Mike's NBC-TV stories

Best Group Messaging Apps

With just about everyone using a smartphone or tablet these days, there’s almost no excuse to not be in almost constant contact with just about anyone you know.

That’s where an ever-changing breed of group messaging apps come into play. Here are three of the best around.

Blend combines functionality with flash and simplicity. The app allows users to set up one or more groups of friends, family, co-workers or anyone else. Blend users can take part in video chats, send pictures, or have private chats with individual members of their group or groups. The app is free for iOS and Android users.

Tango works on smartphones and tablets, and specializes in video calling for group messaging. You can also send and receive texts, photos, and audio through Tango and for free. Tango even allows you to make free voice and video calls from just about anywhere in the world. Tango is free for iOS and Android with paid premium services available.

And, of course, there’s GroupMe. Considered by many to be the top group messaging app, GroupMe allows users to set up multiple texting groups, say, family, friends, or co-workers. In addition to text messaging, you can share photos, videos, or your location. And if you don’t want to be bothered by anyone, GroupMe has a setting to block messages from coming through. GroupMe is available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices with paid premium options also available.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.