Line is a messaging and calling service that allows users to communicate with their friends over a TCP/IP connection
- LINE Corporation
Line is a messaging and calling service that allows users to communicate with their friends over a TCP/IP connection. Since it uses your mobile device's default networking adapter, you can use it over Wi-Fi and save on mobile data. This has made it a popular alternative to traditional SMS text messaging, because it can completely bypass a mobile connection.
Since Line works on multiple platforms, you can sync all of your conversations together no matter what device you might have it running on. If you're talking to someone through the mobile app, then you can head over to your PC and continue chatting there if you prefer. You're also free to sync your address book and contact list between devices.
When you want to add friends to said list, you'll have plenty of different ways to do it. You're free to enter their Line ID by hand, which is more than likely the most common way to add new contacts. Other users can also tell the app to generate a custom QR code, which you can then click with your phone and your new friend will automatically get added to your list of active contacts.
Perhaps the most unusual feature that Line offers is the ability to shake phones, however. Simply take two phones that have the Line app installed on them and place them near each other. After you make one more gesture, you'll have both devices synced up with one another so you can exchange messages.
Users are free to send an unlimited number of text messages with the Line app, but they can also express themselves with many more features than just this. Line offers virtual stickers for download from a Sticker Shop. Many of these depict well-known characters from popular anime, manga and video game series. Users can give stickers to other users as gift while others might be available for download directly to an individual mobile device. Over time, the software has also started to add stickers based around various movie tie-in properties.
The original default characters included with the app were all created by the celebrated Korean artist Mogi, and these characters are still closely integrated into the overall Line experience. While you might not normally expect a messaging app to have this much personality, the developers have almost made something of a game out of sending messages to your buddies.
More traditional games also come bundled with the software to some degree. When you first download the Line app, you'll be prompted to create an account. You can then use the app's account credentials to play games from the developer. As you might expect from a mobile application, many of these are hidden object games or feature puzzles. A number of match-three titles are also provided. Some users might find the simulation and battle games more interesting, however, which are quite unusual on a platform like this. New titles are released each month, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something you like.
Savvy users will notice that Line ships with a wide variety of other small tools, most of which are only somewhat related to the underlying messaging software. While it's likely that you'll be mostly interested in Line as another chat app for your phone, these other plug-ins are well designed and they do deserve a closer look. Many of the app's additional features center around financial transactions.
As soon as you've gotten a full contacts list, you can activate Line Pay so you can send and receive money with everyone you have on it. Line Pay also allows users to make mobile payments directly in the Line store, which makes it easy to get gifts for all of your fellow users.
Some people might want to use this technology to treat their friends to lunch or split bills while they're out. While Line isn't necessarily a financial app, these features can help to manage other aspects of your online life. Line has become particularly popular with those who communicate online with real life friends for this reason.
Netizens connecting to Line from a Japanese IP address might have access to a few additional features, including the ability to hail a taxi or access a local delivery service. International users may not be able to take advantage of these options, but they should still find that Line Today works.
This integrated news hub can help to keep you abreast of everything going on in the world. It'll also present you with an up-to-date feed about what all of the people on your contact list are doing. If they start to change their status lines, then you'll be the first to know as long as you keep an eye on this vital part of the software.
For most people, Line is going to be little more than a very efficient messaging app. Those who feel that they're not going to use all of the app's various features can switch on the Line Lite option. This disables themes and the timeline so you can focus solely on messages and calls. Those who install the additional Lite package will also find that the app deletes all of their history data each time it's launched, which should prove quite pleasing to privacy advocates.
Anyone on a restrictive calling plan can use Lite to place virtual phone calls to anyone else on their contacts list. Line can use Wi-Fi instead of mobile data or calling minutes, so users won't have to worry about their mobile plans when they chat with friends. Talk time is virtually unlimited with Line, which means you can feel free to talk for as long as you want.
Depending on the type of phone service you have, calling people through Line could be more secure than actually dialing their numbers or sending them SMS text messages. Line enables end-to-end encryption by default for all users. All voice calls, groups chats and video conferences are encrypted using a modern algorithm that can protect against snooping and data leakage.
At one point there were a number of security loopholes that allowed bad actors to access chat histories, but the developer has responded to these criticisms and made sure to plug holes. While some stickers and other types of content might be censored in certain regions, this shouldn't impact a majority of users. The modern version of the Line app is quite secure, which might even attract those outside of its traditional target demographic.
While Line is clearly geared toward those who want to keep in touch with their friends online, there's no reason that tech-savvy users can't turn to it in order to conduct business or coordinate events. No matter what reason you might want to add Line to your phone, you should find that it includes the features of countless other social chat apps in a single package.
- Encrypts all chats and calls
- Features downloadable virtual stickers
- Doesn't necessarily use mobile data
- Fast and user-friendly
- May have too many options for some users
- Some features may not work in all regions
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