With everything going mobile, instant messaging applications have more or less replaced IM services like Yahoo talk, AIM, AOL and MSN Messenger. At present, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging applications, but what if you have a smartphone that still doesn’t have WhatsApp? For example, a Bada OS handset or even a Java phone. Or, what if you want to keep the conversation going on, even if you are on your laptop or desktop and don’t want to switch over to your smartphone. All of this and more, can be found in our five alternatives to WhatsApp messenger below. 

GroupMe – Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, WP7

This application is quick to install and takes very little of system resources. It’s got a refreshing blue user interface as well. Though it’s not available over all existing mobile platforms, this app is one of the easiest ones to use, if you want to stay in touch with your friends. One interesting feature that comes with this application is Open Groups – you can talk about what you want by simply finding open goups using the Discover tab.

Group Me

Group Me

Here are a few of the features of this particular App:

  • Start groups with the people already in your contacts – no need to remember usernames or PINs.
  • The conversation starts instantly. The app uses your data connection, so even tablets can join in on the fun.
  • When you have a poor connection, the app can switch to receiving messages via SMS. You'll never miss a message!
  • Share photos online—take them on-the-go or choose from ones you've already taken.
  • Add your location to any message you send.
  • See all group members on a map.

JaxtrSMS – Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Java, Symbian

This application has the widest support for platforms at the moment, including both Symbian and Java phones. It’s got a simplistic feel to it, but is an extremely powerful application on its own. What more, the makers also have a scheme that lets users SMS for free to Zone A Countries – (including USA and India). It works even if one of the users has JaxtrSMS installed. 

Jaxtr SMS

Jaxtr SMS

Here are a few of the features of JaxtrSMS:

  • Automatically integrated with your address book
  • Works with WiFi and network coverage
  • If the receiver doesn't have JaxtrSMS, messages appear as a normal SMS/text message in their inbox
  • If the receiver does have JaxtrSMS, messages appear as a threaded conversation with special notifications

ChatON – Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Bada, Web

This is not a copy of Apple’s iMessage. This is Samsung’s effort at making a powerful cross platform messaging app, because it supports iPhones as well! Samsung ChatOn is particularly helpful if you are wanting to chat from your desktop browser without having to switch over to your smartphone. Also, it’s one of the few apps that support the Bada operating system, so incase your buddy has Bada, you know you’ll need this app. ChatOn also allows users to draw and send doodles along with their messages from the app itself. 

Chat ON

Chat ON

Here are a few of ChatOn’s features:

  • Using ChatON, create your own unique animated message by drawing.
  • ChatON provides group management features for easy group chats.
  • ChatON provides an interaction rank which tells you how often you chat with your buddies
  • In every chat room, you can easily see all sent images and videos in a trunk
  • Got something to say to your buddies? Use Buddies to broadcast your message

eBuddyXMS – Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, WP7, Web

The original eBuddy was (and to many, it still is) one of the most popular apps in the recent past as it linked together multiple email accounts to present to multiple chat accounts in a single window. Following the success of that app, its makers announced eBuddy XMS that takes instant messaging a step ahead. At the moment it does have a few advantages over WhatsApp with Facebook login that allows users to chat from a web interface with their buddies. Another must have chat app. 

eBuddy XMS

eBuddy XMS

Here are a few of the features of this app:

  • Flexible – XMS how you want. From quick hellos to casual conversations… using texts, pictures, emoticons and more. It’s up to you. And because it’s always on, it’s always ready for you.
  • Reports – Messaging you can count on. eBuddy XMS shows you when messages are sent and read. And you’ll enjoy stable performance, with minimal strain on system resources. 
  • Share your story – With over 100+ emoticons, you can get inspired with your messages
  • Access eBuddy XMS from any computer. Web XMS allows you to send and receive all your XMS's from the comfort of your keyboard. 

Viber – Android, iPhone

This application is somewhat similar to Skype as it supports both instant messaging as well as free VOIP calls over Wi-Fi and your data network. A neat purple interface, with very little system resources when running in the background, Viber is a must have if you are an Android or an iPhone user. True, it’s still not widely available over platforms, but that’s in the pipeline as well. 

Viber

Viber

Here’s what Viber has on offer:

  • Simple to use: Viber just works, and lets you connect with your friends whose numbers you already have. It syncs with your mobile phone number and contact list to instantly show who already has Viber. Never again must you seek out your own contacts, create new usernames, or build new lists.
  • Always On: Viber runs in the background without draining your battery, so you always receive incoming calls and message notification.
  • AD Free: Viber doesn’t accept advertising and promises mobile text and calls will always be free, and ad free. 
  • In the pipeline:. More ringtones (even custom ones), wallpapers and support for more devices.

So, these are our five most popular chat applications besides WhatsApp. Naturally, there are tons and tons of them in the various marketplaces, so let us know which is your preferred way of staying in touch, in the comments section below. 

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