,
  • Support exchanges of video calls, messages (inclusive of voice messages), pictures, videos, games as well as photo album.

 

Viber

  • Started off in 2010 by a Cyprus-based company,
  • Currently available in 30 languages,
  • Support exchanges of calls, messages, pictures, videos, ‘Doodle’ (similar to hand-written memo) as well as location sharing.
  • Can also be downloaded as a desktop application.

 

Other popular (non-exhaustive list) 3rd party’s messaging Apps includes GroupMe, Kakao Talk, MessageMe, Kik and Cubie. You can easily and conveniently look for more alternatives in Google Play, App Store or through recommendations.

 

Note: Don’t forget to ‘upgrade’ your Apps when you’re prompted with the reminder. Otherwise you won’t be able to see ‘what’s new’ in it. Your compatibility to ‘upgrade’ will also depend on your mobile brand, model as well as version of operating system.

 

Posted in Digital Life @ Tech News

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