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Published: Wednesday January 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:36:34 PM

Apps for free phone calls and SMS

WHY pay for overseas calls when one can do it for free?

There are many such apps available for smartphone and tablet users — by just connecting the programme to the Internet, either on 3G, WiFi or fixed broadband line — to access the free Voice Over IP (VOIP) calls.

Here are some of the popular apps to stay connected for free.

Viber (for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia and Windows phones)

Allows making free calls, sending text and photo messaging to anywhere as long as the recipients have this same app on their phones and are connected to the Internet.

The beauty about Viber is that it automatically identifies other Viber users in your contact book.

It also allows users to send SMS to 15 different people at once.

It allows unlimited free calls to other Viber users anywhere in the world even if the user swapped its original sim-card in the phone to a new foreign number. This free app is user- friendly and easy to operate.

However, it relies on a good 3G or Internet connection to get a reliable and crispy VOIP call.

Tango (for Android, iPhone and Windows phones)

An app that enables smartphone users to make free voice and video calls as well as text and photo messaging.

It also allows users to send e-cards and video greetings. The free video call feature is one of a kind but it works best on broadband.

The voice calls are of loud and clear quality on 3G connections.

Tango automatically finds all your friends who are using this application on the contact book.

Tango video filter also allows its users to express interactive emotion with its pre-set icons in a fun way while making the video call.

Tango is easy to set up and use.

It gets anyone connected for free anywhere in the world with just one number.

WhatsApp Messenger (for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia and Windows phones.)

This is a popular text messaging app used by most smartphone users. Although it is free for the first year, WhatsApp charges US$0.99 for each subsequent year for its service.

This app allows one to send and receive free SMS, pictures, audio notes and video messages to those who use the same application over the 3G or any other Internet connection. It operates well on EDGE if 3G is not available.

WhatsApp also allows group chatting.

It is a cool app that allows unlimited free SMS to anybody who are on it.

*Awesome Apps is a new weekly column that identifies “cool” applications for smartphone and tablets users. Each week, we will highlight and review these apps. Readers can also send their suggestions to awesomeapps@thestar.com.my

Tags / Keywords: Community, News, Lifestyle, smartphone apps

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