WhatsApp is convenient, popular and super mainstream! Everyone, from your grandmother to your nephew in primary school has gotten on this messaging app. It is undoubtedly simple to use but easy-access can sometimes get overwhelming. So, for all of you who’re too cool for school and want to break out of this common Whatsapping rut, here are a few alternate chatting apps that are free to use too.

1
Google Allo

google allo
Allo is Google’s recent contribution to the messaging world. Apart from the basic chatting option it also allows users to play around with the size of the text. It has an interesting feature that suggests smart, contextual replies to your on-going chat. This is powered by a natural language processing engine that runs in the background. It has an incognito mode that lets users set an expiry time for messages after which they auto-destruct. You can also send videos and photos via this app but will have to use Google Duo for video chats. Allo also supports Google Assistant.

Download: For Android, for iOS

2
Hangouts

hangouts
This is an older offering by Google but remains active as a messaging app. Unlike WhatsApp or Allo it doesn’t operate via your mobile number but through your google account instead. This lets you control who you add or ignore. It has all the essential functions like messaging, video and audio calling and sharing of videos and images. It is one of the very few apps that offers an Archive function for conversation in addition to the option to turn on or off your history.

Download: For Android, for iOS

3
Telegram

telegram
Although it does not include voice or audio calling, most of the features we use on messaging apps today like bot support, file transfers, user tagging etc. were first available on Telegram. This app supports file transfer up to 1.5GB with no restrictions in file formats. This app is not locked to your phone number or a particular device and lets you log in to multiple devices ranging from a windows app to a web app.

Download: For Android, for iOS

4
iMessage

imessage
Limited to iOS users only, you can use it to send and receive texts, videos, audio, photos, personalised effects and more on all your Apple devices This means you can use it through your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple watch too. The new iOS 10 update lets you personalise your message and make them more expressive and animated. It’s a fun app to use, unfortunately it is only restricted to Apple users.

Download: For iOS

5
WeChat

wechat
This app offers free texting, voice and video calls. It is known to have clear connection even with slow internet speeds. It has a great group chat and call function that lets you create a group chat with up to 500 people and video calls with up to nine people. It also has multiple levels of privacy control that makes it secure. You can meet new people by using this app’s “Friend Radar” and “People Nearby” and Shake” functions.

Download: For Android, for iOS

Images via Google Play Store and Apple Store

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