We want to stay connected today. That is why we keep on looking for communication applications that can help us get in touch and communicate more easily with our family and friends. Currently, there are a handful of apps for this purpose, and WhatsApp, Skype, and Google Hangouts are some of the leading contenders. Which one should you choose?

WhatsApp

WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection so you can send messages or call your family and friends, even if they are in another country. You can share messages, photos and videos. You can also create a group chat with up to 256 people, name your group, and customize your notifications. It also has web and desktop versions so you can sync all your chats from your phone to your computer. It provides end-to-end encryption, which means only you and the other person you are communicating with can read your messages or listen to your call. From the time the app was founded in 2009, it has accumulated about 1 billion users.

Skype



Skype lets you make high-definition video calls, voice calls, and send messages for free. It also has group video calls, video messaging, screen sharing, and voice messages. You can also send text messages from your computer, or call a landline or mobile phone to anyone across the globe for low rates. It is also easy to send files, videos, and photos of any size by dropping or adding a file into your Skype chat, which is why plenty of businesses and freelancers use this app for work. There are currently about 74 million Skype users.

Hangouts

Google Hangouts lets you make voice calls from your Android or iOS device or from your desktop, and if you are calling other Hangout users, it’s completely free. You can also call almost any phone number in the U.S. and Canada for free, while international calls are charged for really low rates. Its IM feature lets you have one-on-one or group conversations, which you can turn into a video call with just one tap. As part of the Google suite Google Apps for Work, it is also one of the more preferred communication tools for businesses today.

Want even more options? Check out this review on other IM apps.

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