SOMA Messenger is an instant messaging app for Android that provided total end-to-end encryption for secure and private messaging. It's complete free to use, forever, and it's recently been updated with the ability to engage in free group video calls with up to four people, among other things. SOMA is an app similar to WhatsApp, but along with its end-to-end encryption, it allows for group chats with up to 500 of your friends or colleagues, as well as free voice and video calls. Entirely free with no ads or any fees of any sort, SOMA - created in San Francisco - is the only instant messenger app to offer free high-quality group video calling and other features, so let's take a closer look, shall we?
To get started with SOMA Messenger, it's a free download from the Play Store, and a simple setup process.
The only thing you need for SOMA Messenger is a phone number, this will be used to verify your free account and help your contacts or new contacts add you using the app. There's an interesting page that offers up an explanation of why and how SOMA is free, which serves up a nice, yet hardly educational view of just why it's free.
There's not much to the overall look of SOMA, but that's more of a plus than a negative and everything is nice and easy to find. There are three different sections to the app, and adding contacts is nice and simple.
I was a little disappointed to see that the app only allows for invites to be sent out using WhatsApp or Hangouts, which is a little strange considering SOMA wants to replace SMS messages altogether.
The chat interface of SOMA will be familiar with anyone that has used WhatsApp of course:
SOMA Messenger also features a wide selection of Emoji as well, but it would have been nice if these were the system default emoji:
SOMA Messenger has a little more to it than your standard instant messenger however, such as its high level of security. Each message is encrypted end-to-end, which means that nobody but you and the person or group that you're talking to can get access to your messages.
On top of that, messages that aren't delivered for whatever reason are deleted automatically after 7 days and become "Expired Messages". As well all these nice security features, there's the option to chat with as many as 500 people in one group, which is impressive, to say the least.
SOMA Messenger was recently updated to include video calling, and it's one of the few - if not the only one - to offer high-quality video calling for free, as standard.
Not just that, but people can use SOMA Messenger with up to four people in group video calls for free as well.
SOMA Messenger must be doing something right, after all it's been installed over 5 Million times already, but I can't help but feel that it might be a little too good to be true. This great messaging app is totally free, without any ads or any fees of any kind and it's not explained why in the app, which leads me to think the app might one day ask all the millions of members it has to then start paying. Of course, I hope that doesn't happen. The new video calling features are excellent as well, with the ability to create a quick and easy video call between as many as four people in high-quality. A lot of apps, WhatsApp included, don't include video calling at all, so to see it here in high-quality, for free and up to four people per chat is a great new addition to SOMA Messenger.
- Speed (4/5) - SOMA Messenger is one of the fastest apps out there, and the Android app is really speedy and clearly optimized for Google's platform, rather than just ported from iOS.
- Features (5/5) - For a free app, there's so much on offer with SOMA Messenger that it feels a little too good to be true. Free high-quality video calling, end-to-end encryption as standard, the list goes on and on.
- Theme (4/5) - While everything looks good here, SOMA Messenger works well but it does look a little too similar to WhatsApp in places.
- Overall (5/5) - With so much on offer, including private and secure messages and video calling, it's hard to find something that isn't included here, and that isn't included at a high level.
- Completely free, with no ads or any fees of any sort.
- Video calling is free as well, and it's available in high-quality as well as available in groups of up to four.
- Group chats can climb up to 500 users at a single time, which is great for events and party organizers.
- Privacy is taken seriously here, with end-to-end encryption included as standard.
- Android app looks and feels a little too similar to WhatsApp.
- Seems too good to be true that this available for free, the server costs and development costs weren't free for the developers, after all.
Overall, SOMA Messenger is well worth looking into, especially if you've had enough of using services like WhatsApp and such without video calling. Designed to replace SMS messaging, SOMA is so much more than that, with privacy included thanks to genuine encryption and excellent group chat handling. SOMA does it all, from instant messaging to video calling and even voice calls.