Best apps for a free second phone number on iOS and Android

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Best apps for a free second phone number on iOS and Android
Almost everyone already has their own phone number where others can contact them if need be, so why would you need another one, you might ask?

Well, since you have already clicked on this article, then you most likely already have a pretty good idea how a second number would be of use to you. Maybe you have a small business and want to separate your private contacts list from the one that’s related to your work. A second phone number is a great way to do just that, and to restrict the access that clients and business partners can have to your time and attention.


Now, of course, you can always get yourself another SIM card and, technically, achieve the same effect. However, nowadays there are not that many phones that come with two SIM card slots if we are talking about the ones sold in the USA and Canada, especially when it comes to the more popular models from Apple, Samsung, and Google. And, yes, you can make the argument for eSIM being an option, but that usually requires a second contract with your carrier, which costs extra cash.

So, what is the solution? An easy one is to find yourself a free second phone app from the App Store on iOS or Play Store on Android, and install it on your phone. Besides separating your personal and work lives, these apps usually come with a bunch of useful features that a second SIM card would not offer you.

Like with any other app genres, though, there are tons of these on both iOS and Android, so we took a close look at the best apps for a free second phone number and laid them out for you below.

Best apps for a free second phone number at a glance:

What are the advantages of a second phone number?


Like with any other tool, a second phone number can be utilized in multiple ways to make your life easier or more convenient.

Separating your work life from your personal one


This is probably the most obvious example of a situation in which a second phone number can be useful. Your contacts list can quickly become hectic when you are running a business. Plus, it’s hard to keep track of all your connections and maintain a clear border between your personal life and work.

Second phone number apps allow you to divide these two worlds to an extent. You get more privacy and more convenience thanks to features such as automated voicemail and transcription of voicemail, setting office hours, automated replies, and much more.

Privacy and security


A second phone number can act as a buffer that protects your personal details whenever you are in contact with people you don’t trust. If you get a call from an unknown number, for example, it is much safer to call it back via your second phone number.

Most second phone number apps also come with features that protect your privacy, like a number ID detector, the ability to block spam calls, call recording, muting specific contacts, etc.

Cheaper rates for international calls


Many of the second phone number apps offer really good rates when it comes to making calls outside the US and Canada. This makes them a great choice if you have family or friends you want to keep in touch with abroad, or if you yourself are not in your own country.

How to find the best second phone app for you?


There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a second phone number app. The first step is for you to determine what exactly you need that app to do for you. After you have figured out what you need, it is time to take a look at the features each app is offering. Some of these features are universal, like voicemail, voicemail transcription/recording, spam detection, and more.


Sometimes, however, even more basic features can be locked behind a paywall, which brings us to the next important thing to keep in mind — what exactly is free and what is not. All of the apps you will find in this article will give you a free second phone number, but that doesn’t mean there are no caveats here and there. Don’t worry, though, we will specify them for each one.

Something you should do on your own, though, is read the “terms of use” and “service level agreement” sections. Many of these applications have specific and unique rules, so it will be useful for you to read them beforehand and know what to expect once you hit install. That way it will be easier for you to notice any discrepancies if they appear.

Speaking of issues, it is also a really good idea to research the app’s reputation when it comes to customer’s service. If you will be using this second phone number for anything that is with high priority or sensitive, it is important to choose one with reliable support.

So, without further ado, let’s check out the apps we think are your best options for a free second phone number!

Best free second phone number apps

Google Voice



Pros:
  • Smart spam detection
  • Straightforward and easy to use
  • Can be integrated with other Google applications
  • Automatic voicemail transcription

Cons:
  • Cannot make calls from the web
  • Hasn’t been updated for a long time
  • Deletes phone numbers that haven’t been in use recently

What’s free:
  • 2nd phone number
  • Calls to the USA and Canada
  • Text messages to U.S. and Canadian numbers (excluding territories American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands)

What’s not free:
  • Calls and messages outside the USA and Canada

Google Voice is probably one of the most obvious options when the topic of second phone number apps arises. In typical Google fashion, it is easy to understand and use, and therefore quicker to start using.

One of the app's best functionalities is its impressive spam filter. Just like Gmail is really good (most of the time) at sifting through spam emails and regular ones, so is Google Voice with calls and messages.

The app hasn’t received much attention from Google for some time, though, so don’t expect new features any time soon.

Talkatone



Pros:
  • Cheap rates for international calls (US and Canada are free)
  • There are no roaming fees
  • Gives you unlimited free calls and texts

Cons:
  • Full with ads

What’s free:
  • 2nd phone number
  • Texts and calls to Canada and the USA
  • No roaming fees
  • Calling over Wi-Fi

What’s not free:
  • Premium ad-free plan - $9.99/month

Talkatone is as simple as it gets. It just gives the option to have a second phone number, which you can use to make calls and send messages for free to people in the US and Canada. Its main perks are its low rates for international calls and the lack of roaming charges, which makes it a viable option if you travel a lot.

You can get rid of the ads with $9.99 a month for the premium version of the app.

TextNow



Pros:
  • Group texting
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Conference calling
  • Good customer service
  • Easy to use

Cons:
  • Free calls and texts are only over Wi-Fi
  • Obnoxious ads with the free plan

What’s free:
  • 2nd phone number
  • Calling and texting over Wi-Fi
  • Regular free plan

What’s not free:
  • SIM activation kit - $0.99
  • Ad-free plan - $9.99/month

TextNow is a pretty straightforward second phone app. You get another number with which you can call and text others for free, as long as you are using Wi-Fi. The good news is that if you also want the option to do that via cellular connectivity, all you need to pay is $0.99.

The worst part about TextNow, like with any other free application, are the ads. If they don’t bother you, then you have nothing to worry about. If you, at some point, start getting annoyed by them, you will have to pay for the Ad-Free plan, which is $9.99 a month.

FreeTone



Pros:
  • Works with Wi-Fi and cellular
  • Unlimited free texts and calls in the US
  • Group messaging
  • Free video calls with good quality
  • Location sharing
  • You can choose the area code
  • Does not require a SIM card to work

Cons:
  • Clumsy and not so intuitive UI
  • Annoying ads

What’s free:
  • 2nd phone number
  • Video calls
  • Texts and calls in the US

What’s not free:
  • Premium plan - $1.99
  • Web app (comes with premium plan)

FreeTone offers you free unlimited calls, messages, and video calls inside the US and Canada. If you can get over the annoying ads and the outdated interface, you have plenty of features to enjoy like group messaging and location sharing. This app is a good option if you have a small team with which you have to keep closely in touch while working. Its ad-free plan is also not that expensive, so you can get rid of them with rather little sacrifice to your wallet.

TextFree



Pros:
  • You can choose an area code
  • Group texting
  • Free image and text messages
  • Customizing your phone number

Cons:
  • Too many ads

What’s free:
  • 2nd phone number
  • Calling and texting
  • Basic plan

What’s not free:
  • Premium plan that gets rid of ads

TextFree is very similar to the other entries on this list in the sense that it will give a second phone number with which you have unlimited free calls and messages (including images) to others in the US. It’s most notable perk is that you get to customize your phone number.

Which is the best free second phone number app on iOS and Android?


The best second phone number app really depends on your needs. Most of the options we have listed above share some similar features and services, but each one has its own way of handling them and special perks that make it stand out in one way or another. Mostly, it boils down to things like call quality, extra fees, how intuitive the app is, the features it offers, and how easy and straightforward it is to use.

Thankfully, since they are all free, you have the option to try all of these apps out without worrying about any repercussions, and see which one would fit your needs the best.

We will be testing the call quality of all of these apps, and will be updating this list with new additions, as well as removing some if they change for the worse. Stay tuned for even more information on our hand-picked free second phone applications in the future.
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