Line App Review

Free calls and messaging are only a few of Line's offerings

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Line offers free Voice over IP calls, video calls, and instant messaging. It has earned a strong reputation as an alternative to WhatsApp. It has overtaken apps like Skype in a number of registered and active users, with an estimated global user base of roughly 84 million.

Core Features of the Line App

LINE app logo
Naver Japan Corp. / Wikimedia Commons

Like WhatsApp and Viber, Line registers users using their mobile phone numbers. It also offers paid calls to mobile devices and landline users, in addition to free user-to-user calls and text messages.

Line offers several social networking features, such as a timeline feature that works like Facebook and Twitter timelines. Users can share multimedia files with other Line accounts, including voice recordings, video files, and pictures. Voice and video can be recorded on the spot.

The free Line camera photo editor app helps you to snap pictures and lightly edit them before saving or sharing. And, Line includes stickers and emoticons, many of which are available to purchase through the Theme Shop and Sticker Shop. The Line Pay app supports in-app payments.

You can organize group messages with up to 100 people at once. There are many ways of adding friends, including shaking the respective phones close to one another. You can also use QR codes to quickly add friends.

The Line App

Supported Devices and Setup

Line works on iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), Android, and BlackBerry devices. It is also available for Windows PCs and on macOS.

The setup is simple. After it's installed and launched, Line walks you through the registration process, which is performed via your phone number. You'll want to double-check that the number is correct, then verify the registration with a code sent to your phone.

During the registration process, Line asks to access your contacts. You can disallow this access if you choose. This option authorizes Line to browse your device's contacts and build a friends list in the app based on those contacts, showing which of your contacts are on Line.

On Windows and Mac systems, Line asks you to register your email address. A code is sent to your email address for verification. If you change your phone number or mobile device, you can use your email address to log in and access your account information. The next time you log in, select Email/QR code login beneath the login fields to access your account using email.

Line asks you to create a display name (up to 20 characters). You can then choose if you want others to be able to add you as a friend. (If you do not, uncheck the box at the bottom.)

Official Accounts Terms of Use

Official accounts on Line are run by businesses and organizations. Interacting with them requires acceptance of the Official Accounts Terms of Use. When you add an official account as a friend or interact with one, the official account obtains access to view your profile information. This includes your display name, profile media, status message, and your internal identifier, which is a unique character string given to users upon signing up.

If you choose Cancel, you will not be able to interact with or add official accounts, which include news outlets like CNN, TechCrunch, and Wikipedia, as well as celebrities. Each time you attempt to interact with an official account, you'll receive the Official Accounts Terms of Use verification prompt. The Line system is considered an official account, so any messages from Line prompt you to accept this additional agreement.

Calls to External Numbers

Use Line to call people who are not on the Line app via mobile or landline numbers. These calls are not free. Instead of paying for expensive mobile minutes, you'll use your Line credits to call on VoIP. This service is called Line Out. Rates are generally affordable but vary depending on where you are calling.

To place free calls with Line Out, you need to view ads. The time available for the call depends on where you're calling. These can vary and are often from three to five minutes.

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