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These Are the 10 Coolest Mobile Messaging Apps

Mobile messaging apps offer a superior alternative to email and text messaging thanks to built-in social networking features, enhanced security, and free video calling over Wi-Fi or data plans. Aside from established apps like Facebook Messenger, Apple’s FaceTime, and Skype, here are some of the best messaging apps for desktop and mobile devices.

These messaging apps are available for various platforms. Make sure you choose an app that supports your operating system.

An illustration of a person using a mobile messaging app on a smartphone. Leslie Walker / Lifewire

There are a few reasons why you may want to use a messaging app instead of traditional text messaging. For example, you don’t have to pay extra fees to chat with people in other countries, and you don’t even have to give out your phone number in most cases. Messaging apps are especially helpful for contacting co-workers outside of regular work hours since you can send documents and make video calls. For distributed workforces, messaging apps provide a way for employees in different time zones to conduct meetings and keep in touch throughout the workday.

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Google Hangouts for Android

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Google Hangouts supports text messages, phone calls, and video calls between Google accounts users. You can have private, one-on-one conversations as well as group chats with up to 150 people. The app lets you share videos, photos, stickers, and emojis. Google Hangouts also lets you share your location with others directly from the app, suppress all notifications for any conversation, favorite conversations, and archive messages to declutter the conversation view.

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iOS

Android

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Voxer Android app

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Voxer is a walkie-talkie, or push-to-talk, app that delivers live voice messages. The message is either instantly played through your friend’s phone speakers if the phone is turned on and the app is running, or it’s stored as a recorded message like voicemail. Voxer also supports texting, photo messaging, and emoticons, as well as military-grade security and encryption.

You can also make notes to yourself, star and share messages, and enable what’s called Extreme notifications to get repeated alerts and louder sounds. Voxer Pro is the only way to get some features, like unlimited message storage, admin controlled chats, message recall, Extreme notifications, chat broadcasting, hands-free walkie-talkie mode, and more.

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iOS

Android

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HeyTell Android messaging app

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

HeyTell is another push-to-talk app that allows for instant voice messaging. A push notification tells the recipient when a voice message is received, and the message will play when they open the app. If the recipient has the app open at the time of the message, it will play for them automatically.

One thing that sets this messaging app apart from most others is that you don’t have to make a user account to get started. Just enter your name and start adding contacts by their phone number or email address. The app is free, but there are in-app premium options for advanced features like ringtones, a voice changer, message expiration, and more.

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iOS

Android

Windows

09

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Talkatone Android messaging app

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Talkatone offers free voice calling and text messaging over Wi-Fi or data plans. It essentially turns your tablet into a phone even if it doesn’t have a cellular plan. When you sign up, you get a real phone number for free. You can call not just other Talkatone users but even regular landlines.

This messaging app works much like your regular phone’s calling and texting features. You can change ringtones, hide texts from showing in notifications, change your voicemail greeting, block numbers, access your phone’s contacts, and more. Talkatone Plus can be purchased to unlock more features like call forwarding and voicemail transcriptions. You can also remove ads and get unlimited international calling for a monthly fee.

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iOS

Android

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