So with this app, I was able to search for language exchange partners strictly by language and also by language and geographical distance from my current location. This gave two options: 1. chat with native speakers on the app only and 2. chat with native speakers on the app who I could then meet in person if we both wanted to.
Now onto the functionality of the interface. The app has some really cool features that I really found useful. These includes a two-way dictionary, voice messages, call feature and highlighted corrections (when made by you or your language partner). In short, the app has the same integrated features as Whatsapp and Facebook chat but includes many useful language learner add-ons.
1. Live chat with native speakers – with HelloTalk you speak the language with native speakers and this is obviously particularly good if this is difficult to find in your area. However, the normal caveat applies with respect to language exchanges in general – it’s hard to find people that you are genuinely interested in conversing with if the only criterion is ‘languages spoken’.
1. The typical reservation I have about language exchanges – they are free in terms of money but not in terms of time but are useful if done effectively – requiring more bio info and adding more search criteria would make it easier to find partners that are a more suitable match.
I think that HelloTalk is really worth downloading if you are looking to chat with native speakers in your target language. It exceeded my expectations in terms of functionality for a language exchange app. The freemium version has great functionality so it’s a good place to start looking for a language partner.