Texting on the cheap

WhatsApp Messenger has been around for quite a while, but it's still an app that's extremely useful to texting addicts.

WhatsApp Messenger has been around for quite a while, but it's still an app that's extremely useful to texting addicts. With this chat app installed on your iPhone, you'll save a considerable amount of money on text charges through your carrier. The only catch is that you'll have to persuade your most frequent texting partners to download the app, too, but once they see WhatsApp's advantages, they'll probably pony up a buck.

Much like the texting app that comes on the iPhone, WhatsApp Messenger shows your chats in little text bubbles, gives you a time stamp for messages, and lets you include photos, audio notes, and videos within your conversations. But WhatsApp Messenger also lets you change your background, notifies you when a text has been viewed by your recipient, and enables you to send your GPS location on an interactive map. You also get premade away notes such as "I'm busy" or "Available," and you can block specific contacts from within the app.

There aren't that many extra features, really, but the real advantage of WhatsApp Messenger is the money you save. As of this writing, AT&T charges $5 for 200 texts per month, and $15 for 1,500 texts per month. After the first month with an iPhone, most people probably realize 200 texts is incredibly limiting (causing you to go over your allotment and incur extra charges), whereas 1,500 is probably far too much, but who wants to add on to an already expensive phone bill? With WhatsApp Messenger, and a little cooperation from your most texted friends and family, you could easily go back to the $5 plan and save $10 a month on your phone bill.

Overall, WhatsApp Messenger is not much different from the text app on your iPhone, offering a few neat extras that make it a little more fun. But if you do a lot of texting, this app is a must-have, giving you unlimited texts with other users without having to worry about extra charges.

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