5 Best Free Calling Apps for iPhone and iPad

Make calls over the internet for free

A free calling app is a great 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, iPad, or Android mobile device because as long as you can access 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. FaceTime, however, is limited to other iOS devices and Macs. Fortunately, there are plenty of good, cross-platform free calling apps; call anyone else who has the app, whether they're using Android, Windows Phone, or even a computer.

Free calling apps are limited only by a data connection. Call someone halfway across the world or in the next room, and it's free either way.

Hangouts on iPhone X screen on a yellow background

These apps all are available for a variety of platforms, including iOS and Android devices as well as web browsers.

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Skype

Three iOS Skype screenshots, depicting use of the free calling app

What We Like

  • Works on nearly every device.

  • 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

  • Its many features could be overwhelming to some.

Skype is the service that kicked off the VoIP craze. The Skype 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 support Skype, which also can make HD video calls.

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 accessible from a web browser.

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WhatsApp Messenger

Three iOS WhatsApp Messenger screens depicting how to use the free calling app

What We Like

  • Supports texting and video calls.

  • Doesn't store your communication details on its 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 1 billion users.

WhatsApp's security focus sets it apart from other internet calling apps. The company says, "Privacy and security is in our DNA." Because end-to-end encryption is enabled, WhatsApp makes sure nobody can spy on your phone calls.

WhatsApp is available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone devices as well as Windows and macOS computers. Voice messaging, texting, and file sharing work through WhatsApp in a browser, as well.

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Google Hangouts

Three iOS Google Hangouts screens depicting usage of the free calling app

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 app is a well-designed tool with plenty of features and 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. Use Google Hangouts for text messaging and to share photos, videos, GIFs, and more. Google Hangouts supplies emojis and stickers for self-expression.

This calling app is available for iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices and the web.

Note

Google Hangouts replaced previous messaging products from Google, such as Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the Hangouts feature of Google+.

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Facebook Messenger

Three iOS Facebook Messenger screens depicting use of the free calling app

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.

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 Messenger. The iOS calling app not only uses the internet to make free voice and video calls, but it can also send texts, images, videos, and more to your Facebook friends.

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

In addition to the Messenger iOS calling app for iPad and iPhone, Messenger is also available for Android devices. The Messenger website supports calls, as well.

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Viber Messenger

Three iOS Viber screens depicting usage of the free calling app

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 (needed when signing up).

The Viber Messenger free calling app is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide; it 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 iPhones and iPads. The app also can be installed on Android mobile devices and Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop devices.

All the apps listed here require a data connection, so while Wi-Fi is free, using a calling app via your data plan will suck away at data usage. If you have a limited data plan, monitor your consumption and use calling apps sparingly.