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3 free chat apps you may not know about [Software & Services] [Times of India]
[January 21, 2013]

3 free chat apps you may not know about [Software & Services] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) It has been 20 years since SMS was introduced to the world, and since then, messaging has evolved rapidly. Whether it's phone-based instant messaging apps like Whatsapp and BlackBerry Messenger or internet services like Google Talk or Facebook Messenger, everyone loves to chat on their phones. Keeping that in mind, here are a few apps that you may not know, or fill a few needs that other popular services don't. Try them. It is possible you may never use SMS again.

Nimbuzz Nimbuzz is like WhatsApp on steroids. It not only allows you to send messages, including images and other files, to your friends but also enables you to call them. The calls are free if your friends are also on Nimbuzz. But if you are calling a cellular number then you have to buy credits, which can be used to make any sort of call - local, STD or ISD.

Nimbuzz has some other cool features too. For example, there's a store to add chat buddies. These chat buddies are bots for specific tasks, such as the cricket chat buddy that tells you recent scores. Then there are the chat rooms of old times, wherein all you need is a username and a password to start talking with strangers anywhere in the world.

Nimbuzz can also be integrated with various instant-messaging services like Google Talk and Facebook Messenger.

However, be warned that Nimbuzz is littered with annoying advertisements, making for a cluttered interface. Available for free on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Nokia Symbian Viber If Nimbuzz is a jack of all trades, Viber focusses on doing fewer things but in a better way. It can only send messages to your Viber buddies and allows you to make calls to them through an internet connection. So why should you get Viber and not Nimbuzz Two reasons: user interface and lack of advertisements.

Viber has a clean interface that is instantly appealing. Download the app, enter your phone number, and it will scan your contacts list to automatically figure out the people who are using Viber. That's it, you're good to go.

It supports group messaging but can't send files to other users. And the collection of emoticons and stock images is of high quality and fun to use.

In general, Viber is a more aesthetically pleasing and inviting app if all you want to do is chat with and call your friends. Available for free on iOS, Android, Nokia Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Samsung Bada Touch Touch is a wee different from other instant messaging apps. To start with, its focus is not on messages, but instead on creating 'experiences'. And with a refreshing and colourful user interface, it does that pretty well.

Once you have downloaded the app and logged in, Touch can look for your friends by taking a peek into your Facebook list or your phone's contacts. The next step is to add your friends to it and once they have accepted you can start a conversation with them.

Instead of just text, you can send or share a photo, video clip or a voice message. All of this is recorded as part of an 'experience'. Experiences can be kept private, part of conversations between two people, or can be shared within a group, giving Touch a social networking feel.

Coupled with its pleasing interface, it's quite a cool app given its focus on photos and the ability to leave voice messages.

Available for free on BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices (c) 2013 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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