As savvy as my husband is with his smart phone, he’s a bit challenged in the texting department. (It’s true, honey.) But now that we’ve both got this handy new app installed, we can exchange free voice messages instantly–no fancy thumb work required.

HeyTell is a fantastic, free app for both iPhone and Android that essentially turns your smart phone into a walkie talkie, allowing you to send and receive voice messages instantly.  And it’s like magic.

Simply download the app, identify your own phone number, and then invite users (who will need to get the app as well) by texting them from your contact list. To send a message, you hold down a button and start talking. Once you let go, your recipient will be pinged, even if they don’t have the app open; it’ll show up like a text, though they’ll have to go into the app to get the message — which, by the way, came through pretty clear on our iPhones.

For fun, you can even change your voice tone. “When are you going to be home from dinner?” has a new ring when it’s coming from a robot.

Best of all, HeyTell syncs with GPS, so you can see where your friends, family, um, teenagers are (and they can see you), a handy feature if you’re separated at a large amusement park or running errands around town, for example. And there’s no charge and very little data usage, so HeyTell also saves you money and battery life. Brilliant. -Kristen

Download the free HeyTell app on iTunes or the Android Market.