Keeping in touch with your loved ones doesn’t have to be costly, and if you look in the right places it definitely won’t. We’re of course talking about free calling apps that offer unlimited messages and calls. It’s not easy to get a service like this up and running for free, which means it can be tricky to find such an app, but we’ve listed the best options that actually offer calls and explained in detail any potential cons, such as in-app ads or regional restrictions.
It is important to distinguish between apps that can send free external SMS messages and calls, and apps that allow you to send messages to other users through their app.
Some apps give you a temporary toll-free number that you can call other numbers and they don’t need to install any apps themselves. These apps, with the exception of Google Voice, include in-app ads to help cover their operating costs.
There are also free calling apps that allow you to make free calls and text messages, but only for other users. So, for example, you can make free calls to WhatsApp or Viber, but only when calling other WhatsApp or Viber users via Wi-Fi or mobile data. We’ve included both in this article and created a separate section for each.
Free calling apps for SMS and calling
We strongly recommend that you ask your chat partners to install a chat app like WhatsApp or Viber to keep calling and chatting easy and free, but if you can’t, you might like the following options.
If you are in Canada or the US, this might be the best free calling app available. You are given a toll-free number and you can call, write and receive from any number, even if others do not have the application installed. By working at Google, you are spared the frustrating ads that many of the other apps on this list show.
There are also some other useful features such as direct transcription of the text of your voicemail so you can see what people have said, rather than just hear them. Although calls to numbers in the US are available for free, you can also make outgoing international calls for a fee.
The user interface is clean, you can record your calls and make backups of any important messages or calls. Google Voice is not yet available in countries outside of the US and Canada.
Dingtone ( Android & iOS
Dingtone offers free calls, text messages and a toll free number. After registering, you will receive 15 credits that can be used for calls and text messages within the first 48 hours after using the application. You can also request a free phone number from different regions.
After that, you can get more credits by completing mini-games. It’s a fun way to reward users with more engagement in the app. You will receive more free credits by opening the app every day, watching ads, referring friends and filling out offers.
You can also purchase credits, and there is an option to remove ads for 1 month, which costs just $ 0.99, which is much cheaper than the other alternatives on this list.
We highly recommend Dingtone as the best free ad-supported text app if you can’t use Google Voice. After that, applications become more intrusive with ads.
TextMeUp ( Android only
TextMeUp is another free SMS and calling app available in most regions. You can choose between several local numbers for communication, such as one for work and one for contacts you may have abroad.
Access may vary depending on your region, but you can often request one free local number and purchase international numbers as well.
To give you access to some free calls and text messages, TextMeUp adds a bunch of ads, some of which can be quite intrusive.
Luckily, you can remove all ads and get a monthly / weekly call minute bundle. Some regions are also more limited, for example in the UK you can only get 4 credits upon registration and more credits need to be purchased.
A note about Text Me Inc apps: You may notice a large number of apps with similar names such as TextMeUp, TextMe or FreeTone. They are essentially the same app, so duplicates were not included in our list.
TextPlus ( Android & iOS
TextPlus is an application that allows you to make free text messages and calls by placing advertisements on the call screen and almost anywhere they can place them. You can also watch video ads or fill out offers to earn credits. Finally, there is the option to purchase credits or subscribe, which removes ads entirely.
You can also get a free phone number of your own, but it can change if you don’t pay to protect it. However, when you have a number, others will be able to call you. For the most part, TextPlus works when you really need to make an important call or send text, but too many ads are hard to deal with.
Free communication apps for texting and calling to other users
It’s time to take a look at the apps you can use to make free calls and text messages to users who also have this app installed. These apps offer much better features than the previously listed apps.
WhatsApp ( Android & iOS
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and is one of the world’s most popular free calling and text messaging apps. It has built-in end-to-end encryption to keep your messages private
You can quickly send photos, gifs, videos and voice messages to other users, and all you need is a number in your contact list that WhatsApp can recognize on the platform. This means you can quickly add new contacts to the chat. Just make sure they have the app installed as well.
You can also send your location information to other users, and if you don’t have a phone, you can sign in to your account using the WhatsApp web app right from your computer.
Viber ( Android & iOS
Viber is another text messaging and calling app that has tons of features to sync your interactions between devices. You can set up free backups so that all your messages are always saved. You can sign in to your new device simply by scanning the QR code and all your past messages, saved photos and shared videos will be sent to your new device as well.
You can add other Viber users by importing them from your contact list because Viber will use phone numbers as an identifier for users, similar to Whatsapp. Viber also supports video chat and group calls.
You can also buy credits to call other real numbers around the world, although if you already have someone added to Viber, you can do so for free.
Skype ( Android & iOS
Microsoft’s Skype is a very popular application that is often used on desktop computers, but the mobile version is also full of features. Skype is popular for instant messaging and video calling, and is sometimes used for group conferences or business calls.
Skype also has its own credit system for buying minutes to call real numbers around the world, so you don’t need to add someone by username.
You can also share videos, photos, and links with others, making it a great place to share memories or important details.
Messenger ( Android , Messenger Lite ( Android , < a href = "https: //apps.apple.com/tr/app/messenger-lite/id1434329167" target = "_ blank" rel = "noreferrer noopener"> iOS )
Messenger, built on top of the Facebook messaging feature, brings dozens of great messaging features to your smartphone. With Messenger, you can send messages, call and share with anyone you add to your Facebook account. You can also add new people right now through Messenger.
Messenger has tons of advanced chat features you won’t find anywhere else, including fun minigames, polls, customizable group colors and themes, rooms that can accommodate up to 50 people, and more.
If you don’t like how much Messenger can be useful, you can get a stripped down version called Messenger Lite, which includes basic text and calling features.
Should you use a free calling app?
All of these apps offer free calls and text messages, but the functionality is different for each app. It’s up to you to decide which app works best for you, but we recommend Viber, Whatsapp, and Skype first, and then Google Voice, before looking at ad-supported alternatives like Dingtone and TextMeUp.