Not too long ago, international calls could be made from landlines only. The process was often sluggish, hearing could be difficult, and there was often quite a lag that made for awkward conversation. International cell phone calling apps have changed the way we communicate, and it’s all for the better. Here are five to try next time you’d like to reach out to someone in a different country.
If you’re looking for cheap international calling and outstanding call quality, take a look at Viber. An app that’s grown by leaps and bounds since its introduction, it offers a variety of free options including text and video chat. Unlike some of the other featured apps, Viber offers a direct connection to your phone book, so there’s no need to reload contacts. Just pick a number, and then make your call.
Viber offers a variety of payment options and call plan options; you can choose a monthly plan or simply pay as you go. Rates start at just a few cents per minute depending on your call destination, and call quality tends to be excellent. The Viber app is free to download and many fun features are free to use. As with other high-quality international call apps, it is available for Android and iOS, and works on the device of your choice.
You might have tried using Skype for text chats, and perhaps you’ve used it for video chats, too. What you might not know is that Skype offers international calling online, and as long as you have the app installed, you can give it a try. Prices vary depending on your call’s destination. It gets lower ratings than some other international calling apps; however, many customers are completely satisfied.
Skype offers a variety of payment methods depending on the user’s country and/or region. If you’d like to have others call you, you can offer to foot the bill with Skype Credit. The Skype app is free to download. It’s available for Android and iOS, and you can use it on whichever device you prefer.
Phone for Google Voice
If you need an extra phone number for making calls, sending texts, and receiving voice messages, consider giving Phone for Google Voice a try. It works on computers and smartphones alike, and is available for Android and iOS. You can make international calls at reasonable rates with this app, but there are a few limitations:
- Phone for Google Voice is available in the US only. If you’re in a different location and you want to give this app a try, you can check for updates.
- Many international call apps are web-based, but Google Voice is different. Standard minutes from your cell plan are used.
- All calls are routed through a US-based access number, which is excellent for confidentiality. One downside is that this may increase your cost per call, particularly if you need to use the app while you are traveling abroad.
With FreeTone, users get an additional free phone number, complete with voicemail. Calls to the US and Canada are free, as are texting and picture messaging. A limited number of inbound calls are free, however incoming calls accrue charges after a certain amount of minutes. This app is free to install, and it works on Android and iOS alike. You can use FreeTone on your choice of several different Android and iOS devices, and as with similar international calling apps, you can sync and switch devices for added convenience.
As with many apps, the free version of FreeTone comes with advertisements that might pop up at inconvenient times. If the ads bother you, you can pay a fee for an ad-free version.
International calling requires credits, which you can purchase on an as-needed basis.
As international calling apps go, Voxofon is a well-built one with some nice extras, such as texting, and it is available for Android and iOS. You can use your favorite device to communicate with anyone who has a phone number, including those who are still using landlines. As with some other apps, this one can be synced across devices so you never skip a beat. Call rates are affordable, and you can choose to purchase credits with your card or use PayPal if you prefer. The app also offers a rewards system that lets users watch advertisements in exchange for credits. Users note that Voxofon offers good call quality, however they have mentioned that there is some difficulty locating international call rates as they are not prominently featured on the app’s information page.