Don't send text; send a voice message.

The idea with HeyTell is, instead of calling or sending a text message to a friend, you can send an instant voice mail--as long as your friend has HeyTell installed.

There are plenty of apps to send text messages and photos to your friends, but what about voice messages? The idea with HeyTell is, instead of calling or sending a text message to a friend, you can send an instant voice mail--as long as your friend has HeyTell installed. Start by touching the green-on-white person-shaped icon to add people from your contact list. You also have the option to connect HeyTell to your Facebook account, but we wonder whether people really want everyone they've ever known sending them voice mails. When selecting friends from your iPhone contact list, HeyTell offers a premade invite you can send via text message to have your friend download the free app.

Using HeyTell is obviously a different way to communicate--replacing text messages with voice mails--and it is definitely fun to hear how people respond to rapid-fire voice messages. The interface plays into the fun: to send a voice mail, you simply press the big orange Hold and Speak button and HeyTell records your message until you let go, kind of like using a walkie-talkie. The app keeps all of your shared replies so you can go back and listen to individual messages. You can even save favorite messages to enjoy later.

Beyond its main functions, HeyTell offers a few for-pay Extras (tab on the bottom right of the interface). For $1.99 each, you can add a Voice Changer to create silly-sounding messages; Emoji support to add fun icons to your name (seems overpriced to us); Message Wipe to have messages expire after a specified amount of time; and (for $2.99) Group Broadcast, which lets you send out voice messages to your designated groups of friends. We only downloaded the Voice Changer add-on, but were honestly not very impressed by the results. Any one of these purchases will turn off the in-app ads, but the ads are pretty easy to tune out when using HeyTell.

Overall, HeyTell is an interesting way to communicate and is definitely more efficient than sending text messages. If you like the idea of quick voice mails to get your point across, you should definitely check out this free app.

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