WhatsApp has been trying to allow users to send voice calls via the app for quite some time. However, despite their achievements in other regions, it’s still not working properly in the UAE. The reason behind this? The existing phone system in the country allows only fixed-line phones or VoIP services to make calls using a direct subscription, while mobile devices are charged according to the minutes used. This is the main problem faced by WhatsApp because once it allowed its users to place calls through data networks, they’d have to change how DTAC makes money from voice calls on smartphones. So, even if you’re a Facebook Messenger user who wants to use the free calling feature anywhere in UAE just try alternative apps available globally and offer similar features, including VoIP.
You may or may not know about Skype but I’m sure you’ve heard of its new name: Microsoft Skype. Even though it’s the most popular app for international voice and video calls, it has never been able to provide such features in UAE/Qatar/Saudi Arabia because authorities there believe that their people mostly depend on VoIP services as they heavily rely on their mobile phones. However, now the new version of the app allows its users to place free one-on-one voice calls without even giving an SMS via the data connection. If you are using Windows 10 which is currently available in UAE, then you can make a voice call to your friend from a PC without a messaging app. Don’t forget that if the person who wants to receive calls from you doesn’t have Skype installed on his or her phone then he or she won’t be able to answer it either.
2. Point To Point (P2P)
Point To Point (P2P) is a free messaging & calling app that allows its users to exchange messages, photos, and videos for free with anyone worldwide by connecting two people via a peer-to-peer network. The first version of the P2P app for Android had some issues even though the developer promised that new updates contain fixes related to stability & connectivity problems. However, I’ve recently noticed that some users report significant quality improvements after updating the app to the latest version. You still can’t expect good call/message quality because it uses a peer-to-peer connection similar to Skype, but you’ll have nothing to lose if you give it a try
3. Google Duo
Google Duo is one of the easiest and fastest apps for video calling with anyone around the world without requiring any registration or sign-up process. The only thing you need is your phone number, so simply install this new cross-platform app from Play Store & App Store, open it and tap on “Connect,” after which a unique code will appear that needs to be shared with other people who want to make a call. One drawback here is that both caller and receiver should have the same app installed to use it, but it uses your phone number to make a call, so there is nothing like “internet connection required” here.
Talkray is an app for smartphones running on Android or iOS released exclusively in the USA last year. Even though it allows international calls, its main purpose is to replace traditional landlines all over the world because you don’t need any internet connection to use this app. You can simply use Talkray in UAE/Qatar/Saudi Arabia if the other party also has this app installed on their smartphone to start a conversation without any problem. It supports group chats, changing personal profile pictures & ringtones, individual & group voice notes, and much more features that are pretty common between most similar apps.
Viber Out allows you to send messages over 3G/4G cellular networks so the other party can receive them via smartphone or computer even if they don’t have Viber installed. You can place a free call to another person over any data connection such as 3G/4G/LTE, Edge, and also WIFI networks. It’s very easy to configure the calling feature because simply tap on the Settings icon from the left side menu and select “Calls” in order to register a phone number and enter it when needed. Unfortunately, this app only supports voice calls and doesn’t allow video chats, but I hope developers will soon add this great new feature.
Talkatone has been specially designed for iOS users who want to make free voice & video calls using their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad devices. The downside is that this app does not allow calling other phones but only those who also have Talkatone installed on their smartphone. It’s very easy to set up because you just need to select contact and tap on the “Call” button but unfortunately, it doesn’t work with tablets.
FaceTime is a video telephony feature that comes preinstalled on every iPhone and iPad device. It’s very easy to use this app because you just need to install it from the Apple App Store, open it and choose contacts who you want to call using the video chat service. The best thing about this app is that it doesn’t require any information such as phone numbers because it uses Apple ID instead. This makes it an ideal option if both users are already members of the iTunes online content distribution system.
Truecaller is a combination of caller ID and phonebook app that helps to identify unknown calls from private/local numbers. It’s effortless to use simply because you just need to install it from Google Play Store, register your number and wait till the app finds 100% database of all available contacts within the next few minutes. I’ve already noticed that it has been recently updated for users to make free video calls with each other via WIFI or cellular data connection. You can also buy the premium version or download “Truecaller Talk,” a separate app that offers the same features as Truecaller itself.
Tango works both on PCs and smartphones, so you can easily call anyone who has this application installed on their device. I’ve already mentioned that it’s unnecessary to have an internet connection available to call somebody because Tango allows you to do this via a WIFI network. It works very well on 3G/4G networks, but unfortunately, the voice quality is average at all times. I noticed that the Calls > Contacts icon doesn’t work anymore, which worked just fine with the previous version, but this could be just a temporary problem. Hopefully, developers will fix all known issues soon enough.
Qik Video Messenger can be considered another great option if you are looking for free video chats or cheap international calls. You can now make free video calls with your family & friends by simply installing the Qik app from Google Play Store. Signing up using a Facebook profile or any other email address and enjoying free calls via the cellular data connection. I liked this app because it can also be used to record video messages that you can send to your friends/contacts who are not available at the moment in real-time.
11. HelloOX 2
HelloOX 2 replaces the iOS built-in Phone app with many more features than Apple’s phonebook app. It’s very easy to use because you just need to install it from the Cydia store, open it and then tap on the Contacts icon to start calling people via their mobile numbers if they are already saved within your contacts list. This application could be especially useful for those who want to spoof their caller ID to make it look like they are calling from another number instead.
Nexmo is basically the same thing as Truecaller but supports more than 170 countries around the world. You can also use this app to make free calls with other users by simply installing the application on your device, opening it, and registering via Facebook profile or any other email address.
TpTone has been installed on my iPhone all the time since 2011 because I love to talk with my close friends whenever possible. After all, this makes them feel like you care about them even if you actually don’t do anything for them at all. It works very well in every country where I have tested it so far but unfortunately, you can’t call contacts that are not available within your friend’s list. I still think that it’s worth a shot if you ask me.
Line2 is basically an iPad built-in phone app replacement but works very well on smartphones as well . You don’t need to enter any information such as phone numbers because Line2 comes with a complete contact book included and it works perfectly fine with all iOS devices, including iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. The second reason why I like this application so much is that you can now make free calls via cellular data connection or WIFI connection for those who want to save their money while talking with their friends/contacts from other parts of the world.
CheetahPhone is yet another option if you don’t mind paying $2.99 for an app that basically allows you to make free calls via cellular data connection or WIFI network. I’ve tested it on my rooted Android device and it’s working very well so far but I can’t guarantee the same results if you try this application on an unrooted Android smartphone/tablet.
16. Google Voice
Google Voice is not a phone app replacement but it can help you to make free calls to anyone around the world even if they are not using Google Voice services. You just need to open your Gmail account, click on the small arrow next to the phone icon and select the “Call phone” option. I know it’s not always possible for everyone because some people don’t have free access to their email accounts so please note that this trick might not work well with all Gmail addresses.
I think that the only downside of these free alternatives is that some of them can’t send/receive text messages because they are not available for Android devices or even Windows Phones. However, you should know that this problem can be solved very easily by using any smart SMS forwarding service such as Zoho SaaS, Hus Vogtext, or SMSBird.
I hope my article has helped you. If you found an issue, please feel free to leave a comment below. I will be more than happy to help you out with any of your problems related to above-listed applications/services or even with similar issues not mentioned in this post. Thanks