Call and Text for Free with These Apps
Chances are that if you’re a college student, you’re still on your parents cell phone plan. If that’s the case, it’s also extremely likely that they’ve at some point chewed you out over the amount of calling and texting you’ve been doing. Since cutting down on your texting is clearly not an option, there’s luckily a new way of communicating to friends and family on your smartphone without using your smartphone’s regular services at all: mobile messenger and phone apps. While Google Voice has been touted as a cheap alternative to making calls on your cell phone service provider, the smartphone market has recently seen a flurry of new talk and text apps that let you communicate to anyone for free.
While various apps like these are currently available, the most notable frontrunner is definitely KakaoTalk, which has already been installed by over 60 million users in over 230 countries world-wide. Available for iOS and Android, KakaoTalk allows unlimited calls and texts to other users completely free of charge. Its posititive feedback is a result of the company’s approach of offering a completely free and secure service without any ads at all. Additionally, the app includes numerous extra features as well, such as the ability to customize your KakaoTalk theme, a walkie talkie voice messenger, voice filters, and more. While it can be installed on only one device, this drawback certainly isn’t going to bother the majority of users, making KakaoTalk one of the most attractive apps of its kind.
However, one of the most notable new competitors to KakaoTalk and Google Voice is Pinger, whose developer previously had made a free text-only app called TextFree. Released last week on iTunes and Google Play as an omnibus text and talk app, Pinger allows users to call any number in the US or Canada for free, regardless of whether they have Pinger installed or a smartphone at all, and unlimited texts to anyone who also has Pinger installed. Users earn free minutes by completing offers by Pinger’s partnered apps, or can buy additional minutes for cheap. While it’s unclear whether Pinger will receive the same fanfare as KakaoTalk, Pinger does have some interesting features missing from other services, including a large assortment of ringtones and the ability to see if your texts have been viewed by the receiver. And since you can call any number at all with your allotment of free minutes, Pinger will likely be making waves in the coming months as a new model for how we use our smartphones.