Mobile phones are the single most important tool for communication that is used by billions of people every day. In connecting people across the world at a low cost and in a matter of seconds, apps have been able to serve as a necessity to the lifestyle of millions for a range of functions including text-based messages, calls, video chats, and voice messages. For the best tools that are able to offer a suite of functionalities to help users communicate with one another, the apps in this article can either add a significant amount of value which lacks in the stock applications or reduce many of the traditional telecommunication costs.
With over a billion people on Facebook, Messenger is the dedicated app that allows users to directly communicate with each other in a number of ways. Although the app is closed to Facebook users, with so many people on the social network, there is a high probability that the contact is a member of the site. Some of the tools that can be found in the app include the ability to send instant messages, photos, videos, and voice memos. Furthermore, it has recently replicated the features of Snapchat stories so that users are able to display a status image for 24 hours that can be seen by all Messenger contacts. With so many different forms of communication that are available, the app is one of the most applicable for a wide range of users who have various preferences regarding how they input their messages. Beyond this, Messenger is compatible with group messages, timestamps and delivery reports, as well as automatic recognition of dates and times to integrate into the calendar, making it one of the best apps for communication.
2Skype - free IM & video calls
As one of the most well-known communication tools for video chatting, Skype offers free, high quality video calls between users from anywhere in the world. Perfect for both personal and business use, the app is one that is able to facilitate text-based, multimedia, and voice messages. What makes Skype so versatile is that the functions on the app are not just restricted to users of the service, but are also able to accommodate non-Skype users. For example, calls can be made directly to mobile or land-line numbers at rates which are significantly lower than traditional telecommunication providers. With the mobile app, a desktop application, as well as a web app, Skype is extremely flexible in meeting the needs of users whether they are working on a desktop computer or on-the-go with their mobile device. One of the best features includes the ability to add a large number of people in for a group call either by voice or video chat, making it perfect for team communication in a professional environment or with a large family across the world.
As one of the fastest growing social media apps available, Snapchat allows users to send images or messages that last for several seconds before being deleted forever. Considered to be more of a fun way of communicating as opposed to one that is designed for effective messages, Snapchat also allows users to share a “story” of their day that lasts for 24 hours. With this status, others are able to see what users are doing periodically, similar to a status update on Facebook. More recently, the app has moved towards curating and delivering news to viewers in the form of short stories that make it extremely easy to follow without spending a significant amount of time reading. In order to draw people back to the app, those who send “snaps” frequently between each other have a streak of how many continuous days a snap has been sent, gamifying the process of sending pictures and communicating. As an alternative to traditional forms of messaging, Snapchat introduces a more interactive and fun form of communication.
For team-based communication that enables collaboration as well as effective file management, Slack is one of the best apps in this space for professional usage. Beyond communicating with multiple people at once, it also allows its users to send files quickly so that it is able to perform as an organizational tool that can be accessed from anywhere. By providing a centralized location for team communication and messages, Slack is highly effective in streamlining many inefficiencies that are associated with a disconnected process which involves several tools instead of just one. Furthermore, even with so many documents in a single tool, the app makes it extremely easy to search through all the files and even integrate into existing applications such as Dropbox and Twitter. As a tool with a complimentary web application, Slack makes managing files and communicating in a team environment easier than any other alternative.
Modern communication is chaos… You email, you IM, you text, you talk… you cc, you bcc… Slack is simpler. We worked with Stewart and team over at Slack to explain just what this great new-fangled tool is, backed by the buttery tones of Roman Mars (of 99% Invisible).
5Gmail and Outlook
As there are so many emails for different purposes including ones for business and personal use, managing them all can be a hassle. Although the Gmail and Outlook apps are entirely separate from each other, they are highly applicable in aggregating several email addresses into one platform to make it easier to manage. For example, both of the apps are able to check on multiple email addresses at once, making it more efficient to check for updates or send emails from different addresses. Furthermore, users can access the suite of Microsoft of Google tools right from the respective apps including calendars and notifications as opposed to having to individually log in and out of every account. By being able to swap email accounts quickly or get an overview of all of the inboxes in a single screen, both Gmail and Outlook are highly recommended for helping users increase their accessibility and productivity in terms of emails.
Ranging from video chats to instant messages, mobile apps have significantly evolved to encompass one of the powerful tools to connect billions of people around the world. Using the apps listed in this article, communication can either be made easier, streamlined, or more fun in order to get in touch peers.