Top 10 messaging apps for the GALAXY S4

23rd Sep 2013 | 12:18

Top 10 messaging apps for the GALAXY S4

Never lose contact again with our pick of the best apps

It’s hard to believe that, until pretty recently in the long run of human history, the telephone wasn’t a part of everyday life. Those of a certain age will even remember the days when the quickest way to reach a loved one was to send a letter, hope that it reached its destination and then wait, patiently for days (or weeks) on end for a possible response.

Nowadays, with the ability to send instant messages and call friends and family using video, the only real dilemma is which messaging apps to use.

There are many great ways to enjoy instant messaging on your Samsung GALAXY S4. So here’s the definitive list of our top 10 favourite S4 instant messaging apps.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

1. Samsung ChatON

Free – Get it here

A cross-platform app available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and others, ChatON is Samsung’s own foray into the world of instant messaging.

It stands out in an increasingly crowded space by offering group chat functionality in addition to one-to-one conversations, making it easy to organise events in real time. You don’t even need to be on your phone to talk to contacts either thanks to a chatroom-like web application that you can log into via Samsung’s website.

Best of all, ChatON has an automatic language translation mode, giving it a real practical edge over other messaging apps, and with 70 million users on the service in 237 countries speaking 63 languages, it’s an app that could help you find and unleash your inner linguist. Qu’est-ce que tu attends? (That’s French for ‘what are you waiting for?’!)

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

2. Glide

Free – Get it here

Glide allows you to send video messages to other contacts by tapping on the screen to record. Unlike other video apps that constantly stream video, such as Skype, Glide claims to use only half as much data, making it a viable option for anyone that runs short on data allowance from time to time.

Glide stores its videos on the internet too, meaning no space is taken up on your Samsung GALAXY S4’s memory when you’re filming with its 1080p HD video camera; better yet, it means you don’t have to upload or download anything.

You can even send videos to contacts who are offline for them to pick them up once connected to the internet, like a futuristic voicemail service. It’s currently available for Facebook users only, but it does let you chat to friends with both Android and iOS phones.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

3. WhatsApp Messenger

69p per year – Buy it here

WhatsApp has been building a steady army of users since it first debuted in 2009. It may not be the most fully featured app on our list, but its simplicity, clean interface and range of emoticons have earned it a rightful reputation as one of the most accessible cross-platform apps out there.

The app initially scans your Samsung GALAXY S4’s contact list to automatically detect who else is using the app, meaning you can be sending instant messages, images, videos and voice notes to individuals or groups of contacts in seconds. Additional contacts can be added by inputting phone numbers, which is good for anyone that feels buried in a sea of forgettable usernames.

It uses the Samsung GALAXY S4’s 3G connection in the absence of Wi-Fi, and push notifications to the device’s home screen mean that you’re kept in the loop even when the app’s closed.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

4. Hide It Pro (with SMS and Call Blocker Plugin)

Hide it Pro – Free – Get it here
SMS and Call Blocker Plugin – Free – Get it here

There’s a deluge of instant messaging apps available for the Samsung GALAXY S4, but none take privacy as seriously as Hide It Pro.

It essentially adds a secret vault to your phone, which you can hide any number of files in, from images to videos. Access the vault by double tapping the top of the screen and entering a secret code. When combined with the SMS and Call Blocker Plugin, it turns your device into a messaging gadget James Bond would be proud of.

Hide It Pro can be set to keep message conversations private by hiding them in the password-protected vault. Once your selected ‘secret’ contact sends you a SMS, you’ll receive a disguised message masking as another type of alert. After opening the vault by tapping the top of the screen and inputting your code, your message will be waiting and any replies you send are kept confidential.

With no icon in the home drawer at the top of the screen to give the game away, it’s the ultimate private messaging solution.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

5. Skype

Free – Get it here

While Skype was a household name long before Microsoft snapped the company up in 2011, the software giant’s involvement has made its mobile app sleeker and even simpler to use.

Filling the Samsung GALAXY S4’s expansive 5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with as many bright colours as you care to film, Skype videos look incredible.

Skype also works across devices, meaning you can call people’s tablets, PCs, Macs or TVs from your device. It supports video and instant messaging, and you can even call other mobiles or landlines around the world from your computer or device by topping up a pre-paid account.

The app also has the funkiest calling tones of any app on our list. Try it out and try to tell us we’re wrong.

Best messaging apps GALAXY S4

6. Viber

Free – Get it here

If instant messaging is WhatsApp’s main strength, Viber is all about delivering reliable, high-quality HD voice calls over the internet – for free.

It even has a conference mode that lets you hold group calls with up to 40 participants, and unlike other cross-platform apps, its clean, Android-like interface has been designed to make it feel like a native app.

Available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and others, Viber also allows you to share your location, respond immediately to messages using a quick reply feature, and keep track of missed calls using push notifications.

With no adverts whatsoever despite being completely free, it’s a perfect option for anybody looking to cut down on their mobile call minutes or spend more time catching up with family and friends.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

7. KakaoTalk: Free Calls & Text

Free – get it here

Like other messaging apps in our list, KakaoTalk lets you hold free voice and conference calls, send messages, photos and videos. But it’s also much more than that.

It was the first app for smartphones to receive the watertight ISO27001 certification. In simple terms, it means your messages are really secure and are unlikely to be intercepted or seen by anybody else.

Available in 12 languages, it’s also a messenger that runs on a robust network that was used by millions of people in Japan at the time of a particularly nasty Earthquake in 2011. Plus, it features lock-based privacy protection, custom chat backgrounds and ID-based friend finding.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

8. Auto SMS (Autoresponder)

Free – Get it here

Smartphones like the Samsung GALAXY S4 undoubtedly make communicating a breeze, but not everybody has the time to sit and write responses to every message that lands in the inbox.

This is where Auto SMS (Autoresponder) comes in. Think of it as an automatic messaging assistant that’s there to reply to messages when you’re unavailable or busy. It allows you to set up multiple profiles that reply to messages you’ve received in certain situations. This could include a driving profile, or one for when you’re at the cinema.

Automatic responses can be lined up to be sent after anything from a missed call or text, and they can also be timed to be sent during a scheduled time period, such as a meeting. A widget can be placed on your GALAXY S4’s home screen for fast profile switching, and if you don’t have time to look at your device’s screen, an SMS Reader feature will even read out messages for you using its Text-to-Speech engine.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps

9. LINE: Free Calls & Messages

Free – Get it here

LINE takes an interesting approach to instant messaging, combining traditional video, text and image messaging with social network-style features.

The app’s ‘Home’ feature lets you share any interactions with other contacts in a Facebook-style timeline. Obviously, the focus here is on sharing and interacting, making it a more suitable option for groups of friends than privacy-conscious individuals.

Voice calling and text messaging is free across PCs, smartphones and tablets, and users can spice up conversations with ‘stickers’ that give a more personal feel to messages in a similar way to emoticons.

Best messaging apps GALAXY S4

10. Vault Hide SMS, Pics & Video

Free – Get it here

Vault Hide SMS is a comprehensive privacy app that hides anything from contacts, pictures, videos and instant messages in a secret location only the user can access, using a pre-set code.

As with Hide It Pro, it allows you to set a ‘secret’ contact whose messages are untraceable when sent to your device. However, it goes further by also allowing you to hide Facebook messages in the same way, and photos and videos can similarly be kept hidden.

If you think there’s a possibility you may get rumbled, the app can even log and photograph anybody that attempts to guess the passcode to your secret vault.

In a further twist of genius, you can even set up a fake vault, so if anybody demands to see what you have in it, you can show them that one. We think that’s what you call “preparing for the future.”

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