With mobile carriers charging anywhere from $20 to $30 a month for unlimited plans, smartphone users with a love of texting might feel like coughing up this kind of cash is their only option. In reality, there are several great apps available that allow users to text for free.
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Many of these apps also offer additional perks like group chat and video. Here are several options that will save you money and offer you more than just your basic text.
More than just your basic free texting service, imo allows you to message friends and family on most instant messaging networks -- Facebook Chat, Google Talk, Skype and AIM -- by allowing you to sync your accounts. It also allows users to send emoticons, photos, video, and voice messages for free. Noted features include group chats, push notifications, and voice calling, which Android and iOS users can utilize without using plan minutes.
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Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia.
2. KaKao Talk
KaKao Talk is a free app that lets you call and text anywhere at any time for free. All you need is a phone number. Not only does it support 12 different languages, but it offers fun alternative communication options like funny voice filters during phone calls, animated emoticons, and a walkie-talkie setting. Sending photo and video is also included, as are group chats, and rewards for adding a favorite brand as a friend.
Available on: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Bada, and Windows.
WeChat not only provides free texting, but includes multimedia features like voice messaging. Using its “shake” feature, you can exchange information like photos and contacts with nearby friends. Users also have access to a “look around” feature that lets them see if anyone close by is also on the app.
Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows phones, and Symbian platforms.
Text for free from more than 100 countries around the world, with Pinger. With its photo-based interface, users are able to select a friend’s photo and view their texts, photos, calls, and voicemails in the same area. As far as texting goes, Pinger provides you with a phone number, where texts are unlimited. An added bonus is a feature that allows you to see when your sent text has been read.
Available on: iOS, Android, and Windows.
The app, textPlus offers free and unlimited messaging no matter what type of phone you have. After providing you with a free phone number, this sponsor-supported app is most known for its group-messaging feature and community texting, which allows you to talk to people around the world in a chat-room type venue. Photo messaging and voice notes are also available.
Available on: Windows phones, iOS, and Android.
This story originally published on Mashable here.