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Best apps for free SMS and cheap international calling

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Best apps for free SMS and cheap international calling
No one likes to pay for sending text messages, and no one should ever have to pay the ridiculous amounts that mobile carriers charge for international calling. So, we've put together the best apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone to help you avoid these charges.

Of course, the number one thing to remember is that these apps will often be employing a couple tricks in order to save you money. The first will be to use VoIP for calling, which means you won't use minutes and will avoid those charges, but you will be using data, so you will still need to be careful to make sure your data plan can handle the usage, or just make sure you're always on WiFi.

The other trick, which is more limiting and annoying, is that many apps will only offer "free calling" or messaging to certain countries or only to users of the same app. So, if you want to go with one of those options, you'll have to make sure your friends are on the same service. But, there are ways to make it all work, if you're willing to put in a bit of effort. 

Unfortunately, for the most part free international SMS doesn't really exist beyond a couple of limited apps, which we'll talk about in the slideshow. For international messaging, your best bet is still either e-mail, or a messaging service like iMessage, Facebook, Google+, Beluga, Kik, GroupMe, WhatsApp, or BlackBerry Messenger. The best you can do here is figure out which service your friends use, or you can convince your friends to join, and go with that. 

Additionally, we haven't included popular video chat services like Viber, Tango, or Oovoo, because they don't offer international VoIP calls, those services only work if the person you want to contact also has the same app. 

Now, on to the real SMS and calling apps!



21 Comments
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posted on 23 Aug 2012, 19:06 2

1. willywill_evo (Posts: 162; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


i save $240 a year, you can do the same by switching to Google Voice and dropping your unlimited texting plan...not sponsor by Google

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 21:29 1

2. ENO123 (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


For making international calls i have Used "Bobsled", i liked it a lot and its good too ;)

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 22:28 4

3. redmd (Posts: 868; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Viber for me.

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 04:34

6. Cyan3boN (Posts: 425; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


me too, and they also left out tango

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 04:55

7. Ohrules (Posts: 305; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


read the full article before commenting. i'll make things easier for you

"Additionally, we haven't included popular video chat services like Viber, Tango, or Oovoo, because they don't offer international VoIP calls, those services only work if the person you want to contact also has the same app. "

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 01:43

4. alannyny (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)


Google Voice is good for free texts, but for talking it fails (choppy, echoes, etc.).

Skype is better for talking ... if only they included unlimited SMS in their reasonably-priced unlimited calling plans.

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 04:00

5. TylerGrunter (Posts: 870; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I love this post, I have been looking for such an application (free SMS) for quite some time!
And not: Google Voice is only available in the US so it's not an option for many users.
HeyWire FTW! I'll install today for sure.
Thanks Michael!

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 10:09

8. tech-blast (Posts: 16; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


we are missing talkatone. Thats a awesome app using google credentials calls are better than a lots of application.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 07:13

9. jakalinajain12 (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Really Hate a lot when we have to pay amount for sms . but now all thanks to Free SMS Services sits that we can send SMS free of cost

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 03:20

10. julianruso (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I have been using VykeMobile successfully for a very long time. It has plenty of advantages over the providers listed in the article. The account is pay as you go (pre-paid) and therefore, it can be used when you need to use it, not as a monthly subscription. It can be used on WiFi, 3G, via local access number and via callback from any smartphone. It can be used from any fixed line, PC, laptop or broadband phone or feature phone with a great web callilng portal that lets you make calls and send SMS.
The apps are really user friendly and are available for all the major operating systems in the market.
I personally love one calling feature that allows you to set up calls on a local phone (landline or mobile) that I regularly use when I am abroad to avoid roaming charges. That is call@ and it is available from all their apps.
I really rate Vyke higher than the providers mentioned here.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 03:28

11. Agula (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I've been using VykeMobile for over a year after switching from some crappy international calling cards. It's a smartphone app I use for calling Europe and texting abroad, texts are only 4p to any country, and calls are charged 9pence per hour to most European countries so it's great if you like talking, if not, you can switch to per minute billing, still quite cheap. Really recommend!!

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 03:38

12. Samoslo (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


If you looking for an app to make very cheap international calls, sending sms cost almost nothing... and save money on roaming while you are traveling ... then you must try VykeMobile.... I been using this app since 2006 and i have seved lots of money on making national and international calls.. you have to try it...

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 03:47

13. MiddleEast (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I agree with you guys about the VykeMobile... awsome app,
there are 5 different services in one app (calling, texting, conecting calls, making calls from web, making calls from pc dailler..) and the rates are so cheap... and i have heard that in the near future vykemobile users can text each others for free!!
i love this app..

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 03:51

14. jimbo-6930 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


VykeMobile really is the most reliable and most diverse calling app. The app is easy to use, the rates are incredibly cheap and the quality is very good. I have tried three of the apps reviewed here and VykeMobile wins hands down

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 04:58

15. philippines01 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


A friend recommended VykeMobile to me a couple of days ago but I never got around to trying it until I saw it on the Opera speed dial. I must say that it has made my life a lot easier because I can use it in a number of platforms! (iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, and their website which can set up calls).

I did a quick comparison with the prices of Skype and they are actually so much cheaper. In fact, they have a dedicated webpage showing the Skype rates against theirs. I cannot recommend VykeMobile enough! Try it and you will love it!!

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:34

16. chamseddin (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Vyke mobile gives me cheap rates with a v good quality . I am using this smart application on my iPhone .i tried a lot of application like Skype and other but the best one is vykemobile . And most of my friends said the same when they try it .

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 06:22

17. m_patel (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


I have been using VykeMobile for years to call family and friends abroad. Calling starts at only 9p per hour and SMS is only 4p. Their mobile app is really fantastic :) Check out their website (vyke.com) and I'm sure u'll agree!

posted on 06 Dec 2012, 06:37

18. expertsms (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


i been using the vykemobile application since last year... awsome app, secure , no marketing banner on the app,... cheap rates ..fantastic qaulity... and very modern way of calling,...

posted on 16 Jan 2013, 23:35

19. samvel (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


I am using AVTMobile app for making international calls. It is so easy to use, rates are very cheap, quality is super. This app become one of my favorite iPhone apps.

posted on 22 Jan 2013, 09:16

20. gopalkrishna (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


International call leaves a big hole in my pocket and makes me readjust my monthly expenditue again and again...Hope to get some new apps to make those calls at cheap rates.

For more details visit this URL : scrappur.com/sms/hindi-sms

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 04:50

21. Traveler-apps (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)


play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=Android.Free​je - must be here
Freeje is the first application ever which consist of 7 useful services combined in one great application.

1. Connection of local phone numbers available in 90 countries (more than 6000 cities around the globe) With ability to receive your calls on your Android-device, being in any country.
2. You will receive two numbers for free. One of them USA land line, the other non-geographic international number iNum right after you install full Freeje version.
3. International calls for reasonable price regardless of the country you are staying. Even without internet connection.
4. Ability to choose CallerID for outgoing calls.
5. Your own “pocket” mini-PBX for call processing.
- manage direct numbers;
- сonditional call redirection for few directions;
- redirection on Skype;
- voice mail;
6. Calls on Skype without WiFi or 3G connection;
7. Automatic or manual selection of optimal type of call depending on availability and quality of internet connection of your device (Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS, GSM-only):
-using SiP protocol (internet)
-CallThrough (automatically via local access number)
-CallBack
-using regular GSM

Even more:
-auto-registration, there is no need to register manually.
-auto user detection when changing SiM card, if you replacing your SiM or in case you lost your phone;
-we accept all types of electronic and real money payments;
-live full time support help available by pressing “SOS”

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