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App Chat: What teens are using to chat these days

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If you have kids, communicating with them can get tough during their teenage years. Instead of trying to speak to them directly, leave notes around the house, or even email them, you can try a chat app.

They're apps that let you communicate with people via your smartphone, and they've become wildly popular with users of all ages around the world, most likely including your teenager.

Jacqui Cheng, editor at large for Ars Technica,  is back for our weekly app recommendation segment, App Chat.

This is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. It lets you send stickers and messages and is extremely popular internationally.

This is a messaging app that is compatible with nearly all smartphones, so it's popular among people who have a lot of friends using different platforms. You can do group messages on it and share images/video like you can with most other apps, but you can also share your location so people can meet you easily wherever you are. The biggest appeal here is that it's so widely cross-platform. The features are about what you would expect for a messaging app, but since it's so compatible, it has an appeal over something like iMessages or even Facebook Messenger

This is sort of a cross between Line and Skype, in that it allows for group messaging and can do fun things like stickers, but it also can do VoIP and text messages over your phone's data connection. It's cross-platform, too, so you can easily chat with friends on multiple platforms without worrying about compatibility. The interface is a little more "fun" than something like WhatsApp, too.