For many smartphone users, the "phone" part matters less than the "smart" part; it's more important to be able to text message friends than make phone calls. The good news is, your Android device almost certainly came with a chat app. The better news is, you don't have to use it; you can download and use your favorite chat app, or try them all until you find one that's best for you. We tried WeChat on a new Android smartphone. Like similar apps, WeChat's mobile app enables text and voice messaging, and … Read more
Who says that instant messaging is dead? This free app lets you send unlimited text and picture messages to all of your friends in an IM-like environment. WhatsApp Messenger requires a somewhat annoying setup but has millions of members for you to chat with. Though you'll eventually have to pay a nominal fee, it could save you big if you have a limited texting plan.
When you install the app, it makes you use your real phone and verifies it through a text. The process takes anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to complete. This may be a little … Read more
People who use Gmail to make free phone calls in North America will be able to keep doing so for another year.
Launched in the summer of 2010 as an alternative to Skype, Google's calling plugin lets people make calls to any mobile phone or landline via the Chat section in Gmail. The service is available for a slew of countries (there's a list here, under "show all rates").
For a … Read more
Vtok is a messaging and audio- and video-calling app for the iPhone and iPad, available free from iTunes. Using a browser plug-in you can also use Vtok on a Mac or PC. You can use a Google ID to identify yourself to Vtok, although Vtok is not a Google-provided service.
From the Vtok's clean interface you can select the person you want to chat or talk with from a list of contacts, or dial that person's number using the keypad, and then the connection is made. A small bar of icons at the bottom of the screen lets … Read more
Yahoo Messenger is an instant-messaging application that has been around for many years and has been a popular IM tool on different operating systems. Now that there's a port to iOS, Yahoo Messenger can be ubiquitous. It's available from iTunes and several other sites, and easy to install.
In Yahoo Messenger you can add contacts by e-mail address or invitation, break them into groups, see when they are online, and message back and forth with multiple sessions active at once. Yahoo Messenger goes beyond basic IM by adding integration with the iPhone and iPad camera. You can launch … Read more
WhatsApp, the maker of a popular cross-platform mobile chat program, has been in talks to be acquired by Facebook, sources tell TechCrunch.
TechCrunch had no information about a possible price range or how advanced the talks might be.
WhatsApp said: "The reported story is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment."
Founded in 2009, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company provides a smartphone app for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, and Windows Phone that delivers text messages, as well as images and audio and video messages. The ad-free app reportedly … Read more
Similar to other Internet-based communication apps, with Nimbuzz you don't have to directly deal with additional costs when it comes to phone communication. Even though features offered by Nimbuzz are not all that unique, it is still a quite useful app to have and use.
The primary interface of Nimbuzz doesn't differ much from other messaging apps that you might have already seen or used. The standard contacts lists are still displayed by default, and basic options such as chat, calls, and messages are shown at the top menu. Messages are free as always, and calls to other … Read more
We were already impressed years ago when Skype was first introduced on a full OS, but when its video call features are applied on a mobile OS, it gets even better.
The familiar blue-and-white interface makes a comeback in the mobile version of Skype. Things are a little simplified, of course, but the critical elements are easily accessible. You can quickly build up your contact list with the option to import all of your contact information from your phone's list. The call quality was high in our tests, and the video calls didn't lag and appeared very natural. … Read more
On November 6, 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be discontinuing its Windows Live Messenger client. This news falls in line with Microsoft's acquisition of Skype -- making it the company's go-to instant-message client after the first quarter of 2013. Migrating to Skype will make video calling easier, allow you to share your screen, make group calls, integrate Facebook, and add better mobile compatibility.
Looking to get a head start on merging your contact lists so you don't risk missing anyone after Messenger is retired? Just follow these quick steps:
Before getting started, you'll need to … Read more
Webcam utilities come in several flavors. Some emphasize the security angle by monitoring several cameras at once, much like a CCTV system. Others have a different objective: fun. ArcSoft's WebCam Companion 4 definitely falls into the second group. This shareware Webcam manager not only handles your Webcams but also edits and adds cool stuff to your video feeds, such as masks and text. It can capture 3D and HD video and still images, and it makes it easy to share everything on Facebook, Twitter, and other Web sites. But that doesn't mean WebCam Companion doesn't also make … Read more