Right now, if I were one of the major mobile carriers, I would be pretty scared. For years they have enjoyed massive profits while providing a less than perfect service. Especially in Ireland, mobile costs are fairly crazily expensive. But there are some new new apps that are becoming hugely popular, that the movile networks are really not going to like.
Firstly, there is “WhatsApp“. It’s a brilliantly simple messaging service. Kinda like text messaging, but better, and 100% completely free. It’s really more like Instant Messaging. Blackberry users already have something like this but now everyone can enjoy this, cause it works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and some Nokia phones too. I just love this app. Its better than text messaging. Quicker, easier to use, you get delivery notifications, you can send photos, videos or audio really easily, all 100% completely free, anywhere in the world. It notifies you just like a text message, and you can even Update Your Status like you do on Facebook. The thing I find since using this, is that its almost more informal than sending a text, so you are more likely to actually communicate using it. A text may only be 12cent or so, but if you send hundreds it all ads up. It is becoming very popular and once most people have it, there will be little need to send and pay for text messages any more.
The second app, is called Viber. Viber is essentially completely free calls between you and whoever else has the Viber app – over the data network or Wifi. This is not new, Skype has been doing this for ages, but there is a major difference. Firstly, Skype requires you to resister and create an account – and then you have to know which of your friends use it, and add them. Viber is different – there is no registration, just a little Viber icon beside the names of anyone in your list of numbers, who also has Viber. No need to add them yourself, it already knows! So, you go to make a call as normal, if they have Viber on their phone, when you call them, it will use the viber network and be completely free! If they do not have Viber, it just makes a normal phone call. Amazingly everyone says that the call quality is fantastic, actually better than a normal call! So, no need to think about call charges when speaking to your friends overseas. Quick easy high quality calls with zero hassle. There are a few downsides to using Skype which is why most people don’t use it all the time, this seems to solve this problem. Viber is currently only available for iPhone but will be released on Android in March apparently. Being a big Android fan I cannot wait. But better still, Viber is soon to add text & picture messaging too – so it will do what WhatsApp does too…
So, what everyone need to now do is download these apps and start using them – but more importantly is to make sure your friends download and use it too! If most of your friends use these two apps, everyones phone bills would decrease significantly.