Messaging apps seem to be the primary way that people stay in touch these days, on smartphones but also on tablets! It seems odd that market leaders WhatsApp have still not developed an optimized version of their popular app for Apple’s tablet, but perhaps we will see one in the near future. Fortunately, for even the most steadfast WhatsApp user there is a huge array of different alternatives to choose from if you have an iPad and want to keep in touch with friends and family. Some of these free apps are multi functional, providing not just the ability to text message people but also to start voice calls and video calls with ease. With today’s smartphones and apps like WhatsApp and Viber, the app actually takes on the cellphone number and uses that to identify the user, but this is obviously not the case with the iPad – instead, you will have to register some kind of username – as with Skype and Hangouts to get started with most of these apps.
We’ll start in the most obvious place of all where free messaging apps for the iPad are concerned: that being Apple’s native Messages app, also known as iMessage. I suppose the best thing about this app is that it comes preloaded onto any Apple device that you might pick up, be it an iPhone an iPod touch or indeed an iPad. As such, since you will already register an Apple ID and account when setting up your device, no extra effort is needed in order to begin using this app. It is especially suited to exclusive Apple users who might own a range of different devices, allowing you to keep in touch for free by texting on a device or even a Mac. The app does what it sets out to do well enough, getting the basic features down though without some of the frills of other free messaging apps.
We’re big fans of Kik Messenger, which is a nice free messaging app that is available for a range of systems. You can easily send messages as pictures and even sketches, or embed YouTube videos if you like. Kik also allows you to view your messages offline, which is something we wish more messaging apps would allow! – Download from iTunes
Tango is really easy to set up and get started with: once you’ve downloaded the app, it will search through your contacts to see who is available. You can then add other people to your list simply by entering their email address. Tango is known for its video calls and voice calls, but the messaging service is just as great. Besides, it’s excellent to have an app that will provide all the kinds of functions that you need in one place without having to switch between different apps. – Download from iTunes
5. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is perhaps best known for its capabilities as an audio and video chat app – that’s actually the only thing I really use it for, conducting web conferences and the like with ease. It is however a great example of a messaging app to keep in contact with text messages. The main draw here is the fact that Hangouts was produced by Google and is therefore accessible to anyone with a Google account, which let’s be honest just about everyone has these days. Hangouts is also available across a range of platforms and can be used on desktop computers with a neat little extension to the Chrome browser. What’s more, it’s free! – Download from iTunes