These days, your Android phone can be quite the communications hub, letting you stay in touch with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, no matter where you are in the world.
These tools become increasingly important as social networking becomes more mobile and the business world continues to operate from mobile vantage points. There are several tools that let you chat, share files and make free phone calls using your phone’s 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
Google Communication Android Apps
Google Voice lets you route numbers and interact with calls via email and SMS, which can now be done through your Android phone. The free Android app lets you place calls and send text messages from your Google number, as well as listen to voicemail and read transcriptions of incoming voice messages.
Google Talk is another Google-owned Android app that comes with your phone, letting you see your online friends and chat with them anytime. The free Android app lets you update your status, manage your buddy list and view profile information. Group chat is also supported from the mobile Google Talk Android app.
Chat and Phone Call Tools
The eBuddy Android app is a more inclusive way to chat with friends, giving you access to multiple chat clients from one app. The free Android app is integrated with MSN, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, GTalk and more. Receive notifications for new pings, manage buddy lists, and keep conversations going while you perform other functions on your phone.
Meebo is another free chat tool, letting you sign in and communicate with all the major chat clients. More fluid than eBuddy, the Meebo Android app is also tied to your main account, giving you access to saved chats and history from any computer.
For a mobile chat tool that can also make phone calls, try Skype Lite. Though still in beta, the free Android app enables you to make VoIP calls, saving you money on land line and international rates.
Multifaceted Communication Tools
Fring also combines chat and VoIP, but it also includes a few other social networking options as well. Able to link with your major chat clients, Fring also allows you to make VoIP calls, including Skype calls. Receive RSS feeds, social networking updates and more. The inclusive communications app is free for Android users.
Similar to Fring, Truphone for Android gives you mobile access to major chat clients, Skype, and various social networking outlets such as Twitter. TruPhone’s free Android app also lets you make free VoIP calls, creating a hub for a large portion of your digital communication needs.
For a media-centric communication tool, Nimbuzz has a slant for multimedia sharing. Send and receive photos and videos with this free Android app, while accessing friends across multiple chat and VoIP clients. Notifications are available, so you don’t miss anything going on in this rather active Android app.
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