Best messaging apps for iPad: How to instantly connect with anyone, from anywhere!

If you're looking for the best iPad apps to help you stay in contact with the people you care about most, messaging apps are the best option. Even though every iPad comes equipped with iMessage, that doesn't mean everyone you know has access to iMessage, and since you can't send regular texts on an iPad, you'll have to turn to other messaging apps in order to contact friends and family. Luckily there are lots of App Store apps that make messaging people anywhere in the world, on any platform, incredibly easy. We just have one thing left to figure out, what are the absolute best options when it comes to messaging apps for iPad?

Facebook Messenger

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Best messaging apps for iPad: Facebook Messenger

Whether you love or hate Facebook, there's no denying that tons of friends actively use it. That also makes it an ideal way to communicate with them. Luckily if you prefer to stay off Facebook, or just want a more efficient way to send messages, the dedicated Facebook Messenger app lets you do just that. Quickly send messages to any of your Facebook friends from anywhere you have a data connection. You can also place video and audio calls as well, which sweetens the deal even more.

If a good majority of the people you need to message are on Facebook, the dedicated Facebook Messenger app is a must-have.

Google Hangouts

Best messaging apps for iPad: Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts isn't just a cool video and audio chat app, it's also an excellent choice when it comes to sending regular text only messages. Anyone who has a Google account should be able to receive your messages, which makes it a safe bet for anyone who needs to communicate with large amounts of Android users. As long as you have a data connection, you've got access to Hangouts, which is also available across many other platforms in addition to desktop computers via a Google Chrome extension. Anyone in the US and Canada can also use Hangouts to make free calls.

For a good all around messaging solution that's available on almost every platform you could think of, look no further than Google Hangouts.


Best messaging apps for iPad: Skype

Over 250 million people around the globe use Skype so the odds of your friends and family having it are pretty good. If they don't, not a problem. Skype is available for virtually every platform you can think of, including Android, Mac, PC, and more. Just like Hangouts and Facebook Messenger, Skype will work anywhere you've got a data connection. The interface may not be as great as other messaging apps, but if you haven't sold your soul to Google or Facebook just yet, Skype is also an extremely popular messaging service.

If you refuse to use Facebook or Google services, Skype is most likely your best bet.


Best messaging apps for iPad: IM+

IM+ isn't a service itself but instead combines all your messaging services into one easy to use app. Some of the services supported by IM+ include Facebook, Skype, Twitter DM, Google, AOL, ICQ, and several others I've never even heard of. Odds are, no matter what messaging service you use, IM+ has you covered. You can opt to receive push notifications for new messages too so you can disable them in other apps and use it as a central hub for everything.

If you use several different messaging services, IM+ brings them all together in one app.

Your pick for best iPad messaging apps?

If you keep in contact with friends and family from your iPad, what apps do you use most often and why? What made you choose the apps you did? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.