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5 alternatives to FaceTime for Android

There’s just something about video chat that makes you feel close to far-away friends and family. Apple’s FaceTime is one of the best options out there for connecting via video, but what if you use an Android phone?

First off, don’t be fooled by apps in the Google Play store branded as FaceTime. They’re fakes, and they’re probably harmful to your device. Tap or click here to learn about other dangerous apps you need to avoid.

Though you can’t exactly have FaceTime, you can get a lot of its features through legitimate video chat apps built for Android. We’ll walk you through the best options.

1. Viber

Viber is shaping up to be huge competition for popular messaging apps, and it comes packed with features. It has almost all the basics — group messaging, instant video and voice calls, plus stickers and GIFs.

But what really sets Viber apart is its encrypted messaging system. If you want a messaging system that’s reliable and secures your messages, check out Viber.

What we like:

  • Encrypted messaging: All messages you send in Viber have end-to-end encryption, meaning they can’t be read by anyone other than you and your recipient
  • Viber features a Trusted Contacts list that allows you to swap “secret keys” with contacts you trust and informs you of important changes in their accounts.
  • Viber supports Spotify tracks, YouTube videos and numerous chat extensions that can be integrated to other applications you’ve installed.

What we don’t like:

  • Viber is loaded with extra features that might get in the way if all you’re looking for is a video chat solution.

2. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger might just be the closest FaceTime equivalent you can get. Originally just a separate Messenger app, Facebook has integrated this tool into its ecosystem to allow seamless messaging among users.

Messenger offers a lot of features that make connecting with friends and family easy, and it’s a go-to chat app just for the convenience factor alone.

What we like:

  • Messenger supports video calls and voice calls, including group chats and group calls. This makes it easy to connect with one person, or several, at a time.
  • You can share snippets of your daily life with its My Day feature, similar to Snapchat and Instagram.
  • Messenger has encrypted Secret Messages for more private conversations, and you can even communicate with Facebook Marketplace clients.

What we don’t like:

3. WeChat

WeChat has become a powerhouse in China for a reason — and that’s likely because its an all-in-one messaging powerhouse. If you want an app that allows you to pay the bills, access your favorite apps and even create your own tools and programs, try WeChat.

What we like:

• WeChat offers group messaging, voice calls and video calls.
• The app links multiple brands to users, allowing you to access brand-exclusive mini-apps with unique features.
• WeChat also allows users to pay for services with its online credit system.

What we don’t like:

• WeChat isn’t used as much in the U.S., so your contacts may not be on it.
• The multitude of offerings from WeChat can be overwhelming for first-timers.

4. Skype

You might think Skype is a classic, and you may even think of it as outdated, but the truth is Skype is now more sophisticated than ever before. In fact, Skype is a go-to messaging application. Kim even uses it to interview guests for her show airing globally on Bloomberg TV.

If you haven’t used Skype in years, check out its sleek format and screen-sharing capabilities.

What we like:

  • If you’re looking for a clean messaging app, Skype is definitely for you.
  • As a business-focused messaging application, Skype has an easy-to-use interface. You can integrate other messaging apps (such as Slack) to Skype for work, plus you can easily send media like files and pictures to Skype conversations.
  • Screen sharing makes it convenient to present information.

What we don’t like:

  • Skype is certainly more business-focused, so it might turn you off from using it for messaging loved ones.
  • Add-ons like stickers, GIFs and connectivity with other programs is relatively limited.

5. Telegram

When you hear Telegram, you might instantly think end-to-end encryption — and this is perhaps the app’s biggest pull. But Telegram also boasts a robust system that allows it to deliver messages to a lot of users, with threads capable of supporting up to 200,000 members.

That’s because Telegram’s chat system is supported by a robust network of cloud-based servers scattered around the world. This allows Telegram to hypothetically deliver messages faster than other messaging apps. This also means you can sync your messages across different devices, plus get unlimited storage capacity for your shared media.

What we like:

  • If you’re a developer, you’ll love the fact that the Telegram API is open source. This means you’re free to tinker with the source code and add handy features of your own.
  • If you’re a regular user, you’ll like the way Telegram prioritizes your security and privacy.

What we don’t like:

  • Telegram doesn’t offer much in the way of features aside from supporting a lot of people in chat threads and end-to-end encryption.

You might not be able to access Apple’s FaceTime on an Android, but that doesn’t mean solid video chat options are out of reach. Happy chatting!

Want to get more from your Android? Check out 50 hacks you’ve probably never heard before.

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