Community is the name of the game for Foursquare. Use this app to let people know where you are and with a bit of luck, you might find out that your friends are currently in the same place too! With its millions of registered users, Foursquare clearly dominates the location-sharing scene, and you’ll have more serendipitous moments of meeting friends face to face. Another player gaining steam in this area is GetGlue, which allows users to check in into their homes. The app has also garnered positive reviews as a recommendation engine. Other options are Gowalla, Glympse, and Facebook Places.

Chat, text, and call for free

Gone are the days when you had to be in front of the PC to chat with loved ones. AOL’s AIM iPhone app uses your AIM screen name and pulls your Facebook and Google contacts so you can stay online with everyone on chat. It also lets you send free text. An alternative to text is Kik which works like BBM for, not only Blackberry, but also iPhone and Android phones. Another useful app is Nimbuzz, which logs you in to multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter aside from letting you make free VoIP calls with other Nimbuzz contacts. Other popular VoIP apps are Viber and Skype video chat. If you’re a Windows Phone user though, you’d probably prefer Tango. And for those who need to stay in touch with business colleagues, a good option will be RingCentral for Blackberry, Android and iOS. The free app connects your smartphone to your company’s business phone system. However, your company needs to be subscribed to RingCentral for the app to work.

Share a photo

When loved ones are at a distance, the fastest way to let them visualize the most important milestones in your life is through sharing photos. Instagram, Apple’s iPhone App of the Year, mixes fun photography with social networking. Snap an image, use filters for special effects, and share your photo to your social networks.

Separate the real from the virtual

With all the “friends” we add on our social networks for one reason or another, it’s sometimes hard to keep tabs on the people who matter most. Fortunately, there’s Path, which lets you limit your sharing to up to 50 friends only. Path works like a filtered Facebook, letting you snap photos or record videos on your mobile device and share them on your Path newsfeed. What’s more, contacts don’t need to be online to receive updates; Path also delivers posts straight to inboxes.

While Path is good for sharing with a close group of friends, Pair works best for couples. Lovers need not juggle numerous apps to stay connected as Pair provides one centralized communication portal for them. The iPhone app (Android version is on-the-way as of this writing) creates a private shared timeline that lets users co-create drawings, make a shared to-do list, send thoughtful messages, and swap photos, videos, locations, and text messages. Aside from social networking features, Pair includes a “thumb kiss” feature that makes phones vibrate when users touch the same spot on their screens.