It’s hard to believe that, until pretty recently in the long run of human history, the telephone wasn’t a part of everyday life. Those of a certain age will even remember the days when the quickest way to reach a loved one was to send a letter, hope that it reached its destination and then wait, patiently for days (or weeks) on end for a possible response.

Nowadays, with the ability to send instant messages and call friends and family using video, the only real dilemma is which messaging apps to use.

There are many great ways to enjoy instant messaging on your Samsung GALAXY S4. So here’s the definitive list of our top 10 favourite S4 instant messaging apps.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps
Hold private conversations or chat with groups of friends

1. Samsung ChatON

Free – Get it here

A cross-platform app available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and others, ChatON is Samsung’s own foray into the world of instant messaging.

It stands out in an increasingly crowded space by offering group chat functionality in addition to one-to-one conversations, making it easy to organise events in real time. You don’t even need to be on your phone to talk to contacts either thanks to a chatroom-like web application that you can log into via Samsung’s website.

Best of all, ChatON has an automatic language translation mode, giving it a real practical edge over other messaging apps, and with 70 million users on the service in 237 countries speaking 63 languages, it’s an app that could help you find and unleash your inner linguist. Qu’est-ce que tu attends? (That’s French for ‘what are you waiting for?’!)

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps
Smile, you’re on Glide

2. Glide

Free – Get it here

Glide allows you to send video messages to other contacts by tapping on the screen to record. Unlike other video apps that constantly stream video, such as Skype, Glide claims to use only half as much data, making it a viable option for anyone that runs short on data allowance from time to time.

Glide stores its videos on the internet too, meaning no space is taken up on your Samsung GALAXY S4’s memory when you’re filming with its 1080p HD video camera; better yet, it means you don’t have to upload or download anything.

You can even send videos to contacts who are offline for them to pick them up once connected to the internet, like a futuristic voicemail service. It’s currently available for Facebook users only, but it does let you chat to friends with both Android and iOS phones.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps
Find out What’sAppening wherever you are

3. WhatsApp Messenger

69p per year – Buy it here

WhatsApp has been building a steady army of users since it first debuted in 2009. It may not be the most fully featured app on our list, but its simplicity, clean interface and range of emoticons have earned it a rightful reputation as one of the most accessible cross-platform apps out there.

The app initially scans your Samsung GALAXY S4’s contact list to automatically detect who else is using the app, meaning you can be sending instant messages, images, videos and voice notes to individuals or groups of contacts in seconds. Additional contacts can be added by inputting phone numbers, which is good for anyone that feels buried in a sea of forgettable usernames.

It uses the Samsung GALAXY S4’s 3G connection in the absence of Wi-Fi, and push notifications to the device’s home screen mean that you’re kept in the loop even when the app’s closed.

GALAXY S4 best messaging apps
Guard your secrets

4. Hide It Pro (with SMS and Call Blocker Plugin)

Hide it Pro – Free – Get it here
SMS and Call Blocker Plugin – Free – Get it here