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SkypeWith the announced mega-acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, the world of VoIP, group messaging, and chat apps has been brought into focus. Aside from Skype, which is the uncontested king of the category, there are a bunch of other great apps that can also do chat, group messaging, and video or voice calling.

At AppStoreHQ, we focus on mobile app discovery; helping users find the high-quality, personally relevant apps they need to get the most out of their smartphones. Below are eight iPhone and Android apps that rate highly in our AppRank metric.

ooVooooVoo Video Chat (Android)

Make free video calls on supported devices from your mobile to ooVoo friends on mobile phones or on computers. Up to 5 friends on the video call with you at once – group video calling is also free. Over 22 Million people world-wide already use ooVoo for video chat and voice calls on mobile and the computer. Free video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wifi networks. Call ooVoo contacts mobile to mobile, or mobile to computer.

ONLY SUPPORTED ON: HTC Evo 3G & 4G, Samsung Epic, Samsung Galaxy S GT-i9000, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.0, and T-Mobile MyTouch 4G, Dell Streak 5, Nexus S and Galaxy S 4G. More releases on mobiles and tablets with front-facing camera planned soon.

KakaoKakao Talk (Android, iPhone)

KakaoTalk is a phone number based messenger service that allows iPhone and Android users anywhere in the world to chat one-to-one or in a group for free. Message arrivals are instantly notified with Push Alert and you can send various multimedia such as pictures, videos, and contact telephone number.

Stable service supporting more than 10 million users. Ranked No. 1 free communication application in Android Market. Group chat unlimited number of friends can participate in. Voice note playable with any Android or iPhone operating software. Feature to add friends with their IDs as well as with their phone numbers

fringfring (Android, iPhone)

fring is a multi-award winning mobile application that lets you make free voice calls, free video calls (one way) and live IM chats directly from your iPhone and iPod touch.

fring operates as your mobile social hub.Communicate with your friends from fring and other favorite social services including Skype, MSN®Messenger, GoogleTalk, Twitter, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, all through one central profile, using your iPhone and iPod touch’s internet capability.

fring operates over multiple connection options (3G, WiFi, GPRS, Edge) directly from one integrated friends list.

See your friends’ real-time status and share your own; make yourself available at all times using push notification.

ViberViber (iPhone)

Viber is an iPhone application that lets you make free phone calls to other iPhone users that have Viber installed. When you use Viber, your phone calls to any other Viber user are free, and the sound quality is much better than a regular call. You can call any Viber user, anywhere in the world, for free. All Viber features are 100% free and do not require any additional “in application” purchase.

Once you and your friends install the free Viber application, you can use it to talk as much as you want. Talk, talk, and talk some more and it’s all free. All you need is an Internet connection: 3G or Wi-Fi where available.

Want to dial a number and don’t know if they have Viber? No problem, make the call with Viber and if they don’t have Viber the call will be made using your regular phone

IM+ (Android)

Chat with IM+ All-in-One instant messenger on Skype, Facebook, AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk and MySpace IM in real-time. No cost per message, IM+ doesn’t use SMS to send messages.Skype and MSN group chat: invite your friends and enjoy group conversations. Share your Geo location with you buddies through status message. Push mode for longer battery life: stay on-line and receive incoming messages even if you exit IM+.

imoimo instant messenger (Android, iPhone)

Stay in touch with your friends across several IM accounts without signing up for a new account. Simply login with any existing chat account and start instant messaging!

The app currently supports the following: MSN- Skype- AOL/AIM/ICQ- Yahoo- Google Talk – MySpace – Facebook

Features: concurrent sessions on different devices, save chat history, voice IM, send multimedia attachments (audio, visual, files)

WhatsAppWhatsApp Messenger (iPhone)

Want to message your friends and contacts for free? WhatsApp is a direct iPhone-to-iPhone chat application with instant push notifications.

WhatsApp Messenger provides iPhone users with the familiar look-and-feel of desktop instant messaging programs, right on their iPhone.

Key features: no monthly fees, no international charges, no PINs or usernames, no login / logout, push notifications.

TangoTango Voice & Video (Android, iPhone)

Tango allows you to make free phone calls and free video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. Make calls to any other person who has Tango installed on their phone anywhere in the world for free. Start a Tango call with just voice, and easily move into a video call when you have something to share. Save money when calling your friends abroad by inviting them to use Tango.

Features: – Free phone calls to other Tango members- Free video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi- Free international calls- Call between Android and iOS phones and tablets – Start a phone call with Tango and switch to a video call when you have something to show.


Scott Blanksteen, AppStoreHQ, @sib1013


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