WhatsApp Call consumes a lot of MB, So which voice calling app uses the least data per minute?

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Free voice call apps, which use data to place calls, can offer a cheaper way to keep in contact with friends abroad and come to the rescue when you’ve used up your monthly minute quota. However, with multi-gigabyte data plans still often coming at a premium price, the busiest chatters out there could soon eat into their monthly allowance using voice over data calls.

The results

We can instantly spot a huge difference between the leanest and the heaviest data consuming applications. Interestingly, many of the most well-known apps, such as Hangouts, Skype and WhatsApp, consume by far the most data, while KakaoTalk, Nimbuzz and Line all consume comparatively smaller amounts of data. Facebook Messenger also makes a bit of a surprise appearance as one of the most data efficient ways of placing a voice call.

Perhaps a little worryingly for Skype users, the app consumes over 2.7 times the amount of data per minute than the most economical apps. WhatsApp consumers 2.3 times the data of KakaoTalk, while Hangounts and Tango consume around twice the data each minute. Over the course of an hour’s worth of calls, the difference between Skype and KakaoTalk works out to around 33.4MB, which might be a point worth considering if you’re on a more limited data plan and like to talk.

Magic Jack and Viber both consume a little more data than others, but are still much economical choices than the more established apps. These may be the best choice if you’re looking for a balance between call quality and data usage.

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To be fair to the big brands, we do know that Skype implements a rather intelligent codec that is capable of various sample and bit rates. We went back to see if switching down to a 3G network, with more limited bandwidth, would make any difference to the data consumed, but the results came back well within the margin for error. We can conclude that a 3G connection is more than good enough for the best voice call quality that Skype and the other apps have to offer on Android, so you’ll probably always find that these apps consume around this amount of data, regardless of a 3G, 4G or WiFi connection type.

While the big companies may be able to spend some cash on extra bandwidth and servers, Kakao, Nimbuzz and Line most likely make use of a lower quality communication to save on expensive server bandwidth, which has the added benefit of saving us data usage too.

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WhatsApp Messenger is Now FREE on the App Store!

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An enormously popular paid iPhone app has just gone free. WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform messaging app, is now listed as free in the App Store.

Earlier this year, company officials announced that a paid annual subscription fee will be unveiled by the end of 2013. With the change, the app will be free for the first year and then cost $1 for every year after.

Back in May, when the 50 billionth app was downloaded, Apple announced that the app is the sixth most popular paid iPhone app of all time at its former $0.99 cost.

WhatsApp Messenger is designed for the iPhone/iPod touch and can be downloaded now in the App Store for free.

The huge price change came right on the heels of the app’s first update in 2013.

First up, version 2.10.1 now features a multiple send UI so users can send more than one photo at the same time.

The app has also gained iCloud compatibility for chat history backup and restore. Users can turn on the function on by going to Settings, Chat Settings, and then Chat Backup.

Finally, the update has added URL schema support for third-party apps.

BBM coming to iOS and Android this Summer!

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BlackBerry’s BBM messaging service is finally coming to Android and iOS. The long-rumoured release of BBM on handsets other than BlackBerry’s own was announced by CEO Thorsten Heins on stage at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, Florida

“We are making the BBM platform more powerful than ever. We want to offer this powerful mobile service to everyone,” said Heins.

Any iPhone running iOS 6 or later will be able to download BBM. Android handsets need to be using Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean in order for BBM to work. BBM will also be free on both iPhone and Android.

“We are committed to making BBM on other platforms as fully featured as we can,” explained Heins, who was keen to emphasise that the messaging service would still be best on BlackBerry’s own handsets.

“Of course BBM on blackberry will be the premier experience,” said Heins. “It’s a statement of confidence.”

The CEO explained that the company was so confident with BlackBerry 10’s success that it wasn’t worried about sharing its premier draw, BBM, with other operating systems.

The rollout will begin in the summer with BBM in its most basic form. Messaging and groups will be available on Android and iOS, with video and screen sharing coming later in the year. The just announced BBM Channels should also arrive in 2013.

BB announces the BlackBerry Q5 for emerging markets

The start of the BlackBerry Live 2013 annual conference today in Orlando, USA, saw the announcement of the BlackBerry Q5 – a QWERTY device for emerging markets.

The Blackberry Q5 revolves around a 3.1-inch touchscreen and one of BlackBerry’s classic physical QWERTY keyboards, which they are so proud of. The screen has an unusual resolution of 720 x 720px – the same as on the Q10, but this time it’s an LCD unit. Inside the BlackBerry Q5 there’s a dual-core 1.2Ghz CPU and 8 gigs worth of storage. There’s a microSD slot to expand that, but the battery is not removable.

The new BlackBerry Q5 will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with availability beginning in July. The smartphone will be offered in black, white, red and pink.

Another announcement that came from the today’s keynote is that the BlackBerry 10.1 update is now ready to seed to the BlackBerry Z10 (later this month in the US). Not only that, but starting today, Skype will be available to all users who update their Z10s to v10.1.