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How can I contact my friends that have no Apple products (iOS or OS X)in similar manner to using FaceTime or iMessage?

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Well, you cannot use iMessage or FaceTime with non-Apple devices. With iMessage on the iPhone, the phone will switch to SMS messages when contacting non-iPhone users, but that's it.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to FaceTime and iMessage that are cross-platform.

Alternatives to FaceTime:

  • Skype (Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone)
  • Tango (PC, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone)

Alternatives to iMessage:

  • Kik (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry)
  • Facebook Messenger (Works on pretty much anything with a web browser)
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Check up this answer here. I love Talkatone because it uses Google Voice -- unfortunately Google Voice supports only US to provide a Google Voice number (this may change in the future). Anyway, the Google Voice -app is a god-sent for cheap international calls and sync with with Google Contacts and Facebook contacts.

Instead of hacking with apps such as Skype, I chose Google Voice and Facetime/iMessages although it costs a bit to use but better integration and no interest to set up new accounts to new services.

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Presently, there has been some problems with Talkatone -- so question open again, irritating! So awesome software stopped working :( – hhh Sep 24 '14 at 9:49

For an alternative to iMessage, check out Viber — it works on all popular mobile platforms and integrates with their address books.

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I recommend Telegram. It's fast, well designed, works on every platform (including web browser), requires no registering ala whatsapp, and provides sophisticated encryption options if privacy is a concern for you.

Using it for years with both iPhone and Android friends without any issues!

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