Quick and prompt interaction is what instant messaging apps are meant for and there is a whole lot of options available when it comes to choosing a good one. People use them for brief and concise conversation. They are known to save time and effort for people who otherwise used time-consuming means of written communication like emails etc.
Instant messaging apps have also helped create an illusion of proximity while reducing the cost involved. Long-distance communication that might cost a kidney otherwise is made almost free by the virtue of instant messaging apps. One can therefore safely claim the chief benefit instant messaging has brought to the table is:
- Cost-Efficiency: Instant messaging has made communication between two geographically distant places, a piece of cake. Long-distance calling has been extremely expensive, not to forget extremely reliant on the mercy of phone lines. Whereas instant messaging connects the world through Wi-Fi or the internet, and the caller doesn’t have to pay for the message sent.
In the list (in no particular order) below, find our top picks for your personal or business messaging. This list isn’t an exhaustive one as there are plenty of options to choose from, but the below-mentioned apps are certainly our tried and tested ones.
Pro Tip: If you’re a Windows user you can get iMessage on Windows.
Almost all Android devices come equipped with this application as Android’s official chat application. It supports sending or receiving text and multimedia messages. One can also opt for sending messages via Wi-Fi or data network if your carrier supports that. This app is Google’s way of competing with Apple’s iMessage. Albeit it remains to be seen how far it would go in terms of that competition.
Troop Messenger, compatible with both android and apple phones, is a Unified Business Communication Platform. It comes well equipped with features like instant messaging, video call, video conferencing, file sharing, desktop sharing, work schedules, and projects, making Troop messenger perfect for business or team collaborations.
Troop Messenger is a strong contender in the market for instant business communication, with little or no lag that may cause interruptions in workflow.
With its amazing feature integration and its ability to conduct cross-platform communication, an Android user can easily communicate with an iOS, web or a desktop user. With usage flexibility, it provides limitless messaging, storage and chat-backup options.
In terms of privacy and security, Troop comes with two-factor authentication. You can use both password and fingerprint protection for this app.
Hangouts is an instant messaging app that comes pre-installed on most Android phones. This app basically uses your Gmail account to log you in. Hangouts replaced Google Talk and are now being replaced by perhaps a better-looking and more well-equipped version i.e. Hangouts Chat. It lets you send instant messages and also provides a video conferencing facility. You can access it through Gmail, as well as mobile apps available for iOS and Android. It also comes with a chrome extension that lets you chat directly from Windows desktop. Moreover, with a minimalist interface, it focuses on most essential features (like chatting) only, rather than plunging into a swamp fancy ad-on.
While video calling, another window pops up giving you access to a range of features linked to the video call. The only drawback is you can’t make basic audio calls with it, yet.
Viber is one of the most popular messaging apps and comes with the coolest set of features, perfect for personal use.
Send texts, photos or videos, record short and quick voice and video messages to Viber contacts. Make high-quality audio calls and turn them into video calls with just one click. Be more expressive with an unending supply of playful stickers and GIFs. Create communities like book clubs or support groups with no limit to the number of members. Sync history and transfer calls to Viber desktop in a matter of seconds and what not.
Wickr is one of those messengers that come with end-to-end encryption. The user can set an auto-destruct timer for messages from 1 second to 6 days. You can chat with up to 10 people in a group. All the wiped messages are removed from the device’s hard drive too, so no record whatsoever. The app claims itself to be 100% ad-free and it doesn’t even require you to upload your contact list to the app – total privacy.
This app also doesn’t maintain a record of any information pertaining to its users and since all messages come with end-to-end encryption the message is encoded by the sender and is only decoded when it reaches the receiver, with no way to decode it in between. Furthermore, with just the right set of features, Wickr is perfect for personal use as well as for small businesses and teams.
WhatsApp is by far the most familiar app both Android and iOS users can associate with. It has been the most common and popularly employed messaging app primarily for personal use. However, with end-to-end encryption and group chat features, it can very well be used for professional purposes.
It comes with a very simple yet efficient user interface. You can send messages to any WhatsApp user over the internet, video clips, pictures, documents, stickers, emoji’s, gifs, and voice notes. WhatsApp also comes with a desktop version that you can access on your laptops or desktops by just going to WhatsApp web and scanning a QR code with your mobile device. Therefore, you don’t have to lift your phone each time you receive a message.
You can make free voice and video calls whereas group chats also come free in the package.
As mentioned earlier, this list isn’t an extensive one, as there are a lot of options out there. However, these are definitely some of our favored ones; share your favorite personal or business messaging apps in the comments below!