The Microsoft-owned messaging app has attracted a lot of users. Although not as popular as some of its competitors, GroupMe still offers good multimedia messaging options.
One of the best things about this app is that it works with different operating systems. But what if you are looking for an alternative that better suits your needs?
Of course, there are plenty of options to choose from. The following article reviews a list of apps worthy of your attention.
This application uses end-to-end encryption to provide superior protection and privacy to users. Signal is also free and open source. The latter indicates that anyone with the right knowledge can verify the security of the application.
Another advantage is that you get support for MMS and SMS. If there is no encryption, you decide to send an SMS via Signal. Overall, the app works great, but there are a few things you need to know about it.
Signal requires your working phone number and notifications can sometimes be unreliable. It also accesses contacts and phone numbers on your device. But that’s not uncommon for messaging apps.
Telegram is free, privacy-focused, and the app is partially open source. This means that the application has an open API, although there is no way to access the backend. For some, this may raise privacy issues, but that’s not really a big deal.
With that in mind, Telegram’s privacy and security are good. End-to-end encryption is there to protect your communication. And there are self-destructing timers for sensitive chats. It is important to point out that Telegram allows you to permanently delete a given chat.
When it comes to downsides, there are none that are a deal-breaker. The only limitation that might bother you is that “Secret Chat” is only available on the mobile app.
Like previous apps, Viber is free but not open source. It works on different platforms and you can receive calls, files and messages at all levels. Although Viber can’t handle very large files, it works well for photos and most videos.
One of the best things about this app is the VoIP technology. It offers comparable quality to some veterans like Skype. And you can easily forward calls from smartphone to desktop app.
However, you cannot log into your account on the web and send or receive text messages. But it could be a security feature that protects your data from spyware.
Being one of the most popular messaging apps so far, WhatsApp is a good alternative for GroupMe. You get a super responsive and easy to navigate user interface. What’s really cool is that the app requires little to no setup and you can use it as soon as it’s installed.
The catch is that WhatsApp scans your contacts and automatically lists those that are also available on the app. For most users, that’s a small price to pay for convenience. But you should know that the app belongs to Facebook.
As such, it shares data with the social media giant. To avoid this, you need to go to app settings and turn off data sharing. Please note that the action may take some time to take effect.
If you use Facebook, Messenger is surely installed on your smartphone or tablet. The application facilitates communication between Facebook friends. But some limitations may deter some users.
First of all, deleting your online status from Messenger seems to be tricky. There are in-app settings that should let you remove online status, but that just doesn’t happen.
Maybe it takes time for the app to understand what you want, and it doesn’t help if you disconnect from the social network. Also, end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default.
As one of the oldest and most widely used messaging apps, Skype makes it easy for you to contact people. In other words, it’s a must-have for business and private users, eliminating the need to install new software.
The app works on different platforms and the screen sharing feature is one of the main advantages. However, you might struggle with screen sharing as you cannot manually change the bitrate and resolution.
There are third-party apps that can help fix this problem. But it is advisable not to bother with them.
If you’re a business user, you shouldn’t think twice about Slack. This email app allows integrations with third-party services like Dropbox or MailChimp that are hard to compete with. And it offers seamless file transfer.
Besides chatting, you can also use Slack for video calls. The app has recently introduced more features that make it a mini project management tool.
What you need to know is that Slack can get expensive if you need it for business purposes. But the UX and features justify the price. The downside is that the app doesn’t allow self-hosting, so you don’t have full control over where the data is stored.
The thing is, most people install and use at least two different messaging apps. Messenger and WhatsApp are therefore probably already on your smartphones. If it’s more a matter of convenience, as they have one of the largest user pools.
What features are you looking for in a messaging app? Is there an app that you find particularly buggy and unresponsive? Give us your two cents in the comments section below.