7 best messaging apps for iPhone

4. Kik (Free)

Best Messaging Apps for iPhone: Kik

With over 80 million cross OS users, Kik is an app that can't be ignored.

Kik has more than a few similarities to WhatsApp, such as the ability to send photos, have group chats, as well as being able to search for YouTube links, images and crudely self drawn sketches.

You can also create and send different memes from within Kik, or "Photobomb" your friends. The latter is Kik's answer to SnapChat, which we will cover later.

Where Kik prides itself over WhatsApp and other messaging services is that it is both personal and private. Basically this means not having to share your mobile number or email address, rather a username that you can create.

If Kik doesn't take your fancy, why not try BBM? BBM, uses its well known private way of connecting, using a pin rather than username, and supports both group and image messaging.

5. SnapChat (Free)

Best Messaging Apps for iPhone: SnapChat

Continuing the theme of cross OS messaging apps is SnapChat, although it is yet to be available on Windows Phone. Chances are that you have at least heard of SnapChat, not least because of what you can use it for.

Becoming increasingly popular, SnapChat is a way of share images instantly and privately, with the added bonus that the images don't hang around for long, ten seconds at most.

Once users receive the image or video clip, they sit unopened. Once opened, with a long press, they self destruct and wipe themselves completely off the receivers phone. SnapChat readily admit that whilst there is nothing they can do to stop someone screenshot-ing the image, senders are notified if this occurs.

Images can be saved, and there is also a basic form of editing. A small level of text can be added, and images can be sketched over, so you can show your friends what you look like with a monocle or a superman suit.

Not your thing though? Clipchat works on a near identical basis, though shows a pixellated preview of the image to receivers, so they have a rough idea of what they're opening.

6. IM+ (Free, Paid for version available)

Best Messaging Apps for iPhone: IM+

Unlike all the previously mentioned services, IM+ is not a dedicated messaging service. Instead, it is an aggregator of various social accounts such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Facebook and more.

Like on other OS', contacts can be sorted by account or name, and there are other nifty features like themes and typing notifications. Within chats, pictures and audio can be sent. These are uploaded to IM servers with a link then being sent on, rather than sending the file directly. Files can also be resized for those on smaller data allowances.

The pro iOS version also comes with a "neighbors" funtion, allowing you to find and communicate with people with similar interests, in your local area.

Should you decide that this isn't the app for you, why not try eBuddy? Having been around as a desktop aggregator via the web for as long as we can remember, eBuddy also connects to a plethora of messaging services.

7. Twitter (Free)

Best Messaging Apps for iPhone: Twitter

To complete our list is an app that might seem a little controversial, as it is not specifically a messaging app. The ever popular, 140 character social media site has a dedicated app for reading and sending tweets available from the App Store.

As we said, Twitter is not a dedicated messaging app, rather it is a social media site. Then again, what is social media for if not for communicating with your nearest and dearest, and in Twitters case, everyone else as well.

Twitter's mobile app does everything that the Twitter site does, with direct messages and directed tweets being well managed, although the famous hashtags don't come with the same highlighting that they do on the site.

For those that feel that the official Twitter app just isn't for them, we'd suggest looking at Tweetbot, although this is a paid app. Tweetbot offers gesture based controls, as well multiple feeds, and push notifications.