The advent of smartphones and tablets has revolutionized the way we keep in touch with our social circles. The days are long gone when messaging meant web chats through specific IM applications on personal computers or costly SMS over the cell phone network. The new generation messaging apps use the Internet connectivity to transmit messages from the mobile devices, which naturally makes it a free-service with the added benefit of being accessible even on the go. Here are some of the most popular apps on the Android platform for messaging:
a. Whatsapp: Founded in 2009, this Android app has more than 400 million users in the world. The promise of this application's operation is simple: it uses the phone number associated with your Android device to uniquely identify you on its network. Then, it scans your contact list and provides a list of all users who are signed up with Whatsapp. Apart from text messages, users can also send images, videos and audio messages through the Internet. The latest statistics indicate that this messaging service handles over ten billion messages through its system every day. The best thing about Whatsapp is that that it is still a free service in the Android ecosystem and do not host any advertisements as well.
b. Google Hangouts: Hangouts was first introduced as a video-conferencing tool with a tight integration with its Google's social network, Google+. However, over the last couple of years, Google Talk and Voice applications have been merged with Hangouts, which now serve as its unified messaging app. The Android app is designed to work efficiently with both smartphones and tablets, and can seamlessly switch between the simple text-mode and high-resolution video-chatting.
c. WeChat: It is one of the many Asian organizations that have revolutionized the messaging industry. Its USP lies in the fact that it supports a wide range of languages, thereby making it popular among several non-English speaking Android users. Apart from text-based messaging, WeChat also supports voice messages, group conferences, social network plugins and many more.
d. Facebook Messenger: Facebook had a simple messaging tool for its users to send private messages to specific people on their network. However, with the rising popularity of the messaging tool, Facebook decided to launch it as a separate app on Android, which laid the foundation for Facebook Messenger. This app can be used to chat with your Facebook friends, and integrate extremely well with the web and mobile app variations of the original social networking site.