We live in a world where people are more connected than ever before. If you told someone a hundred years ago that in a hundred years’ time people will be able to forge & uphold relationships even if they are on the opposite side of the world to each other….they would have thought you were doo-lally-bonkers!! The internet allows the modern day consumer to stay connected to the rest of the world through different programs & apps. Here is a breakdown of the five best ways to communicate abroad for free.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messenger which allows users to send messages and pictures to each other. The best feature about Whatsapp is that it is cross-platform, something which is seldom seen in modern day consumerism. WhatsApp also doesn’t drain your battery life, since it does not process much data. The program is simple and easy to use; the messaging works to a high speed even when 3G is not switched on. Users are also able to partake in group messages, which can be handy in some situations at work with different teams etc. Overall, WhatsApp is an essential app – something which every smart phone user should have, just for the photo sharing capabilities alone.
Viber is an app which allows users to place calls to eachother over the internet. The app weighs in at tiny 13 megabytes, so it takes up not much memory on the phone. When you download and install Viber, it looks through your phonebook and imports all the numbers – collating its own Viber database made up of which of your contacts has Viber. It is also possible to send text messages via Viber. The look of Viber is so similar to that of the OS on your phone that, apart from the purple theme, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The only downside is that it does drain your cellular data if not using Wi-Fi. However, overall this Is another must-have App for people trying to stay in touch whilst abroad.
Skype is a program which is used by businesses, families & friends worldwide. Skype enables users to use the internet to video call people, and it normally is in pretty good quality. Skype has become the standard way to stay in touch with people abroad – companies even use it for job interviews! Skype also comes with group messaging and instant messaging – and even has the capability of screen sharing & file sharing. You can get Skype on your phone, computer or even laptop. It is possible to even buy specific phones designed for cohesive use with Skype. Skype prides itself on voice quality and video quality. All-in-all, a great way to stay in touch.
Google + Hangouts & Chat
Similar to Skype, this is Google’s answer to the video calling giant. Google Hangout allows up to ten users to be in a room together, all sharing and conversing – ideal for both social and business. A great feature is that YouTube is also integrated into the service, which enables users to share videos and watch them together. If you receive an invitation to Google + Hangouts, you should definitely take it – for it is definitely as good as, if not better, than Skype.
Facetime is a video chat app which is only available to Apple users only, so if you’re part of the global phenomenon you are in luck. Facetime comes with a technically savvy interface and great call quality. In complete Apple style, the controls are simple – and the interface is truly user friendly. As regards to call quality, word on the street is that Facetime is the most reliable out there; not many people suffering slow laggy calls or even audio that is out of sync with the visual. Overall, Facetime does what it says on the tin and delivers video chat and not much else – but that’s ok – the video chat feature is of an impeccably high degree!
In conclusion, if you are looking to stay in touch abroad – as you can see, there is plenty of software out there which make it possible. Always keep an eye on your data usage, as network providers love to have a field day with your bill if you go over. Choose an app that is right for you – or even a couple! All the apps in this article are free, so the best thing to do is go give them a whizz yourself!