If you want to save some money (and you spend a lot of your day in a place with reliable Wi-Fi, such as your office), you might want to sign up for the cheapest cell phone plan available and rely on free call and text apps instead.
Here are seven phone apps with free calling for Android and iOS. They all offer unlimited calls and SMS text messages. Some offer landline and cell phone calls. Keep reading to learn more.
As you’ll soon discover, many of the apps that offer free calling all share a significant caveat—you can only call people who also have the app installed. Often, you cannot make calls to regular landlines or cell phones.
TextNow is one of the exceptions. As long as you live in the US or Canada, you can make unlimited free phone calls to any phone number in either country. If you want to call international numbers, you will need to pay. You can, however, earn international calling credits by completing offers.
Other cool features include voicemail transcripts, caller ID, call forwarding, and your own free inbound number. TextNow is available on Android and iOS, as well as Windows and macOS.
2. Text Free
Text Free was created by Pinger, a company that’s been making free Wi-Fi calling apps for several years.
It’s similar to TextNow, but there are some important differences. Most notably, only Wi-Fi-based app-to-app calls and inbound calls are free. If you want to make outbound calls to a regular phone number, you will need to pay.
Luckily, you can earn minutes for free by watching videos and completing partner offers. If you prefer to pay, you can grab 100 outbound minutes for $1.99. You can use the minutes to call anywhere in the world.
You’ll also be able to choose a real US phone number that you can give to friends and family. The custom number selector lets you pick an area code, then add your preferred combination of characters.
The Text Free app is ad-supported and available on both Android and iOS.
Using WhatsApp to make free calls has some obvious limitations. You can’t call landlines or cell phones; the app can only place calls to other people who have WhatsApp installed.
On the plus side, an increasing number of businesses—big and small—now maintain WhatsApp accounts. This means you might still be able to order a pizza from your favorite restaurant when you get some midnight hunger pangs.
Unlike TextNow and Text Free, WhatsApp also supports video calls and group calling.
The best part about WhatsApp, however, is its userbase. It is comfortably the most popular messaging app in the world, meaning there’s a very high chance that the person you want to contact also has an account.
Once again, WhatsApp is available on Android and iOS. You cannot place calls via the service’s web app.
4. Google Duo
Google Duo lets you make free Wi-Fi calls to other users on both the Android and iOS operating systems.
Other key features include support for group chats of up to 32 people, an in-call photo feature, voice-only calls, and a low light mode.
We especially like Google Duo’s Family Mode. It lets you doodle on video calls and transform your on-screen persona with masks, stickers, and more.
Dingtone is another of the best free texting and calling apps. You can send unlimited free texts to other numbers (both locally in the US and internationally), and can call landlines for free via Wi-Fi.
The app is especially useful if you need a second number for business, or need a private number that’s separate from the one your friends have. You could even use the second number to pull pranks on your mates.