Are so many of your friends and co-workers using Android phones that you’ve come to hate Apple’s FaceTime app?
Or maybe you have the latest iPhone and were swooned by the advertising geniuses at Apple. You saw all those commercials showing the stereotypical families talking from across the world using their fancy iPhone; you wanted that, and now you do. But, you did see the restrictions at the bottom of the screen; how FaceTime works with other Apple devices, and how it’s a guessing game as to whether your friends are available or not. Now your mad, you’re thinking of returning your iPhone. BUT DON’T!
If, like me, you hate Apple’s FaceTime app, we have some fantastical alternatives to Apple’s voice calling service that’ll fix all of those problems!
Skype has existed far longer than Apple’s FaceTime, but until a few months ago, it didn’t have a mobile strategy. Even though it took Skype a while to develop it’s mobile app, it was definitely worth the wait. Skype’s app allows you to video chat over 3G, with anyone using the Skype application on their PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or any other device that is compatible with Skype’s app. But, just a note, video quality degrades heavily when using a mobile 3G connection; but all in all, that’s really the only short-coming of this app. The Skype iOS app is very well built and beats FaceTime in its ease of use. My favorite feature was that not only is it a FaceTime alternative, but a phone alternative too.
2. Google Hangouts
Hangouts is Google’s answer to FaceTime and includes both text chat and video chat. Probably the best thing about Hangouts is its cross-functionality with all your other Google services, including gmail and google+. It support conversations with individuals and with up to 10 people. And best of all, it works on Android and iOS, so you chat with all your friends and family regardless of their phone models and manufactures. Readers report that Google Hangouts generally performs better than FaceTime when connected via mobile or cellular.
Viber is actually pretty handy! It’s free and connects you with almost anyone, anywhere in the world all via an internet connection. It offers audio and video calls, texting, and users are even able to share content like photos and videos. There’s also a whole array of stickers, avatar packs, and other fun stuff to jazz up your calls and texts. And folks like the simple and clean interface, so it’s really easy to use. Viber allows up to 200 participants and provides an HD quality experience when available. Viber also offers a desktop app but it’s bread and butter is mobile. Both user and recipient are required to have Viber on their mobile devices in order communicate. So it’s not a default; you must download the app onto your devices.
Tango is another small app that offers very little interface but is still indeed an alternative to FaceTime. Offering a small-sized app with the ability to video chat, but only with users of that app. It’s simple, featuring great quality video and even includes some cute animations to boot–like masks and avatars. Fortunately, Tango is a multiple platform app that has both an iOS and Android app, allowing you to video chat with all or most of your friends over WiFi or cellular/mobile. Fun is the name of the game with Tango and folks really enjoy sharing their thoughts, feelings, stickers, and even games all from within Tango.
5. Yahoo! Messenger:
Yahoo! Messenger is last, but definitely not least in our list of alternatives. Yahoo! Messenger is a very feature-rich app that is equal only to that of the Skype app. The app allows you to call anyone with an IM app that supports a web-cam, can make calls to cell-phones and landline phones, and can even text message! The app is definitely a perfect alternative to FaceTime and is probably one of the best on this list.
So if you really hate Apple’s FaceTime voice calling, here are 5 perfect alternatives that won’t cost you a dime, and are in some cases better than the built in video-calling app, so get out there and start downloading!
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.