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7 best messaging apps for iPhone & iPad

Lucy Hattersley | May 5, 2016
Switch from Messages and text all your friends for free. These fantastic messaging apps are great alternatives to iMessage.

WhatsApp

Free
Get from the App Store.

One of the most popular messaging apps is WhatsApp, which allows you to send messages, videos, pictures, audio, links and even locations to your friends or family for free over WiFi or using your data allowance if you're on 3G or 4G at the time.

Whatsapp is easy to use and works across Android, iOS and even in web browsers. You can message individual contacts or create a group message with a particular set of friends, for example.

Facebook Messenger

Free
Get from the App Store.

Facebook Messenger, which now has its own app, is similar in many ways to Whatsapp (in fact, Facebook actually owns Whatsapp as of February 2014).

Using Facebook Messenger, you'll be able to send messages, videos, pictures, links and more to your Facebook friends or Facebook pages within the app. You can start group chats or have individual conversations, and there are plenty of stickers and gifs available to send too.

Snapchat

Free
Get from the App Store

Snapchat is currently taking the world by storm. It's different from Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp in that its messages are temporary, expiring after they've been viewed. It's great fun, although not entirely practical if you want to share important information or organise a get-together.

There are new features cropping up in Snapchat every day, though, so it's always fresh and interesting to use. Find out more about Snapchat and how to use it here.

Viber

Free
Get from the App Store.

Viber isn't in quite the same league as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat when it comes to global popularity, but in some countries such as Australia it's the messaging app of choice.

It's much like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger in its capabilities, though, so it really depends on what your friends are using when it comes to choosing between the three. You'll get group chats, stickers to send and more.

Twitter

Free
Get from the App Store.

Twitter is a surprisingly effective app for messaging. The public tweet service is not designed as a messaging app, but its Direct Messages (DM) lets you send texts, videos and pictures to individuals or groups that no other Twitter users will be able to see.

It's not the most practical messaging app and it might be a bit of a controversial inclusion, but Twitter has recently removed the character cap from DMs so it's much easier to use than it used to be and can come in handy if you don't have any other contact details for the person you want to message.

 

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