The Samsung GALAXY Note II is a versatile communications tool with access to tons of apps that can help you stay in touch with friends or work remotely across the internet.

Popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and KakaoTalk top the Google Play charts, simply because they allow you to easily IM your mates and make free calls on your phone. Here is our pick of ten of the best of the rest.

 

 

Skype

Free Get it here

Skype is still the king of voice over IP and video chat apps. It combines cross-platform compatibility, easy setup and good connection speeds with a simple contacts system that will even integrate into your phone contacts.

The GALAXY Note II's 1.9 megapixel front camera makes for nice, sharp outgoing images and of course the expansive HD Super AMOLED screen makes even the tiredest chatters look better.

Pretty much most of the great features you know and love from the desktop version are available here and the Note II's Android OS is able to keep Skype running in the background so you can stay in touch even when you are doing something else.


 

Samsung ChatON

Free Get it here

ChatON is Samsung's own take on SMS replacement and instant messaging. The app is cross platform, so you don't have to convince all your mates to buy the same brand of phone as you in order to chat to them. It is free on all platforms too, so nobody needs to put their hand in their pocket to join in.

With ChatON you get a network-independent messaging system that is free to use within your data allowance or via wifi. You can send instant SMS-like messages, see threaded conversations and easily create group chat rooms for multi-way messaging.


 

Google + (hangouts)

Free Get it here

Google's own social network may not have quite the following that Facebook or Twitter enjoy, but the Google + app for your GALAXY Note II has a great feature built in - Google Hangouts. Hangouts are like video chatrooms. Several people can join using either a mobile or a PC/Mac with a webcam.

Hangout chats are smooth and responsive and you can share documents as see the same YouTube clips. If you need to have a multi-way video chat, Hangouts is a great free solution that just happens to come bundled with a social network.


 

Handcent SMS

Free Get it here

If you prefer to use SMS messages to stay in touch then Handcent SMS is the best third-party SMS app around. Handcent will let you add emoji emoticons, send multiple files by MMS, send colourful ecards and more.

Handcent SMS is completely customisable with adjustable themes, fonts and notification alerts. The app takes plugins which can expand the available fonts and add skins or language packs.


 

HulloMail SmartVoicemail

HulloMail SmartVoicemail (£5.99)

HulloMail elbows out the voicemail service offered by your mobile network and replaces it with a great looking 'visual voicemail' which presents voice messages on screen with the sender's contact details and photo. No more ploughing through audio menus to retrieve you messages, just tap and listen.

HulloMail will back up your voicemails to your email account and give you a push notification when a new message is waiting for you. There is also an option to buy a neat speech-to-text feature via in-app purchase that will give you a text preview of the beginning of incoming messages.


 

K-9 Mail

The mail app built in to your GALAXY Note II is fully capable of managing multiple email accounts and it works well with S Pen for Air View. However, fans of open source mail programs could do worse than check out K-9 Mail. K-9 can handle practically any email system and will also let you sign up with different mail accounts at once to let you easily manage your emails on the go.


 

Touchnote Postcards

Free Get it here

If most of the other apps in this list are about near-instantaneous communication and the power of high speed networks, this one is quite the opposite. Using Touchnote Postcards you can take an image from your GALAXY Note II and turn it into a piece of snail mail.

You can pick images from the GALAXY Note II's gallery app or you can sign in to Facebook and choose from your online photo stash instead. Once chosen, you add a message and an address and Touchnote will turn it into a real postcard and send it for a mere £1.49


 

Facebook Messenger

Free Get it here
Facebook's chat feature arguably one of the social network's best but must underused features. Facebook Messenger uncouples this instant messenger from the rest of the Facebook client and puts it on your phone as a lean and focused standalone app.

Send individual or group messages with photos or video . You can chat to friends who are using their own mobile app or sitting at their PC with the web version.


 

TeamViewer

Free Get it here
Remote control software to let you operate a PC from your phone is the kind of thing you don't realise you need until it is too late. TeamViewer is one of the better options around, with smooth control of either a Mac or PC and very easy software install on the target machine.

Whether you use it to email yourself crucial documents when away from your desk or perform emergency surgery on your Mum's PC without driving over, TeamViewer is worth having in your virtual utility belt.


 

IM+ Pro

£2.99 Get it here
Sadly, not all of our friends end up using the same IM. Some stick with ancient services like ICQ or niche systems like Jabber while others still use more up to date chat apps like Google Talk. IM+ Pro can speak the language of most major services and - even better - translate for you.

Whether you prefer MSN or Yahoo! IM + Pro will let you talk to your friends on their native IM apps and run multiple IM accounts, even more than on on the same service.