The recent ban on bulk SMS has left many furious, especially youngsters who rely on it to stay connected with friends and family. If you are into heavy texting and chatting with friends and family, then the recent extension of 20 SMS cap may also not be sufficient. In this mobile-age, there are several messaging applications and software that would come to your rescue. We’ve listed some such apps. Needless to say, popular mobile platforms have their App Stores inundated with apps, but owners of feature phones running on Java also have a couple of options. Let's take a look at some of the options available.

The Nimbuzz messenger is a great alternative to your usual SMS. It allows sending messages, photos, music and even videos. It helps keep expensive (SMS) text messaging or multimedia (MMS) charges at bay. Moreover, it supports all leading mobile brands and even the lesser known ones, which means it is compatible with smartphones as well as feature phones from Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Lemon, Alcatel and more. Nimbuzz users can also join chat rooms to make new friends. Furthermore, Nimbuzz can also be used on your PC or Mac. Click here to check if it supports your handset.

Available for Android, BlackBerry,iOS, Java/MiDP/J2ME, Nokia

eBuddy is yet another web and mobile messenger service that could come to your rescue. eBuddy XMS could easily replace your exorbitantly priced SMSes. It allows users to send texts, fun-filled emoticons, pictures, videos and more. The web client supports all browsers. Besides, the app aggregates all your IM networks like AIM, Facebook Chat, Gtalk, ICQ, MySpace, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! in one place. This service is available in more than 30 languages.

Available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS,  Meego, Windows Phone 7

Your new buddy

Your new buddy

This app may not be very popular but it’s quite effective. Users can send and receive SMS like text messages to anyone in their address book from Pinch. Moreover, your friends don't even need to have the Pinch app to get your message. The app supports group messaging functionality and can be used on almost all platforms, including Java and Symbian. It takes off the limitation of exchanging messages with only those buddies who have the application installed.

Available for Android, BlackBerry,  iOS,Java, Symbian

This messaging service needs no introduction. It has become quite a rage among mobile friends. WhatsApp is a trending messaging service that lets you keep in touch with a neat chat-like interface and allows sharing images, audio and video files instantly. Users can form groups and stay in touch with pals all along.

Available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian (S40 and S60) and Windows Phone (Windows Phone 7.5 and above)

Whats upp!

Whats up!

This messaging service is a good option for those who still use Java phones. A RockeTalk user can send a message via phone or even computer to a friend (or group of friends) on their phone or computer. The installation process is simple and one can download RockeTalk using their phone's web browser. Here’s the complete list of devices that it supports. However, there are limitations in sending audio and images.

Available for AndroidBlackberry,  iOS, Java
Fring is a popular alternative to your usual SMS. Just like most of the messaging apps, it supports on-the-go live chatting and also video chats. Interestingly, it also supports group video chats, allowing up to four users to video chat. Besides, it also supports free voice calls and cheap international calls.

Available for Android,  iOS, Symbian

Samsung ChatOn
Aiming to spruce up connectivity on-the-go, Samsung introduced its ChatOn messaging service last year in October. Obviously, it wanted to keep pace with its competitors, Apple and BlackBerry, who were already in the market with their respective applications. Initially loaded on the Bada platform, the ChatOn app was soon available for leading platforms like Android, BlackBerry and iOS. It allows chatting with your buddies on the go via group chats, sharing multimedia content and animated messages.

Available for  Android, Bada, BlackberryiOS

This application is somewhat similar to Skype as it supports instant messaging as well as free VOIP calls over Wi-Fi and your data network. It allows users to make free calls, send free messages and photo messages to other Viber users. Similar to WhatsApp, Viber automatically detects your contacts who have installed the Viber app and all you need to do is click on a name and start talking. Viber users can form groups of up to 15 people for messaging.  

Available for Android, BlackBerry,  iOS, Windows Phone

Viber for messaging

Viber for messaging

This application has the widest support for platforms, ranging from Symbian and Java phones to Windows Phone and iOS. It’s got a simplistic feel to it, but is an extremely powerful application on its own. What's more, the makers also have a scheme that lets users SMS for free to Zone A Countries – (including USA and India). Viber users can form groups of up to 15 people for messaging. 

Available for Android,  BlackBerry, Java, iOS,  Symbian, Windows Phone

This quick-to-install application takes very little of system resources. One interesting feature that comes with this application is Open Groups – you can talk about what you want by simply finding open groups using the Discover tab. Besides sending messages and photos, the app can even send the location with the message.

Available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone 7
Besides these applications, iOS and BlackBerry users can also avail of exclusive messaging services for the platforms like iMessage and BBM, respectively. Apple’s messaging service was introduced with iOS 5 last year. Like everything Apple, it is limited only to iOS 5 and above users. BlackBerry owners wouldn’t have to fear about any SMS cap as the popular BBM service allows unlimited chatting all day. However, using messaging services requires Internet connection, so better opt for a good data plan too.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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