Apps like Viber or WhatsApp that allow us to make free calls and texts have been around for quite some time. In a way, I like to look at them as a ground-breaking moment as it allowed us, users, to move away from the conventional way of communication with the biggest benefit being money. It made communication so much more accessible and they didn’t seem to stop ever since.
So, although these apps have been around, I decided to check out what’s new on the market as new ones keep popping up every now and then. I was pleasantly surprised by the wide choice and also by the useful updates some of them dashed out. I won’t include the obvious two as you already know about them, so instead, I’ll focus on lesser know to see if there are better alternatives. So let’s go.
Text Me – New Number, New Possibilities
Honestly, I was surprised I didn’t hear of Text Me before. It seems to be quite popular as it has 10M downloads and counting. Basically, the app comes with the classic features you’d expect from a communication app with one great extra feature. You can create a phone number.
I found you can use the phone number for communicating with other Text Me users, but it also serves as a great burner phone, that is, number. I personally don’t need that, but there are many people who find it useful to get a one-time number. But the reason for that isn’t just the fact you can create a new number. Although I didn’t figure it out right away, you can also send SMS to numbers outside the Text Me circle.
One big limitation that might bother some is dependant on where you live. I tried texting a friend who abroad and it was possible due to country limitations. I did a quick check and Text Me seems to work in about 40 countries. This probably isn’t their direct fault, but the limitations and laws every country has. You can check online if your country is eligible and if so, the app can be a great alternative for communication.
TalkU Free Calls – Content Sharing Made Easy
This one is also a bit different. The main strength of this one is the user-friendly features to share different content like GIFs, audio, video recordings and so on. TalkU is definitely not the only app that allows that, but I like how it’s designed and accessible. For me, the benefits are in the little details. You can also do international calls and I didn’t face any problems with the call quality, which is a good sign. But, I believe people who’ll get the most out of this one are those who like to share content. It’s easy and quick.
As far as that extra security goes, unlike with Text Me, you can’t automatically conceal or change the number you’re calling from. But, I was able to find a quick fix. All you have to do is manually select a phone number you’ll use to make calls. This way that number will appear on the screen of the person you’re calling, and not your original one. So if you want to stay hidden, just remember to select the alternative number before calling.
TextNow – The Real Texting Experience
Yes, I know, the name is quite similar to the first one. I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles these days. Although sharing the same name, the app still is unique in its own way. This one will mostly appeal to Facebook Messenger users as it has a “texting-friendly” interface that’s easy to use without getting lost. You might think how hard it is to create a texting app, but trust me. After trying tons of them, you learn to appreciate fine craftsmanship. You can also text for free anyone you want without limits to the number of texts you can send. Overall, an extremely simple app that does what it’s meant to do and it does it well. I guess the downloads counting in millions don’t lie.
Since it’s an extremely simple app, there’s not much to complain. One small thing I did notice is the app tends to lag easier than other apps I tested if the connection gets unstable. It’s not a big deal if you’re in an urban area, but if you’re going somewhere where the connection might be unstable, I’d likely suggest one of the other two.
So there you go, my top 3 choices besides Viber and WhatsApp. The two giants are giants because they were made in the right time back when nobody was even thinking of creating an app like this. Today, the competition is much stronger and that a good thing. As a final advice, while searching for apps I did find this useful list of the best 10 calls/texting apps in case you need more options.
The list made my search a bit easier since I could explore the app before actually downloading it just to delete it if it wasn’t good. Their filtering seems to work on what’s popular today so I believe it changes in real-time.
Anyhow, I think I gave you a lot of options to choose from so I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for. If not, you can always go back to the usual texting and calling. Let me know if there are some other apps I didn’t mention so I can test them as well.