Top 3 Apps for Free Calling & Texting
Long gone are the days where we had to monitor the length of phone calls and limit text messages to avoid extra charges on our phone bill. With the internet becoming more freely available on mobile devices, more and more apps now provide online phone services, so you can call and message your friends for free.
Over the past few years I’ve used different messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Viber, but with so many new apps flooding the market, I thought it would be a good idea to find out if there are better ones that I am missing out on. So, I decided to do some research to find the best free calls and texting apps.
Viber Messenger – Rating: 4.4, Downloads: 500M+
My top pick, Viber, has been my go-to messaging app for the last 5 years. Although other apps have come and gone, I haven’t found another one that that has provided a service as reliable as Viber’s. I might be biased a bit, but the fact I’ve been using it so long and still am, does say something. Not only can you instant message any person in your contact book, but you can also make free international calls and video calls. I have found the quality of the phone calls to be outstanding in most cases, with crystal-clear audio and high-quality video calls that almost never lose the connection. The rare occasions where I couldn’t make a connection wasn’t due to the app itself, but my SIM provider. Finally, you can also add up to 5 people to a phone call, which I’ve found really convenient for planning outings and for quick business calls!
Although I’ve mainly used Viber for making free phone calls to other Viber users, you can also call a landline if you need to. However, you will need to pay a small fee to connect with a landline. I tested it out a couple of times by calling a friend who lives abroad and I’ve found the fees to be very competitive with low-cost rates even for international phone calls.
Pros: Reliable service, high-quality video calls with crystal-clear audio, group audio calls
Cons: Landline connections are not free
Overall: Reliable service with high-quality video calls, although you will need to pay to connect with a landline
TextNow – Rating: 4.2, Downloads: 10M+
TextNow is my second pick. What I really like about it is that you can create your own phone number for free and use it to make unlimited free phone calls to the US and Canada. You can also send unlimited free text messages too. Another plus I found is that although you need to pay a small fee for international phone calls and messages (similar to Viber), you can easily get around that by completing offers to earn free money. I’m not entirely sure how this works, probably has to do something with ads, but it is possible. You can also enjoy advanced phone call services like caller ID, call forwarding and even get transcripts of your voicemail.
Keep in mind that TextNow relies on an internet connection to send and receive text messages and phone calls. So, if you are planning on making a phone call simply make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi! If you don’t want to spend money on an expensive phone line, then I recommend TextNow, as you will get all the same benefits for free.
Pros: Create your own phone number, unlimited free texting and calling to US and Canada, voicemail transcripts
Cons: Internet-connection required
Overall: Great phone line replacement as you can call and text for free with a custom made phone number, but you will need an internet connection to enjoy the service
TalkU Free Calls – Rating: 4.6, Downloads: 5M+
My third pick is TalkU. Like TextNow, you can create a free US phone number to call and text your friends. I found it to be a great choice if you want to add a second phone line that you can use to make phone calls even when there is a bad cellular connection. I also found the phone call quality to be excellent as I did not have any disconnected phone calls or choppy connections. You can also call and text other TalkU users for free no matter what country they are in similar to other apps.
One thing I was a bit disappointed is the fact you can’t conceal your real phone number. I did not find a specific option to hide your phone number but I hope they will add it as I know for some people that’s a deal-breaker. However, you can create a new number for free, and use it instead to make phone calls and text messages and keep your real phone number hidden.
Pros: High-quality phone calls, unlimited calls and texts to TalkU users, free US phone number
Cons: Need to create a phone number to conceal your real one
Overall: Great for calling and texting TalkU users around the world for free, but you will need to create a free phone number if you want to hide your real number
Before I wrap everything up, I want to mention that during my search, I came across a site called AppGrooves that has a top 10 list of supposedly the best apps for free calling and texting. While I instantly recognized some of the apps, there were quite a few that I had never heard of. You can check out the full list here in case you want more options.
Finally, these are my top 3 picks for free calling and texting. I like how there’s less and less need to spend money on expensive mobile plans when you can send text messages and make international phone calls at no extra cost to your wallet. Although Viber remains my favourite, I am definitely adding TextNow to my app collection, so I can have a second phone number handy for those times when I have a bad cellular connection. Do you have any favourites of your own?
Let me know in the comments so I can include them on my next list!