Using Skype to chat with friends and family has become second nature to a lot of us, but as a number of recent malfunctions have proved – you can’t always rely on Skype working just when you need it most.
So it’s good to have a backup plan – or application – you can use when Skype isn’t available.
Here are just a few of the mobile apps that can replace Skype when called upon.
Facebook messenger might be the best Skype replacement around, and the most readily available - most of us use Facebook on our mobile anyway, the Messenger app just makes instant communication much easier. Over the past year, Facebook's messenger app has added HD calling abilities as well as video chatting options, making it a truly complete communication app.
Never one to do things subtly, Google has no less than 3 alternatives to Skype, each designed to supplement a different aspect. There's Google hangouts - designed for video chatting for anywhere from 2 to 10 users, Google voice which will allow you to have a phone like conversation with another person (useful if your connection speed won't support video), and finally - Google chat, which, as the name indicates let's you chat with someone else. All combined, Google certainly has the ability to replace all your Skype needs.
In it's infancy, Viber was primarily a VoIP app but it has since grown, developed and improved to become a fully fledged communication app that now allows for Whatsapp like chat and file exchanges, a worthy alternative to Skype.
Nearly 1 billion active users can't be wrong when they use WhatApp for their day-to-day communication, possibly more than any other mobile app around but while most of us just use it to chat with friends, family or colleagues, WhatsApp has upgraded itself over time, recently adding voice conversations, and is rumored to be adding video chats quite soon. When that happens, other apps had better be afraid.
Originating in China, this app has been gaining fans across the globe recently due to some of its innovative features like finding users near you to chat with, or opening a chat-room of sorts to hangout in until other users come to chat with you, as well as other chatting abilities, it is the most popular chat app in China, and one of the better known ones in the far east.
It may shock you to know, but the app/program that is considered to be the "father" of internet chatting is still alive and kicking, and not only that, it recently went through a major facelift, adding multiple new features, working across a variety of platforms and operating systems it appears to be making a true comeback, or at least attempting one.
A slightly lesser known app, but one that is fast becoming popular, Tango brings all the features you would expect to the table - voice, video and text chatting are all available and quite handy, but where Tango shines is with its innovative approach to making talking a fun affair - there are multiple mini-games you can play while talking, and even challenge your companion to a duel!