Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
In the lead up to SXSW, we’ve seen a deluge of updates to all those group messaging apps people have started using.There are pros and cons to each, but if you really want to take advantage of group messaging, you need to find the best service and stick to it.
After about a week of testing the biggest apps out there — everything from Fast Society to Kik — we’ve come up with a winner: GroupMe.
While GroupMe’s competitors share a lot of the same features, it’s the only app that strikes the perfect balance of everything you want in a messaging app with a user-friendly interface.
GroupMe added Foursquare integration a few weeks ago, and it's latest smartphone app will let you check in to venues and see where your friends are. Even if members of your group don't use Foursquare, they can still tag their location so you can easily find them.
While GroupMe rival Fast Society will let you make group calls, you only have a limited time to do so before your 'team' ends. GroupMe doesn't push a time limit on you. One tap will start a conference call with your group whenever you want.
GroupMe gives you the option to send group texts using your carrier's SMS or from within the app. For those who don't have unlimited texts on their cell phone plan, in-app messaging is the best way to make sure you don't go over your limit. Set push notifications for new messages, and you'll barely be able to tell the difference.
For each group you create, GroupMe gives you a number that will text each member at the same time. If you choose not to use GroupMe's app, you can sync all your numbers to your phone's address book.
Photo sharing on GroupMe is a snap. Within the app you can take a new photo to share, or just text one to the number GroupMe sets up for you.
We love GroupMe's new app design. It's easy to navigate, start new groups, and find out where your friends are hanging out. It's a huge improvement over the previous version, and our favourite of all the messaging apps we've tried so far.
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