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Just running a search for the term ‘chat apps’ or ‘video chat’ or ‘messenger apps’ inside the Play Store or the iTunes Store will serve you up hundreds of different options. We scoured the web, installed countless apps and compiled the best mobile messaging apps for your smartphone for both Android and iOS for 2020.
In this blog article, we look at 16 of this year’s top chat apps and give our thoughts on each one.
Alright, we may be a little biased here but we think Yabb Instant Messenger is one of the best new all-in-one social networking chat apps on the market for Android and iOS. It’s loaded with features so you can communicate however you want, whether it be a voice call, video call, group chat, whatever.
At the time of this writing, WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat apps on Android and iOS connecting more than a billion humans. This is a staggering number of people all using one app not just to talk but to share multimedia media as well.
With millions of users on the Telegram platform it’s one of the more popular messaging apps but it’s mostly known for its solid end-to-end encryption which keeps your messages and calls private. There are others on this list that challenge Telegrams claims about its ability to keep users communication truly private.
• Chat data is synchronized without any limitations across all devices and operating systems
• Good intuitive design and user interface
• Flexible security options
• Some good customizations
• No limit on file size sharing
• No video calling option
• The contact list is based on phone numbers and requires contact permissions on mobile devices.
• Voice calls weren’t as good as some other apps but that have been a connection issue?
• Search function needs improvement can be a little tedious to find what you want
• Store chat history in the cloud
• 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie-Hellman secure key exchange
• Stickers and GIFs
• photo and video editing
• Group chat for up to 100,000 people
GroupMe is a text messaging app that allows you to send group texts. How is this different from sending a group text on your mobile phone?
When you send a group text using your texting feature on your smartphone you’re really only sending a bunch of individual texts, there is no group conversation happening. With GroupMe, every message you send out can be seen by everyone and everyone can join in the conversation even if they don’t have the GroupMe messenger app installed on their phone.
Line is battling for ultimate supremacy in the VoIP space against big names like WhatsApp and Viber. This messenger app offers good voice and video capabilities and has a solid following in Asia.
Line also steps outside of just calling by offering emoticons, stickers, group messaging and the ability to share multiple media amongst other Line users, basically it’s a social media channel like Facebook and Twitter.
WeChat was developed in China back in 2011 and now is a global social media app. Since going viral has gone on to become a serious competitor to WhatsApp and Viber with 100’s of millions of users around the world.
Voice calls are interesting because they are in half-duplex which means that it works like a walkie-talkie, you start a voice message by pushing a button, WeChat records that message and then sends it over to the recipient.
Kakao Talk is sometimes referred to as the Korean-WhatsApp.
What is it? It’s a social app that showcases a lot of the familiar features we’ve all come to expect from similar chat apps in this genre, like voice and video calling, instant messaging, location sharing, group text messages to name a few.
Although it has a strong user-base of over 150 million people it is most popular in Korea so if you’re living in the west you not know anyone who is already using it. That said, if you’re planning a trip to Korea this is the only chat app they use so it’s a must-have.
Kik is a cross-platform instant chat app that can do much of the same things as similar apps in its category like one-to-one or group texting.
Unlike a lot of its competitors, Kik doesn’t require a phone number but lets you set up an account with your email address.
Kik allows you to send and receive messages from other Kik users and simulates real text messaging but uses your Wi-Fi connection instead. This is especially great if you are on a plan with limited texting credits, just use your data or find a Wi-Fi area and you’re texting is free.
Another well-known name inside the highly competitive instant messenger space comes Tango. It doesn’t try to master and go deep with one feature like Instagram did with photo sharing or what Snapchat did with disappearing messages.
Tango is arguably one of the most popular ‘all-in-one’ social chat apps on the market and rightly so, it comes packed a good number of features like voice and video group chat, messaging, sharing multimedia, playing games, sending music to friends to name only a few of its core features.
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular instant chat apps with over 1.3 billion users –that’s a lot.
Google is known for keeping things simple and Hangouts seems to follow that tradition. It’s simple in design and fairly intuitive if you’ve never used it before it doesn’t take you long to figure how to send messages or start a video call. For simple chatting, it’s a great option with the only downside being that it can lag especially in group video situations so you and your team will need a reliable and strong internet connection.
Apple’s Group FaceTime for iPhone and iPad supports up to 32 people on a single call and offers a very smooth and intuitive experience.
It offers Animojis, text and other cool designs which you can access using the little star on the left-hand side.
Group FaceTime still works for older versions of the iPhone but you won’t get access to the same special effects while on the call.
Snapchat is really about capturing moments in real-time and it does this very well. Instead of sending away a text message about someone doing something, just whip out your phone and take a snap it says so much more than a text message could.
This visual approach has made it a valuable marketing tool for businesses to send visual promotions to their customers or for influencers to grow their audiences and personal brand.
Skype has been around for a long time and it was the first video chatting software that I used to make calls with. One of the best things about Skype is that it’s cross-platform so you can begin a conversation on your computer and finish it on your mobile. Not only that but for a small fee you can use it to call landlines and mobile phones.
Viber is one of the most popular instant chat apps on the market but will likely always live inside the shadow of Skype and WhatsApp. That said, Viber (Rakuten) is not a small player in fact according to Statistica Viber Messenger has more than 1 billion registered users globally in 193 countries so the chances of people you know using this app are going to pretty good.
Nimbuzz messenger was recently acquired by Mara Social Media group and has over 200 million registered users. It packs a lot of the same features that you would already be familiar with like voice calls, conference calls, messaging, chat rooms etc. this is all packaged up inside a clean nice looking app.
I remember back in 2005 while working for Vodafone there was a mobile phone we had featured push-to-talk technology (i.e. works like a walkie talkie), I think it was Motorola and it sold really well until the new 3G video calling phones hit the market and Voxer re-introduces Push-To-Talk again…but better.
One of the things that I didn’t expect when using this app was how useful it would be for work. With Voxer the team can send me voice messages and I can block out some time to answer them including sending media it’s been a nice addition for our team.