Line App Review

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

Line offers free Voice over IP calls, video calls, and instant messaging. It has earned a strong reputation in many countries in Asia as well as the West as a WhatsApp alternative. It has even overtaken apps like Skype in terms of the number of users registered and using it, with an estimated userbase of 700 million users worldwide by 2016.

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 through the service.

Line offers several features that expand the app into the social-networking realm. For example, the service provides stickers and emoticons, many of which are available to purchase through the Theme Shop and Sticker Shop. It even includes a timeline feature that works much like Facebook and Twitter timeline functions.

Share multimedia files among Line app users. The files you send can be recorded voice files, video files, and pictures. The voice and video files you send may be recorded on the spot and sent. The free Line camera photo editor app helps you to snap pictures and even lightly edit them before you save or share them.

The Line Pay app even supports in-app payments.

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

Line is a free app. To use it, you'll need an internet connection, through a 3G or 4G data plan or through or Wi-Fi.

Supported Devices and Setup

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

Setup is simple on all devices. After it's installed and launched, Line registers you by using your phone number, which it can fill in automatically. Double check that the number is correct. Then you verify using a code that is sent to your mobile phone through SMS.

During the registration process, Line asks to access your contacts; you can disallow this access if you choose. This option authorizes Line to peruse 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 will ask you to register your email address. A code will be sent to your email address to verify it. If you change your phone number or mobile device, you can use your email address to login in and access your account information. The next time you in, click Email/QR code login beneath the login fields to access your account using email.

Line asks you for a display name for yourself (up to 20 characters) during registration, and if you want others to be able to add you as a friend — if you don't want others to add you, uncheck the box at the bottom.

Official Accounts Terms of Use

Official accounts on Line are run by organizations and businesses, and interacting with these 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, which includes your display name, profile media, status message, and your internal identifier, which is a unique character string each Line user is given when they sign up.

Tap Cancel and thus not agree to these terms. However, you will not be able to interact with or add official accounts, which include news accounts like CNN, TechCrunch, and Wikipedia, as well as celebrities. Each time you attempt to interact with an official account, you will be given the Official Accounts Terms of Use verification prompt. The Line system itself is considered an official account, so any messages from Line will prompt you to accept this additional agreement.

Calls to External Numbers

Use Line to call people who are not on the Line app by using their mobile or landline numbers. The call will not be 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 they vary depending on where you are calling.

You can make calls using Line Out for free by viewing an ad. The time available for the call depends on where you're calling. These can vary and are often from three to five minutes.