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AireTalk: Free voice and video calls, SMS, and file sharing

September 28, 2012

Keeping in touch with friends through your mobile phone is great, but it’s also rather costly. Even if you’re on a postpaid plan, constantly communicating with someone can lead to a painful bill at the end of the month.

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Thanks to smartphones, however, we can opt to use services such as Skype to call the ones that matter to us via the Internet. We can even go on Video Call if we really want to see our friend’s face. Skype, however, is rather limited in the ways we can communicate with our friends. PingShow has developed an app that goes beyond what Skype offers you.

AireTalk may be packed with the same chatting, regular call, and voice call features that Skype has but it also lets you do more things. Of course, to start using AireTalk, you’ll need to sign up for an account. If you don’t want to sign up for an Aire account, you can just log in using Facebook.

Once you’re signed in, you can start adding friends by tapping the Menu button in the upper right corner of the screen, tapping Search and entering your friend’s Aire ID.

Once you have added your friends, you can communicate with them in a number of ways. While chatting or calling them may be a good idea, you can also video call them to see their faces.

If you’re chilling at a coffee shop or restaurant and you want your friend to visit you, you don’t need to manually type in your location. Instead, on your chat window, tap the word bubble with a plus sign and bring up options. Tap the compass icon on the far right to share your location with your friend. Once you’ve shared your location, your other friends can also tap on your username and locate you.

AireTalk also gives you the option to use Walkie Talkie mode. Sharing files or photos with your friend is also easy. You can add a note to your file for elaboration if needed.

Even if it’s a free app, AireTalk is not ad-supported. You won’t find a single ad on its interface. We ran push notification detector apps, as well, just to see if it pushed annoying ads to the notification bar. AireTalk did not blip on the push notification detector’s radar.

Though AireTalk has more features than Skype does, I didn’t find AireTalk particularly user-friendly. When I first launched the app and saw the Friends screen, I couldn’t immediately locate the Search button. I had to stumble around a bit to find it and add Alvin. I installed the app on an HTC Sensation while he used a Samsung Galaxy S3.

When I called, I also experienced some lag issues. It took about 2 or 3 seconds for whatever I was telling Alvin to reach him and about the same amount of time for his messages to get to me.

I also tried AireTalk’s video call feature with Alvin. While AireTalk was still trying to reach him, it displayed my face on the screen, but once the video call connected, the screen went black on both of our ends. The call had successfully connected but there were no visuals. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the developer to work out these snags in upcoming updates.

Start communicating with your friends without draining your data plan with AireTalk. Download it from the Google Play Store for free.