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Home Latest Articles Smartphones Kagoo App Starter Kit - Social & Communication

Kagoo App Starter Kit - Social & Communication

Alex
Updated 13 May 2021
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Kagoo recently started supporting smartphones on the site, offering comprehensive details on a whole range of quality smartphones. You can browse all the latest Smartphones in our Smartphone Hub & view the best deals on our Smartphone Deals Page. To celebrate their arrival, we’re looking in depth at smartphone features - today we’ll be looking at the second part of the Kagoo App Starter Kit, this time concentrating on social & communication apps.

You can find the first part of the App Starter Kit - looking at work & productivity apps - here

Social Media

A smartphone is above all else a communication device, designed to keep you in touch with friends and family. So of course social media is a massive part of a smartphone - allowing you to view the latest updates, upload photos and get the latest news. The most useful social network is the one everyone else is on, meaning our selection are generally the most popular ones.

Facebook

(iOS & Android - Free)

Facebook should need no introduction - the gargantuan social network is one of the best-known brands on the planet, with a reach expanding from VR to politics. While there are a number of controversies surrounding the service, the sheer popularity of Facebook makes it hard to ignore. If you want to connect with your friends, chances are they’re on Facebook.

Instagram

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(iOS & Android - Free)
A social network for cute dog photos and overly-filtered selfies: this Facebook-owned service specialises in photos and short video clips. Its popularity birthed the ‘influencer’ movement, but don’t hold that against it - after a bit of time teaching the system what you’re not interested, you’ll achieve modern nirvana: an endless stream of adorable pet photos!

Snapchat

(iOS & Android - Free)

AKA ‘The Vanishing Photo Network’. Snapchat was originally designed as a one-to-one photo sharing service, where the photos were only viewable for a short time before they vanished. While inevitably used for naughty photos, Snapchat has grown into a larger network, with influencers and brands using Snap to reach a brand new group of customers. It’s less immediately personal than Facebook, but the robust security, encryption and removal features mean you won’t have to regret that poorly-lit selfie for the rest of time.

Messaging

Whatsapp

(iOS & Android - Free)
Whatsapp is probably one of the best known messaging apps around at the moment. Originally a startup from a couple of ex-Yahoo developers, Whatsapp’s concentration on easy group messaging (long before Facebook gained the ability) and support for almost every device with a net connection made it the best messaging app during the early generations of smartphones. They were acquired by Facebook in 2014 but had stayed relatively separate - however at the start of the year there were numerous changes to the terms and conditions that would let them share your data with Facebook, provoking a furious response and an exodus to other apps.

Facebook Messenger

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(iOS & Android - Free)
As ubiquitous as Facebook itself, and nearly as contentious. Messenger was originally an integral part of Facebook, before it was split off into a standalone (sort of) app. If you’re wanting to talk to anyone on the Facebook network (which is the majority of people, we’d wager) then you’re gonna need this app. Just be careful - like the main Facebook app, it will seriously drain your battery if you’re not careful.

Signal

(iOS & Android - Free)
Signal is a high-security encrypted messaging program, offering peerless end-to-end encryption to make sure that no bad actors can intercept or read your messages. It has seen growing interest in the last year or two - primarily due to Signal’s use as a tool to organise protests when the government has banned or compromised other forms of communication. While Signal is significantly far more secure, it’s also rather bare-bones, lacking many of the ‘fun’ features found in other apps. It’s a small price to pay for security though.

Video Calls

Video calls are one of the real perks of a smartphone - it’s so much more personal when you can actually see the person you’re chatting to. This has been especially true during the Covid-19 quarantine, where video calls have been helping keep people connected and sane while stuck indoors. Here are a selection of great apps for video chats

Skype

(iOS & Android - Free)

Skype was one of the first major video chat apps available to the public, and for many years was used for up to 40% of all video calls. However in recent years the lack of support for large group calls has dented Skype’s popularity - during the quarantine Skype’s market share has dropped 25%, as newer apps step up to the limelight. Despite that it’s still a great program for individuals or small groups, and most people will have a Skype account registered somewhere. Rock-solid video and compatibility with almost every device makes it a good choice for a quick chat with family.

Zoom

(iOS & Android - Free)

Zoom is the rising star of the work from home generation - while the app has seen reasonable growth since it launched in 2011, it gained massive popularity in the early months of the Covid quarantine, with their userbase rising by over 600% in a few short months. Zoom’s real strength is the ability to host meetings with a large number of participants: up to 100 on a free plan, with a maximum of 1000 for enterprise customers. This makes Zoom helpful for businesses, as well as groups of friends meeting up remotely. It’s a solid app that handles large numbers of video feeds smoothly, though there have been a number of issues and concerns relating to their security of the app. These include questions about how safe the encryption used for calls is, and an investigation into possible collusion with the Chinese government. While none of these are a smoking gun, it’s clear that Zoom has a lot of work to do to beef up their security to the level of their competitors.

Discord

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(iOS & Android - Free)
Discord isn’t strictly a video chat app, though that is part of the service they offer. Instead, it’s something akin to a mix between a forum, messaging service, video chat and file sharing program. The idea is that anyone can start up a ‘server’ and invite others as a community - members of the community can chat privately, as well as a group through text, voice & video. Discord has seen substantial growth over the last few years, but the quarantine has really caused the popularity of the app to explode. It’s great for setting up casual meeting rooms to chat with lots of friends, organising online games or discussing everything from TV to sports. I can speak from experience that Discord is very good for bringing people together for casual tabletop and board games - and it’s free for anyone to use! Discord is compatible with most modern smartphones, as well as having robust browser and desktop apps.

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