Android Communication Apps for FreeWhen you sign up for a new cell phone plan to go with your new smartphone, you may only have a limited number of minutes, a limited number of text messages, or a limited amount of wireless data. If you opt for a so-called unlimited plan, there are inherently some limitations. It probably doesn’t include long distance, for example, which can significantly increase your cost of communication.

The good news is that there are many free communication apps for Android smartphones that you can use to chat with your international buddies. All of these work over the Internet, so even if you don’t have a data plan, you can keep in touch over Wi-Fi. They are both free to download and free to use. You might want a few translation apps to go along with them if you have some friends who prefer to speak in a different language too!

Go!Chat for Facebook

A Better Facebook Chat Android App

A Better Facebook Chat Android App

Download from Google Play Store

Yes, there’s the official Facebook app for Android and there’s also the official Facebook Messenger app for Android, but maybe you don’t particularly like the interface that Facebook uses for those. A suitable third-party alternative comes by way of Spartanbits and their Go!Chat app for Facebook. Rated as the best Facebook chat experience, this app provides five different themes, support for photo and video sharing, location attachments, online notifications, inbox synchronization, optimized landscape layouts, friend renaming, and the ability to mute contacts that are bugging you.

Text Me! Free Texting & Call

Send Real SMS Messages for Free

Send Real SMS Messages for Free

Download from Google Play Store

Some people will tell you that WhatsApp Messenger is the king of all free instant messengers, but it still has to operate from within its own ecosystem. With this app, you get to send real SMS messages to any phone number in the United States, Canada, and 40 other countries. It also supports free HD voice and video calls, effectively letting you turn even your Android tablet into a functional Android phone. You can log in using your Google+ credentials and there is full support for group texting, including photos and videos.

Google Hangouts

The Reborn Version of Google Talk

The Reborn Version of Google Talk

Download from Google Play Store

Considering that you’re using an Android device, it might make sense that you prefer to stay within the Google ecosystem. When it comes to free communication apps that will work automatically with your Google account, going straight to the source with Hangouts only makes sense. Replacing the old Google Talk, Google Hangouts adds support for photos and emojis. You can also convert any conversation into a video chat with up to 10 participants. Other features include offline messages, account sync, chat histories, and snooze notifications. There is no “invisible” status anymore, though.

Viber

Free Phone Calls on Your Android

Free Phone Calls on Your Android

Download from Google Play Store

Do you want to make phone calls without having to burn through all of your precious minutes? Viber lets you text, call, or send photo and video messages to more than 200 million other Viber users from around the world. Just like WhatsApp, there’s no need to sign up for a separate account, because your phone number becomes your ID. Your contacts then automatically sync up with your friends who are also on Viber. Groups of up to 40 people are supported, plus there are stickers, emoticons, photo sharing, doodles, push notifications, and desktop app support.

Voxer

Voxer Resurrects PTT Walkie-Talkie Chat

Voxer Resurrects PTT Walkie-Talkie Chat

Download from Google Play Store

Remember Nextel? Maybe my fellow Canadians will remember Mike too? The whole thing with Push-to-Talk (PTT) was hugely popular a few years ago, because it meant that you could have literally instant communication across individuals or teams. It worked great for construction sites and movie sets. If you want to have that walkie-talkie experience with one of the better free communication apps on Android, then Voxer could be up your alley. Where it goes beyond conventional PTT is that Voxer will record all the messages so they can be easily played back later. This way, whether you’re chatting with one person or a group, you can send messages even when the recipient is offline.

Image credit: xdmag / Flickr

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