Is there life without Skype? Five alternative messengers

Is there life without Skype? Five alternative messengers

Microsoft will soon no longer support older versions of Skype, and when you try to login, users will be prompted to update the app. And if you do not want to update, will have to find an alternative way to communicate. About messengers that can be a substitute for Skype, read the review.

Skype is possible to love and not to love, but to deny the popularity of this application is not possible. It is pre-installed on smartphones and laptops, they are even grandmothers and preschoolers, and Skype Name is found in the contact information of online shops and business cards are almost as common as the mobile phone number. But while the townsfolk are in full popular application, a more advanced audience, who worked with him back in the days when no one knew what the “Headset” Skype “, is already looking for an alternative. After absorption of the popular messenger from Microsoft, the program appeared advertisement, and not so long ago it was announced that in the next couple of months will be discontinued support for older versions of Skype.

The official explanation of the developers explain this step by saying that the old releases are not compatible with the new features of the messenger (for example, sending messages to contacts who are not in the network). In addition, if users work with older versions, it is impossible to realize the correct operation of the program when you exit the network with multiple devices. No one doubts that there are other reasons why the older versions of Microsoft uncomfortable Skype, but they can only guess. However, the main thing is that users will soon Skype 6.13 for Windows and earlier versions, as well as Skype 6.14 for Mac and older releases will not be able to use the program. When you try to login from the old version of the application you will be prompted to update the program, otherwise the connection will not be established.

When people are on to something forced, it always makes you want to give up the service, no matter how familiar and comfortable it was. But to find an alternative to Skype is not easy though, if only because of the many years of its development application has a lot of functions that can be used on various devices: for desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets. And for most of us, the rejection of the usual applications on Windows is the need to find alternatives and on your mobile device. Although the problem, rather it is a messenger for the desktop. Mobile applications for text messaging, VoIP-telephony and video calls are many, but not all of them have a version for Windows. Most developers focus on the development of its products for mobile platforms. Nevertheless messengers working simultaneously on mobile devices and computers, there is, and it is about them and we’ll talk today.

Jitsi – so far only for the desktop

Developers most modern messengers rely on the support of popular mobile platforms and desktop systems are paying much less attention. In this regard, Jitsi – a unique program because it works on all popular desktop platforms, but of cells only supported Android, and even then only in alpha mode. The almost complete lack of support for mobile devices is compensated by other advantages.

Firstly, on the core functionality Jitsi not inferior to “Skype” – the same voice chat, video calls, including group, the presence of the chat, the ability to show your screen. Secondly, Jitsi – not just a free program, it also has an open code. In this case, it is quite safe, as all traffic is encrypted. Third, the application has good compatibility with other open standards: for example, the sound is transmitted using a codec Opus, supported accounts Google, Facebook and other popular networks, voice and video in Jitsi can be performed via SIP accounts and XMPP.

The SIP protocol is suitable for communication between users who are in the local network. This method of communication does not require registration – just enter your IP-address and an arbitrary login. And in order to make voice and video calls not only on the local network, you can use the free service from XMPP-developers Jitsi. To do this you need to go through a simple registration on the website, then enter your account details XMPP (login is in the form [email protected]).

Jitsi preserves the history of calls and allows you to keep a record of missed calls. The application also allows you to transfer files – simply drag them into the application window. For voice calls supported eliminating echo, noise reduction, temporary mute, call hold, simultaneous voice chat with several people.

Viber – is useless without a smartphone

Viber – a project that has partially Belarusian roots. One of the founders of the messenger – Belarusian, and work on the application being including in Brest, as well as in Israel. The first version of Viber came out for the iPhone, but now you can use messenger on almost all platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, half-forgotten BlackBerry OS, Series 40, Symbian and Bada. And since last year, Viber also works on desktop platforms, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, but with some reservations.

Viber supports all the usual functions of Skype: You can chat with your friends in chat (in one chat can hold up to a hundred people), as well as the call – both in the one only voice, and video. However, video calls are working so far only in the desktop version of the application, and then only in beta mode.

Wanting to use Viber as an alternative to Skype on the desktop, do not forget about the fact that the original application is still developed as a mobile. That is why the registration of the client desktop is not possible. To become a user of Viber, you must first install the application on your smartphone. In order to authenticate using the phone number, the same number must then be entered in the client for the desktop. After that, the mobile Viber will be sent an activation code that you need to specify in the program for your desktop. In this case, if you exit from your account Viber mobile application, work desktop version will be immediately stopped.

Table Viber picks up a list of contacts from your mobile phone and displays them in the main window. If desired, you can also connect their Facebook accounts and Twitter – then the list of contacts will be more.

Those people who use Viber, will be marked in the contact list, a special icon – you can call them for free or chat. Other contacts can also call, but with the use of paid features Viber Out. If you install Viber on two or more devices, the app will synchronize all messages between clients. If any message has been deleted on one device, it will be gone, and on the other.

Viber offers a lot of ways to express themselves. When chatting on a mobile device, you can use not only words and familiar smiles, but stickers.

In addition, right in the app, you can record funny animations and send them.

Also available is the usual record voice messages and sending videos and photos stored on the device, sending information about the location. And, you can do drawings and send them to chat. For desktop clients running sending emoticons, stickers and photos that are stored on your computer.

Among the many application settings include the ability to lock rooms, to automatically delete old media files from the device, the ability to hide itself from the network Viber, a free response to the SMS via Viber (if the client has been installed at the respondent).

Google Hangouts – video in your browser

Communication service from Google integrated into different web services company, and exists as a separate mobile applications for Android and iOS, and Android-devices on the client pre-installed by default. On the desktop PC can communicate via Hangouts from Gmail and Google+. Also, there is an extension for Google Chrome , adds the gadget directly to the taskbar Windows. Authorization for all devices, of course, occurs from an account Google. In this case, all events are synchronized between devices, if you missed the hangout, the message of this you will see on all their devices, as well as the history of the negotiations in a text chat.

It is also interesting that Hangouts syncs between devices settings that relate to the notifications. If the computer, such as blocker enabled alerts for incoming messages for three hours, during which time the smartphone will also be silent.

Another feature that will be useful for those who use Hangouts on different devices – displays information about which device is currently active. Also can be displayed in the status information that the user is at the moment with someone talking.

Using the Hangouts, you can send text messages interlocutors, location information, photographs (on mobile devices have the opportunity to take a photo from within the app, or select it from the gallery). Unfortunately, there is no easy way to transfer files, as in Skype. Perhaps someday the developers integrate with Hangouts also its service «Google Drive,” and yet you can only upload images and videos.

On any device, you can start a hangout, which can simultaneously engage up to a hundred people. During a video call, the participant who is the current speaker is displayed in a large window, and the rest – in the small windows at the bottom of the screen. On a slow connection to the Internet video calls Hangouts work even better than Skype.

Mobile version Hangouts integrated with SMS (if the user has this feature), so in the annex shows the general chat for text messages and those who were sent by the application.

Hangouts for Chrome differs spartan interface. The application is presented in a separate small window, and adds its icon in the notification area (its display can be turned off). Optionally it can run automatically with the start of the browser.

Telegram – only chat, but safe

Telegram – the youngest of the messengers in our review, the oldest of his customers are not yet a year old. Nevertheless, the number of its active users in the spring exceeded 35 million. For promising project worth notorious Pavel Durov, who invests money in it. Thanks to such strong support in the application there is no toll functions, as well as advertising (and, as promised by the developers on the official site, and does not appear, as this project is not focused on making a profit).

Development Telegram engaged another Durov – Nicholas, who has to his elder brother Paul. Especially for service Nicholas has created a special messaging protocol called MTProto, which provides a high level of security. So high that for breaking protocol offering 200 thousand dollars in virtual currency Bitcoin, but only because they no one has yet earned.

As with other mobile messaging services, as login Telegram uses a mobile phone number. It comes with the SMS authorization code. If Telegram is used on multiple devices, it is necessary to bear in mind that when you first log on to the new equipment will need to enter a verification code. Therefore, the phone that is running registration, you need to keep on hand. It is interesting that when you authorize in the new device already activated device for safety message arrives. In addition, in the application is the ability to remotely break all the application session, except the current one.

Telegram will be interesting for users of Skype, all methods of communication prefer text chat. VoIP-telephony functions, as well as video calls, in Telegram is not (and is not yet scheduled). The app offers text messaging, as well as gives you the opportunity to send information about the location of a fragment of the map Google, attach images, send voice messages and video clips up to 1 GB. Record voice messages, as well as take photos or video to a friend, you can immediately, without having to leave the chat room.

All forwarded messages are stored on a remote server and thus available from any device on which you are logged on with an account of the service. But these devices can be very much because Telegram officially supports iOS and Android, and also has informal clients for Windows Phone, Windows Desktop, Linux and Mac, works as an app for Google Chrome and as a Web application in the browser.

Communicate Telegram is not possible with only one person – to discuss the issues that require the presence of a larger number of people, provides group chats. This chat can participate up to two hundred people, and invite new members can not only created the group, but all who have been invited to it. When you open a group chat, you can see the total number of participants, as well as find out how many of them are currently online.

Apart from the usual chats in Telegram also offered private – with a high level of security. While communicating their data sent directly between the two devices, and the history of correspondence does not remain on the remote server. Moreover, communicating in a secret chat, you can set the time after which the message will be automatically deleted from the sender and the receiver. However, privacy has a downside: in the name of security will have to sacrifice the ability to access messages from other devices function messaging other people and the ability to send messages to subscribers who are not online at the moment.

ooVoo – video, but with advertising

Another application, which can be considered as an alternative to Skype, – ooVoo. Its main advantage – support both desktop and major mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), and the ability to make video calls on all supported devices. Moreover, the performance of video calls – this is the main purpose of the service, and this function is given a lot of attention. Transmitted video can be supplied with various special effects, which are superimposed on the fly.

In the video chat at the same time can communicate with up to 12 people, and they do not all have to be users of the service. If you want to talk to those who have not installed ooVoo, you can generate a link to a video chat. Get this link will be able to join the video directly in the browser, specifying the details of your Facebook account or the account ooVoo.

OoVoo program for Windows is more functional than mobile applications. For example, in the desktop client, you can send any file (in the mobile version – only photos and video), record calls and video messages, watch videos on YouTube with your friends, send a picture from your desktop.

Unfortunately, ooVoo has not only advantages, but also disadvantages. Chief among them – annoying ads that appear on both the computer and mobile devices. Remove it can by clicking on the paid version of the service, which also includes the storage of up to 1000 minutes of video on servers service (remember that in the Telegram can free to send videos up to 1 GB).


Well, find a messenger who would not yield to Skype’s functionality and comfort, today it is hardly possible. Among the alternatives considered most worthy solution seemed service Google Hangouts – here and there is no advertising, and video on mobile platforms works well, but still not specifically need to be registered, and the list of contacts loaded from Gmail. However, other programs can also be a good fit – it all depends on what Skype features you use most often and on what devices are used to communicate. For example, for the correspondence in the live chat is perfect Telegram, for voice and video calls from the desktop – Jitsi, and mobile voice communication – Viber.

Tags: Skype, Skype alternatives

Category: Software, Technology

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