Mike's NBC-TV stories

Free phone and text apps

With the amount of time we spend on our smartphones and tablets these days, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of how much we call and text – or the bills could add up.

A number of apps can help by letting users make free calls and send texts, as PC Mike Wendland reports.

Free Tone calls and texts any number in the U.S. or Canada for free. Plus, you get a free private number. Free Tone even makes free video calls. Sign-up is easy with email, Facebook or Google account, and you can use it across multiple devices. The app is free for iOS and Android with premium options available for purchase.

LINE is another app available across multiple platforms that lets you also make free voice  and video calls. Also, group calls and instant messaging. What sets LINE apart is its full-featured social networking service where you can comment on others activities and also post on your timeline. The app is free for iOS and Android and also offers premium options for a fee.

Viber is another free calling and messaging app but also lets you share photos and videos – even send messages with virtual stickers. All messages are protected by end-to-end encryption. And a very handy feature lets you to delete messages wish you hadn’t sent. The app is free for iOS and Android with premium features available for purchase.

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.