This Austrian startup has made a name for itself by extending mobile messaging beyond wi-fi and even including Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote integration.
Functions: Unlike most other messaging apps, mySMS allows users to send regular SMS text messages alongside internet chat messages. Messages texted to mobile phone numbers cost 8c, unless the chat partner also has mySMS, in which case the message is free.
mySMS messages can also be sent, backed-up and synced with a tablet and computer, as well as other apps like Evernote and Dropbox. Unfortunately, Apple does not let mySMS access text messages sent to your phone, restricting the usability of mySMS on the iPhone.
Text messages are sent using SSL encryption and multimedia attachments such as pictures are saved on Amazon’s servers in the EU.
Download: mySMS can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android.
Shortly after the WhatsApp and Facebook revelation, Telegram reported a sharp increase in users. With close to 5 million new members signing up to the Berlin-based messaging app in the space of 24 hours, users have sent a clear statement about the importance of private messaging.
Functions: Messages, photos, videos and documents: Telegram offers a range of functions similar to WhatsApp, but with one key USP: privacy.
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram message feature a self-destruct function. In addition to their high-speed delivery and heavy encryption, their messages can also be sent to as many as 200 users in one group chat.
German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest has criticised that the app saves contact details without the user’s permission
Download: Telegram can be downloaded free of charge for iOS and Android.
Like Telegram, Swiss messaging app Threema has seen an enormous spike in registrations since Facebook’s purchase of Whatsapp, bringing the number of users to 1.4 million worldwide. Depicting itself as “seriously secure” and “Made in Switzerland,” Threema has branded itself as the Swiss bank of mobile messaging.
Functions: Offering a similar functionality to Whatsapp, Threema also boasts end-to-end encryption of all messages. Unlike Telegram, Threema does not disclose its source code or API methods.
Without any independent checks of the app’s hidden code, there’s no way to fairly assess how secure the encryption really is.
Price: Threema can be downloaded for a once-off fee of €1.79 on iOS and and €1.60 Android.