Threat Level – Moderate

Cost – Free (with chargeable add ons)

Heytell is a messaging app that does not use text like a normal messaging app…. it uses voice. Remember how popular Nextel was with the push to talk feature, now there is an app for that! And it doesn’t matter what kind of phone you have, because this app is cross platform ready for IOS, Android and windows.

A cross-platform push-to-talk app, with voice mail seems pretty valuable for people who don’t like to type. Beyond covering just about every popular platform, HeyTell’s interface is incredibly easy to use. First time users can go through their contact list and invite anyone via Text to download HeyTell and begin voice chatting. Once you have contacts with the app, simply choose one and push the button.

HeyTell isn’t true push-to-talk, but essentially it’s just as effective. The app records your message and instantly sends it over to your contact. If they don’t happen to have HeyTell open, it will send a push notification. There will even be a transcription of the message, so it even feels like you’re just viewing a text. That is, until you open the app.

The exchange back and forth between voice messages is so quick, you’d barely know it wasn’t real time. There’s no need to worry about data usage either, as the company claims that each message uses about as much data as sending an email. The app even works with just WiFi, so if you happen to not get signal in your home, but have WiFi, it doubles as an effective way to call someone.

There are privacy levels, too, if you feel like you don’t want to be available 24/7. Users can choose to be able to be contacted with or without an invite to open the app. You can also block some contacts or choose to allow others no matter your privacy setting.

There are paid add-ons such as a voice changer and group chat, but those aren’t necessary if you don’t want to spend money. There is also a send to Facebook or Twitter option which ties Heytell to other social media outlets.

I gave this a moderate threat level due to the fact it is a messenger app. Remember this app requires the other person receiving the voice message to have a Heytell account as well, so monitor your child’s friends list inside the app and as always explain the dangers. Setup the block feature as well to keep others from sending messages at times you don’t want your child receiving them.

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