5 Best Free Calling Apps for iPhone and iPad

These apps let you call for free using the internet

A free calling app is the perfect way to cut down usage on your voice plan. In fact, with an app that makes internet calls, you don't even need a voice plan with your iPhone, iPod, or iPad because as long as you can reach Wi-Fi, you can make a phone call.

iOS users already have a built-in calling function called FaceTime that can make both audio and video calls for free using the internet, but it's limited to Macs and other iOS devices. Fortunately, there are plenty of really great, free calling apps that are cross-platform, meaning you can use one to call anyone else who has the app, whether they're using Android, Windows Phone, or even a computer.

Apps that make free phone calls are limited by nothing but a data connection. This means you can call someone halfway across the world or the person in the other room, and it's free either way.

Note

All of the apps listed below require a data connection, so while Wi-Fi is free, using one to call over your data plan will suck away at your data usage. If you have a severely limited data plan, please monitor your consumption and consider using these voice calling apps sparingly.

01
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Skype

Communication Tools for iOS
Communication Tools for iOS. Getty Images

What We Like

  • Works on nearly every device

  • You can send voice messages, videos, and images

  • Supports texting and video calling

  • Logging in is easy if you already have a Microsoft account

What We Don't Like

  • It's more than a voice calling app, so it could be overwhelming to some

Skype is the service that kicked off the VoIP craze. The Skype iOS app offers free local and international calls to other Skype users and low-cost plans to any international numbers of non-Skype users.

Many devices are supported, so you're bound to have trouble finding someone who can't use it. Plus, Skype can make HD video calls, too.

You can download Skype for iPhone and iPad. The app also works with Android, Windows 10 Mobile, Kindle Fire HD, Windows, macOS, Linux, and more. Skype is also available from a web browser.

02
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WhatsApp Messenger

What We Like

  • Supports texting and video calls

  • Doesn't store your communication details on their server

  • Group chats support up to 256 people

  • Lets you share PDFs, spreadsheets, and more

What We Don't Like

  • No native iPad app

WhatsApp is the most popular VoIP app for mobile devices. According to Facebook, which owns the app, WhatsApp has more than one billion users.

One thing that sets WhatsApp apart from other internet calling apps is that, according to them, "privacy and security is in our DNA." Because end-to-end encryption is enabled, WhatsApp ensures that nobody can spy on your phone calls.

There's a WhatsApp app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone devices. If you're on a Windows or macOS computer, you can use WhatsApp there as well. Voice messaging, texting, and file sharing works through WhatsApp in a browser, too.

03
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Google Hangouts

What We Like

  • Simple and clean design

  • Works seamlessly with an existing Google account

  • Integrates with Google Voice for voicemail, plus texting and calling with non-users

  • Group chats can contain up to 150 people

  • Video calls support 10 people at once

What We Don't Like

  • Requires a Google account


The Google Hangouts iOS app is a well-designed tool with plenty of features. It integrates well with the iOS environment and has a huge community of active users.

Use this calling app to connect at any time with other Google Hangouts users for free voice and video calls. You can also use Google Hangouts for text messaging and to share photos, videos, GIFs, and more. Google Hangouts supplies emoji and stickers for self-expression.

This calling app works on iPhone and iPad. You can also install it for Android and use it on the web.

Note

You may have heard of other messaging apps from Google called Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and Hangouts. Google Hangouts replaces all three.

04
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Facebook Messenger

What We Like

  • Supports lots of other features

  • Group calling is allowed

  • Emoji, GIFs, and stickers are built-in

  • Lets you communicate with Facebook friends without actually being on Facebook.com

What We Don't Like

  • Supports a limited number of devices

  • Requires a Facebook account

If you're one of the billions of people around the world who use Facebook, you'll like Facebook Messenger. The iOS calling app not only uses the internet to make free voice and video calls, it can send texts, images, videos, and more to your Facebook friends.

You can use names or phone numbers to find your friends on the social networking giant. Calling is just a tap away.

In addition to the Messenger iOS calling app for iPad and iPhone, it's also available for Android. Calling is supported too and from the Messenger website, too.

05
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Viber Messenger

What We Like

  • Clearly separates which contacts are free to call and which aren't

  • Includes thousands of free stickers

  • Lets you send 30-second video messages

  • Text chat with up to 250 participants

  • Calls are protected with end-to-end encryption

What We Don't Like

  • Requires access to a phone number (it's needed when signing up)

The Viber Messenger free calling app is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and supports not only phone calls but also video calling and texting.

The app uses your phone number to identify you on the network and integrates seamlessly with your contact list to indicate who you can call on Viber for free. 

The Viber iOS calling app works with iPhone and iPad devices. The same app can be installed on Android mobile devices and Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop devices.