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The Top 5 Free International Calling Apps

May 27, 2014 by Omar Sohail

With an abundant number of free calling apps present on multiple platforms and operating systems, it will take a very long time for you to test out which ones provide the best call quality over the other. However, one thing is absolute. Regular mobile carrier services cannot deliver the service of making free calls the way these calling apps deliver. Here, we’ve discussed for you, the top five free international calling apps, Skype, Viber, Tango, Yello and ooVoo respectively.

1. Skype

Skype

With more than 299 million users recorded in mid-2013, Skype was perhaps the forerunner that allowed users to make free international calls over the internet. With an ‘easy to use’ interface along with the option to start a video call with your contact, Skype is a must have calling app for your smartphone.

Pros

  • Multi-platform app. It is compatible with all operating systems, making itself a flexible solution for all users.
  • Free instant messaging service available.
  • Apart from making free voice and video calls, you can also purchase Skype credit and make calls to any parts of the world. This will include landlines and cell phones.
  • Share multimedia ranging from pictures, to videos to music with anyone in your contact list.
  • Group making is extremely easy to make. 
  • To register on Skype, you will only need a username, password and a valid email address. No PIN code input required.

Cons

  • Not a very battery friendly app when your main concern is to conserve battery space.
  • The app does not allow you to have all contacts from your phone directory placed in to your Skype directory. The only contacts that are present in your Skype directory are the ones that are added from within the app itself.
  • Uploading multimedia to the recipient takes a very long time. 
  • On several occasions, calls are not connected in a single call and the user must repeatedly call the contact in order for the call to connect.

2. Viber

Viber

There was a reason why this VoIP calling app got acquired for $900 million by Rakuten. With a user base of over 200 million users, Viber is perhaps becoming the biggest rival of Skype. The app has decided to branch out to the desktops, bringing compatibility to all platforms.

Pros

  • Calls made to your friends are crisp and clear. 
  • You can share multimedia ranging from photos, videos, voice messages, locations, stickers and emoticons.
  • You can create groups with up to 100 participants.
  • In addition to the emoticons, Viber has introduced a sticker market similar to Facebook’s approach, where users can send advanced emoticons to their recipients. 
  • Push notifications on Viber create flexibility in delivering messages or calls, even when the app has been turned off.
  • Supports all platforms, including Windows desktop and Mac.
  • ‘Viber Out’, an extension of Viber, can be used to make calls to non-Viber mobile and landline numbers at low rates.
  • Your smartphone’s contact directory is immediately shown in your Viber contact list.

Cons

  • Registering on Viber requires users to input a PIN code after they have entered their cell phone number. Users do not immediately receive the PIN code, which can become a huge burden.
  • Calls sometimes do not connect with the user and when they do, call quality is extremely poor. 
  • Battery hungry application.
  • For lower tier smartphones, Viber can eat up system resources and degrade the overall performance of the smartphone.

3. Tango

Tango

With over 150 million registered users, Tango is one of those apps that are making the competition ever so stiff. One thing that other free calling apps are not doing and Tango is that it has started its own hub for users to start participating in games. Due to the level of popularity the app is receiving, game developers have started showing interest in developing games and connecting other Tango users in the process.

Pros

  • Unlike other voice calling apps, Tango does not require the user to make a login or password. It will make your account in a matter of seconds. 
  • Even though the app allows users from your contact list to appear in your Tango list, the app will also search for people living near you, which includes your contacts as well. 
  • The app supports multimedia sharing and apart from this, users can start a photo sharing session while they are on call with another contact.
  • The app is resource friendly, so users can choose to leave it running in the background of their smartphone, especially those who have lower tier smartphones.

Cons

  • The app does not support multiple platforms, which includes the desktop and Mac.
  • The app sometimes freezes on smartphones, which dismantles the user experience.
  • There is a capacity limit to which you can send multimedia, which ranges from photos, videos and audio.
  • There isn’t an option added for users to make calls at cheap rates.

4. Yello

Yello

Yello happens to be one of those apps that offer users with everything that a free calling app needs to deliver. With options to make voice calls, video calls as well as call anyone anywhere in the world at extremely competitive rates, Yello is one app that will put other calling apps to shame.

Pros

  • Clear call quality while using the app.
  • Users can choose to send a wide range of multimedia items such as photos, audio messages and video clips.
  • The contact directory in your smartphone will automatically appear in the contact directory of Yello.
  • The Yello app can hold audio conferences which allow you to talk to other friends at the same time. 
  • The call waiting feature allows two separate conversations to be held at the same time. 
  • Registering on Yello for the first time will avail free credit to users, allowing them to make calls and send free texts to any country in the world and that too at extremely cheap rates.
  • Push notification system allows users to receive texts and call notifications.

Cons

  • User interface can get a bit used to navigating through, especially for new users.
  • Battery draining app that consumes quite a bit of system resources, which slows down the smartphone. 
  • Requires a PIN code insertion, which does not always get sent to the user’s phone number in a single attempt. 
  • If you do not receive the PIN code, you just need to click on ‘I didn’t get the code’ and an anonymous call will be generated to your mobile number which will tell your PIN Code. This, however, takes time which is a negative side to it.

5. ooVoo

Oovoo

With over 54 million registered users, ooVoo has become an extremely popular app. With a user interface similar to Skype’s, the experience getting from ooVoo will force users to start using it with great relish.

Pros

  • Users can create groups with up to 12 people for a high voice and video call. 
  • Supports multiple platforms, ranging from the Android, iOS, laptop PCs and Mac computers.
  • ooVoo’s SuperClear video proprietary technology adjusts for packet-loss, which results in highest quality video chat on smartphones. 
  • Echo cancellation for crystal clear audio during video chats.
  • Fab 5 feature allows users to put their five favorite contacts on speed dial.
  • You can search for friends on ooVoo, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and your personal contact list.

Cons

  • The app causes intermittent freezing on smartphones. This is normally due to it being extremely resource hungry, which is a disadvantage for low performing smartphones. 
  • Uploading photos, audios and videos consumes a lot of time. 
  • Switching to video calls is not always the smoothest experience.

We detailed the top 5 five free international calling apps with the combination of both flexibility and performance on user’s smartphones. Even though there are still more updates to be rolled out by the developers, it only means that these apps will become even better in the future.

Have questions or suggestions? We love to hear from you.

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