Simplicity and functionality win
When it comes to messaging I tend to use different apps for different occasions. I like the standard Android messaging app for sending out quick messages to people on my contact list, but when it comes to group messaging or sending SMS texts to people with iPhones I prefer using apps such as Whatsapp and Oovoo.
I don’t have to pay extra in order to send out messages, so it doesn’t really matter when I send out texts, however if you really want to get rid of your wireless provider and use one of these apps instead, you might be able to, with some limitations. Right now we want to compare some of the more popular apps that include messaging, video chatting and standard calling features. I’ve never reviewed one of these apps, but we have taken a look at some of the best messaging and video chat apps for Android.
Today it’s Skype vs Google Voice Chat. Let’s see which one wins.
Skype: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Google Voice Chat: 4.1 out of 5 stars
Google Play Ratings and Links:
Skype: 4 out of 5 stars
Google Voice Chat: 4 out of 5 stars
Skype’s interface is the best by far. It gives you favorites, clear notifications and quick chat features. It lets you use Skype on just about any device.
Google Voice chat has a nice setup that’s integrated with your Gmail accounts. It’s key feature is the voicemail, offering you an additional phone number to make calls and screen calls that come in. It also gives visual voicemail to see and manage voicemail. I use it to chat on my computer when my phone dies or when I’m out of service, because it automatically brings all of my contacts from my Google account, making it like I am still texting people, just from another number.
You need to buy credits to make calls to actual phone numbers on Skype.
Google Voice Chat doesn’t have all the media attachment and emoji features that the other options have. You also can’t video chat on Google Voice Chat.
The Bottom Line
Both of these apps work just fine for messaging. Google Chats falters because it doesn’t have video messaging. If you don’t want to pay for calling real phone numbers then use Google Voice Chat, but if you don’t care about that go for Skype.
Setup and User Interface – Skype Wins
In terms of setup, both apps are pretty quick and easy. For both Skype and Google Voice you create either a username or phone number, simple as that.
After that you can create your profile and import contacts for both options. Skype has more of a focus on uploading a profile image and setting up Away messages. These features are fine and dandy, but I don’t see them as making an app better.
The primary interface is where Skype excels. It has an “old timey” voicemail feel to it, but it’s exactly what people want. You can see the messages that people send you, your favorites are always sitting on your homescreen and you can quickly call, message or video chat anyone right from the main screen.
Google Voice Chat has a nice interface, but I personally think it is too simplified and Google Voice doesn’t have everything organized as nicely as Skype.
Messaging, Calling and Extras – Skype Wins
Google Voice Chat is a powerful way to send out quick text messages to people, and it’s one of the few options that lets you call actual phone numbers for free. That said, compared to Skype, Google Voice Chat does not offer video chatting.
I honestly would put Google Voice Chat on the leaderboard in this section, because it is the only app I know that lets you call actual phone numbers for free. It gives you your own second phone number where you can set up a nice voicemail and even field business calls through that phone number if you want to. You can make a call directly from your computer or phone. When you use Skype you need to fork over some cash to call actual phone numbers, as opposed to usernames from the apps.
Skype allows you to attach tons of media when sending your messages. Google Voice Chat falls short in this area, but consider this cleanliness a good thing. Regardless, Skype is on the same scale in terms of attaching media. You can attach a photo, video or gallery and send it off to your friends.
You’ll also see some quality emojis from Skype. I couldn’t find any in Google Voice Chat. If you need additional emoji, go to our post on the best emoticon apps.
The messaging is fine on both apps, which is the main reason people use Skype and Google Voice Chat. It’s difficult to distinguish between the two, since the interfaces are so similar. I mean, companies have perfected the art of messaging. Both Skype and Google Voice Chat work fine for sending a message.
Payment Intrusions – Google Voice Chats Wins
Skype makes you pay for calling to regular phone numbers, where Google does not. So, just like all of their products, Google wins when it comes to pricing, because they pretty much offer everything for free.
Support – Skype Wins
Support is something that Skype has done well for a while. They offer FAQs, How-to guides and a huge Skype community. Google has decent support, but they have so many products that you have to go through the whole queue for Google to figure out what your problem is.
App Permissions – Google Voice Chat Wins
Skype is the worst in terms of app permissions, but not by far. The fact of the matter is that when you work with messaging apps you can expect them to tap into your contacts and possibly reach into your data.
Google Voice has access to your contacts and accounts, and it can even cost you money, but Skype might tap into messaging and other things you might not want them to.
That’s it! I honestly thought Skype would end up being the winner, but I was also anxious to see what Google Voice Chat had to offer. I’ve always used Google Voice Chat for when my phone dies, but it didn’t stand a chance against the feature rich Skype. There’s a reason so many business people use it, and I’m sure it will continue leading the way into the future.
Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions about my review. Do you agree with my conclusion?