Gratis is an Android app that can be used to connect Android users all over the world, no matter where they are, for free. Gratis users can connect with other Gratis users for free using the internet, including unlimited photo and multimedia messaging. For those looking to travel around the world without paying for exorbitant phone bills, Gratis has subscription plans and affordable rates to allow users to phone any number in the world for much less than your phone provider would allow. With integrated instant messaging, affordable calls and more, there's a whole lot on offer with Gratis, and the app's developers even offer the opportunity to win an iPhone 6S every month. So, let's take a closer look and see what this is all about.
First of all, users looking to save money on their phone bills will need to download Gratis from the Play Store. There is a small setup to go through, which needs your phone number similarly to WhatsApp and other apps:
The app recognizes a verification text message automatically, much like WhatsApp does, and it then allows you to enter more information should you want to.
There is also the chance to win an iPhone 6S each and every month which is a nice touch for an app like this.
You'll need to invite contacts to Gratis in order to communicate with them for free using the instant messaging and VoIP calls, and to do so you can just send them a quick SMS message.
Once you have a contact invited to Gratis and online with you, you can choose their name in the contacts list and choose from a number of different options:
Should you choose to Chat, as I have with my friend Joe here, you'll notice a simple, yet appealing chat window:
Gratis is not just a simple messaging app, and as you can see you can send all manner of attachments that will appear inline as well as other neat features like recalling a text message if you've sent something by mistake.
Calling is easy as well, and if you're talking to someone on Gratis, you'll be given two choices, to call them over the Internet, or to call their genuine phone number, like a normal cellular call. This also applies to messages as you can send an SMS should they not have Internet access.
The way a "Gratis Out Call" works is that it uses up your Gratis balance, to get more credit or balance, you can choose from top-ups to monthly or even yearly subscriptions.
The monthly subscriptions seem fairly reasonable to me as well:
There's more to Gratis though, such as the ability to choose from a wide range of different themes to change the overall look and feel of the app.
Each one of these themes looks good and you can easily preview them before setting them.
Gratis is not a new idea, there are many apps like these out there, and Gratis is a little dated in its appearance to be honest. This is helped by the vast amount of different themes on offer which you can use to change the overall look and feel of the app. Having said that all of that, it does indeed get the job done. For those in need of a free or low-cost solution keeping in touch with people all over the world, Gratis caters to both those who know how to use IM apps, as well as friends and family that might not by using Out Calls.
- Speed (4/5) - Once the app is setup, everything is nice and speedy, including calls as well as messages, too.
- Features (4/5) - This is not a new concept, but Gratis ticks all of the right boxes, and it does so with a clear separation between free internet communication and paid-for international calls.
- Theme (4/5) - This is one area that needs improvement, the app looks dated and some of the icons are in confusing sizes and places. However, there are a lot of themes on offer that change the backgrounds and help personalise the experience.
- Overall (4/5) - For a free app that offers completely free calls and messages over the Internet, and low-cost calls to people's phone numbers all over the world, there's a lot to love about Gratis.
- Free to download and use when talking to other Gratis users.
- Offers a chance for users to win a new phone each and every month.
- Subscription plans offer a simple and affordable way to connect with people all over the world.
- Comprehensive app for those looking for a way to call others over the Internet and normally. It could even replace a monthly phone bill, in fact.
- Call function doesn't seem to work all that well on Lollipop devices.
- Interactive introduction to how calling works would better outline what the app has to offer.
All-in-all, Gratis is an Android app that has a lot going for it, and it'd be great to see it get a better look and feel over time, but the great selection of different themes does help here. With free calls to other Gratis members however, as well as affordable calls to people's own cell phones all over the world Gratis is an app that travellers as well as those going on holiday overseas should take a look into.