Google+ Hangouts is probably the closest thing to a drop in replacement for skype. It is free to call any phone # in the US or Canada, so that's a nice feature. On computers you run it via browser, which means linux, mac, and windows are covered, and they have apps for android (obviously) and also iphone. I don't think you would be able to call a skype user directly, so you may have to convince others to leave the evil empire as well. All depends on how you feel about Google I guess.
yeah google has a great free phone service that you can get with a gmail account, and they give you a number that anyone can call. i use it all the time, though i generally just text people and make free calls.
if you want to set it up you can have video calls and receive calls, but its a bit tricky to figure out at first. they could make it better but ? maybe they will someday. i guess thats what they are trying to do with hangouts, but its still a bit tricky to figure out at first.
as it is now you have to have your email open and be right at the computer to receive a call. actually i think if you use chrome browser its easier.
in the years i have used it i have never managed to catch the few infrequent calls i get, but its ok for me. it just goes to a voicemail, and then gets (badly) transcribed to your email, as well theres a link to listen to the message.
then theres google hangouts, and google drive and all the related google stuff to make pages or store stuff online
This is for phone calls and photos. It's called Kakao Talk. Both of my daughters were away this summer. One in Italy and one in Korea. We used this system to stay in touch. Both used android phones. The one in Korea told me that many people have a cell phone but do not have a phone bill. The whole place has WiFi, so they make all calls for free.
My youngest is 19 and in her 4th year of university. She spent 3 months in Italy teaching English at summer camps. She lived with 8 different families and stayed in some really nice places. She came back richer than when she left. After 7 weeks, I inquired to see how much she was spending. Her response --- "About ten Euros so far." She is pretty frugal. Most of the other kids found ways to call home for free.
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