Mobile apps are great, but what if you can't afford a data plan or don't own an Android phone? Fortunately, there are several browser-based services that work with any phone.
Now, let's get started!
1) Google Voice (Web)
Google Voice is my absolute favorite service. It lets you make free calls in the U.S. and Canada to phones within your Google account (and 20 other countries). However, it gets even better than that because when you set up a new number on Google Voice, you also receive a secondary number that people can text for free, whether or not they have a GV number.
To start with Google Voice,
1. Navigate to voice.google.com in any browser (except Safari on iOS devices)
2. Enter your phone number and then press "Get Verification Code"
3. You will be sent an SMS text message containing a 4-digit code that you must enter on the next step to verify your account and create a password
4. Once you've done this, you're ready to go!
As long as you don't disable Google Voice from within Settings > Voice on your iPhone's Google settings page or erase your browsing history, you can also use GV for free voice calls and a secondary number from a WiFi network.
Google Voice offers a lot of other features, so definitely check it out if you have any interest in them! In addition to being able to change the way your phone number looks when you call people and being able to get voicemails sent directly to your email inbox, GV offers free text messaging (to U.S. numbers only), cheap international calls, SMS blocking, transcription of voice mail messages, and more by making one easy account with Google.
2) Boost (Web)
Boost is a very popular app for gamers on a PC or Mac, but almost everyone already has it on their computers anyway! If you'd like to make fun games on your phone, all you have to do is download the Boost app for your browser.
Boost works in almost any modern browser (including Safari on iOS devices), but it doesn't offer much in the way of features yet. That's okay because it's still better than nothing! You can use it to play free games alone or tables games with other users, and if you'd like to, the good thing is you can also increase the excitement with decent bets.
A nice thing about using the web version of Boost is that whenever relevant updates are made available through their website, they will automatically show up when you open the app. This ensures that you'll always have the latest version every time you use Skype, which is definitely nice because sometimes updates can fix stuff that wasn't working in the previous version.
3) WhatsApp (Web)
WhatsApp was already available on PC using WhatsApp Web, but now anyone with an iPhone or Android phone can do the same thing thanks to an app for mobile browsers! Just visit whatsapp.com in mobile Safari or Chrome for Android and scan the QR code with your phone's camera/SMS messaging app to get started.
If you're looking to chat with your friends without spending any of your precious data (and who isn't?), then this one's for you! WhatsApp requires that you have an active internet connection, but that won't cost you anything. You can send unlimited text messages to any other WhatsApp users for free, assuming your phone's plan allows for this. Texts sent through the web browser are read directly from your phone anyway, so there is no difference between using WhatsApp on a computer or using it on your actual device!
Of course, the only real downside of using WhatsApp over something like Google Voice is that it still costs money to call phones outside of your region/country unless they're also in WhatsApp (and even then not all of them are). Other than that though, I absolutely love everything about WhatsApp and highly recommend giving it a shot if you haven't already!