Go through these apps, most of which are available for free and let you make calls, send messages or share photos/videos over Wi-Fi or a data connection.
2. Nimbuzz started out as an IM integrator, but has grown into a full-fledged multi-platform app available for PC, smartphone and feature phones. You can make free Nimbuzz-to-Nimbuzz voice calls (PC, Android, iOS and Symbian only), video calls (iOS and PC only) and text chat with friends.
3. Oovoo is mainly for people who like to conduct group video chats. It lets you chat with up to 12 people simultaneously for free (though you can view only four people at a time). Available for smartphones and PC, it even lets you connect with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers for video and voice calls.
4. WeChat offers free video calling.
It also lets you voice chat (not call) by sending recorded voice messages. Other features include group text chats, multimedia sharing and chat through browser.
5. Fring is similar to Skype in terms of functionality, but is only available for iOS, Android and Symbian devices. You can make free voice and video calls to other Fring users, chat with them, as well as share multimedia content.
It also offers free 4-way group video chats across mobile platforms.
6. Viber syncs with your phone's contact book and shows the people already using the app.
This makes it easy to find users for free voice calls. Available for all smartphone OS, Viber claims to provide HD sound quality, which is much better than that provided by your cellular operator.
7. Currently available only for Android and iOS devices, Talkatone offers high quality audio with voice compression to minimise your cellular data costs.
You can make free voice calls and send messages to any of your friends on Facebook or Google Chat. One issue with the app is that it is supported by ads.
8. Though FaceTime is limited only to devices in the Apple ecosystem, it is one of the easiest apps for video calls. You simply need to have the Apple ID or phone number of the other users in your contact list and you can make a one-touch video call. Calls can be made between iOS devices and iMac/Macbook.
9. GupShup also lets you send SMSes for free. To enable you to keep sending free messages, your friend needs to reply to your message the first time. You can also conduct group chats and join various communities to get regular updates from other group members. You will need to register before you can start using the app.
10. Pinch's available as an app for both smartphones and feature phones, but can also be used with any mobile phone browser. You can also send free SMSes to non-Pinch users. It shows when your friends are typing a reply (individual/ group chats) and shows messages delivered and read receipts.
11. WhatsApp is the most popular chat app that works across platforms. You can share multimedia content with friends and group chat with up to 30 people simultaneously. The service is free for the first year, after which you have to pay Rs 55 a year (iPhone users need to purchase the app for Rs 55 from the app store).
12. It is available not only for smartphones, but also Samsung feature phones. You can sync ChatON with up to five devices and even access your chats through a browser. Other than normal text chat, you can share multimedia and document files, as well as create and send animated messages.
13. What makes Kik Messenger special is that unlike other apps it doesn't need your phone number. Instead, you create a user name and your friends add you by using it. This is similar to the way IM chat clients work.
You can share videos/pictures with friends or create a sketch using the in-built tool and share it.
14. Other than letting you chat with other Hike users for free, this app also lets you send free SMSes to non-Hike users. You can even group chat with both Hike/non-Hike friends and share photos or videos with them. However, the non-Hike users will be charged when they reply to a Hike chat via an SMS.
15. Rocketalk works differently from other apps. Instead of focusing on chat, it lets you create a personal social network of friends. You could also join various topic-based communities based on your interests.
You can share pictures, videos and voice messages with your friends or with a social community.
Courtesy : Times Of India