Compulsive texters take note: You can text all you want for free, if you find the right app. Even though a text message usually costs the carriers less than a penny to route between mobile phones, they charge customers as much as 20 cents to send a text and another 20 cents to receive one, according to the New York Times. This adds up to an estimated $20 billion a year in revenue for the wireless industry. But in the last two years there has been a proliferation of mobile apps, the latest being Apple’s iMessage, which allow users to text free. While they differ in format and ease of use, they all work on the principle of sending and receiving texts via cellphones’ data streams. TextFree from Pinger is one of the most popular texting apps. Advertising supports TextFree and its chief competitors, TextNow and textPlus. All three allow transmission of picture files within texts and have customizable options, such as special ring tones. Registered users of these apps get a new phone number for texting. Another option for free texting are instant messaging apps, such as iMessage, Skype IM, Kik, Google Talk, Facebook Messenger and GroupMe.
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