Just because Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Skype are some of the more well-known SMS apps, it doesn’t really mean that they’re better. In fact, many popular SMS apps often under-perform or just don’t have unique things to offer. Though you may not have heard of them, here are three apps that are constantly raising the bar. Did I mention that they’re all completely free?
1. Telegram (Telegram Messenger LLP)
Telegram allows you to make calls and send messages that go through very quickly and easily. You can also create group chats that include up to 10,000 members! Though you probably won’t need quite that many, it’s helpful. However, if you do want to expand your social circle, there’s also the option to make your chat open to the public.
Not interested in meeting other users? No problem! In fact, if you’re a person who values your privacy, Telegram is just right for you! With its complex encryptions, the option to passcode-lock all of your conversations, and a “secret chat” feature that lets you send self-destructing messages, you’ll never have to worry about losing your personal info!
In addition, the app allows you to look through old messages using a search bar, edit and delete messages, send stickers, GIFs, and large files of up to 1.5GB, and much more!
Telegram is available for iOS, Androids, MacOS, Linux, Windows, and Windows phones. It’s cloud-based, so you can even use it on multiple devices!
2. Discord – Chat for Gamers (Discord Inc.)
Despite the name, this app is not just for gamers. Anyone can use it, even without downloading the software! You can access the browser version by using a server-specific invite link.
Discord allows you to create your own server for calling and messaging friends. You can also interact with or make bots with features like slot machines, music, and magic 8 balls. Another option is separating your server into various channels for organization. For example, you could have one channel for calls and another for listening to music in order to prevent audio interference between users who want to do one or the other.
Discord is available for iOS, Androids, MacOS, Linux, and Windows.
3. Rabbit – Watch Together (Rabbit Inc.)
Rabbit is an app that allows you to stream movies, YouTube videos, music, and shows with your friends. Each user has their own ‘room’ for viewing, which can be shared with individuals or made public. And for all of you side-nudging, spoiler-loving, casual film critics out there, the convenient chat box, voice, and video features help you commentate (ahem) outside of the theater. If you’d still prefer to have company without all the noise, there’s the option to mute mics and minimize chats.
Rabbit is available for iOS, but an Android version is currently under development. You can find its beta version in the Google Play Store. If you can’t use the app, then the website, linked here, works as well: https://www.rabb.it