When was the last time you actually used the SMS service of your phone to send a message instead of a chat/SMS app? With time, the traditional text message is becoming a thing of past – thanks to the exposure and popularity of messaging apps.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, Telegram, and tons of other apps have taken over completely, mainly because they are available for free and are easy to use. And that does not even include the variety of amazing features most of these apps include.
As high-speed mobile internet and Wi-Fi hit mass in most markets, chat/SMS apps became multimedia platforms, where users can connect, share photos, videos, articles, play games, enjoy live streams, share stickers, gifs, and do so much more.
Today, we have more than dozens of reliable options to keep in touch with our loved ones.
Top chat apps and their best features
So how do these infamous apps evolved? What are elements that set them apart? Which apps are the best regarding multimedia features?
Let’s start with the most popular app – WhatsApp. The app is available for free to download for both iOS and Android versions. Whatsapp made its way into the market due to its easy user interface. Even with fewer features, in the beginning, it was the easiest, to-the-point app available for chat.
WhatsApp is used universally for sending texts and photos to Whatsapp contacts. The app has grown tremendously since its inception, and it still continues to add more features to improve the user experience. The high-quality voice notes, voice call, and video call feature also add to its tremendous toolkit.
The app features a wide selection of emojis and GIFS to be shared between contacts to make chat fun. The app also recently responded to the privacy concerns of the users by launching encrypted messaging between contacts. Previously, it also included a certain fee to continue using the services, but after Facebook took over WhatsApp by closing the deal at $19 billion, the service is now completely free.
Another famous name in the category, Viber, is a great chat app that’s easy to set up and comes with a list of amazing features. All you need is a phone number to set up your account on the app. It automatically syncs your phone contacts with Viber users.
Initially, the application was only used for chat and voice/video calls. But as it evolved with time, now you can use the app to send stickers, voice messages, short video clips, and interesting emoticons for free with Viber users.
The app also includes a ‘Viber Out’ features, which enables the user to call landline phones and non-Viber numbers internationally. This service is absolutely free. Just like WhatsApp, Viber also features encrypted messaging to keep up with users’ privacy concerns.
To use Viber and set it up successfully, you must have proper phone functionality and a SIM card.
Even before Facebook took over WhatsApp, it had its own mobile messaging app called Facebook Messenger. The messenger can be used from the desktop version of the Facebook website or can be downloaded on a smart device separately. The dedicated messaging app will show the existing chat on the network but with additional mobile features.
The sign up is simple. Since this account is synced with your Facebook profile, all you need to do is enter your email ID and password and login. Facebook Messenger also offers voice messages, voice calls, and video calls to other Messenger users. It also supports emoticons, location sharing, GIF sharing, and photo sharing.
Don’t forget to try out the adorable filters during a video chat to make it fun and exciting.
While this isn’t the first chat app rolled out by Google, it is indeed the best one. The smart artificial intelligence (AI) features to boost the function of this simple app to make this simple SMS and chat app interesting.
Google Allo is available for both iOS and Android and includes all the typical messaging features such as chat, stickers, photo messaging, and emojis. However, the feature that makes this app stand out is the use of Google Assistant. This is the AI-supported assistant that can help you find information related to your chat conversations and suggest quick message replies.
You can use Google Assistant to look for information like the weather report, nearby restaurants, and more. This app allows you to make a choice for incognito mode. When you opt for that option, your chat becomes end-to-end encrypted.
Just as the name suggests, this mobile chat app perfectly suits the post-Snowden age. This is the best and most reliable application for anyone extremely cautious with security.
Telegram is an effective app for an end-to-end encrypted and fast chatting experience. With the ‘Secure Mode,’ the chat is only available to you and your recipient. There’s no possibility of a security breach, and the app even allows the user to set message to self-destruct.
Other than chat, you can use the Telegram app to share documents and videos. The app also allows group chatting with up to 200 users at a time.
WeChat was initially the go-to chat app for the Chinese mobile web. Now the app is making its place in the international market too. The spam free app already has more than 697 million users from around the world.
In addition to providing the regular free mobile chat app features – such as instant messaging, voice calls, video calls, multimedia messaging, and group chat, it also includes special features like “People Nearby”, “Friend Radar”, and “Shake” to find new people based on the location and start chatting with them.
The app promises adventure to whoever wishes to make new connections.
Chat apps have evolved over time. Apps, which only featured chat messaging services earlier, developed into a complete package that allowed audio and video calls, file transfer, picture sharing, etc.
These apps have made it easier for people to keep up with their connections and share multimedia without any hassle. With so many more apps launching, let’s see how these top chat apps continue to evolve and the features they introduce to keep up their dominance in the market.
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.