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Best Messaging Apps for iPhone / iPad

Whilst I travel for work, video and VOIP calls, as well as text messaging, become my lifeline back to my family. Though they may not always be 100% reliable, I know that I feel heaps closer to home just having access to this technology.

For this purpose, I use the following apps the most:

Skype - I find that this is the most reliable technology for keeping in touch virtually. I think the bet part of it is that even though the other person may not be online, it is possible to call them by phone or send them a text message using Skype. In fact, it's a decent 'replacement phone' whilst travelling.

In fact, I have even used this to connect to conference calls while I'm on the road, without wifi access and just on 3G (only locally, not overseas/roaming).

Skype is even an internal messaging system that we even find extremely useful in the office.

I've also had the chance to test drive group video calls using Skype, and I thought it was pretty cool.

FaceTime - The ease of use of calling someone using FaceTime is pretty good. If you're primarily using Apple-to-Apple products within wifi, then it's cool.

Of course, the downsides are obvious: No easy way to text message within the app (will need something like iMessage), only works with wifi, and no way of using it as a phone replacement.

iMessage - With the introduction of iOS5, iMessage came in to picture. The main advantage of this messaging app is its ability to share pics and text as a group.

How about you? Other than the usual social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc, what's your favourite way to keep in touch? Preferably, with video/audio options?

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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