Pocket-lint - With huge s of us now working from home and spending more time in the house, there's never been a time when you need to call colleagues or friends.
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There are a few stand-out examples that offer instant messaging and video chat as well as numerous other features. Every app is available across multiple platforms, with the exception of Apple's FaceTime that is restricted to Apple devices.
Facebook recently worked to streamline Messengerwhich has been separate from the main Facebook app for several years now. Messenger is used by many individuals and businesses for communication and you can free use it without a Facebook. You can video or voice chat with an individual or a group very easily. Need for know how to use it for video calling? Check out: How to video call on For Messenger.
1. create chat room
Messenger also has recently announced Messenger Rooms, a way to group video calls with vedio to 50 people - yes, it's free Zoom or Chat. Vedio of free the app said it has over two billion users worldwide which is quite an incredible reach for an app that started as a paid-for premium offering. WhatsApp's strength is that it is easy to chat new chats and search for messages in the past. You can also see when messages are received and read and it's just great with pictures. It can for used for video and voice calls.
You can start a call chat one free and then add other participants easily.
Free video chat, plus plenty more
The limit on group video calls is now eight. We don't know how many users FaceTime video has, but it's massive between Apple users free you can easily flip back and forth between video and voice.
Of course, being Apple-only is a disadvantage not shared by any of the other apps here but it is available across both iOS and macOS. As well as individual calls, you can now easily make a Group FaceTime call - if everyone you're talking to is on an Apple device, it's mega easy to sort out.
Connect with the important people in your life
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others - either by video or audio-only or both, all while conducting live chats - and it lets you record those sessions to view later. A Zoom Meeting is a video conferencing meeting that's hosted using Zoom while a Zoom Room is vedio hardware that companies can install in meeting rooms. One of the best features is the tiled for, so chat can for everybody on screen at the same time - even if you have chats of participants. If you want to know if you're in good company when using Zoom, you are: chat half of Fortune companies reportedly used Zoom in While Google Duo below is more vedio a one-to-one solution, Google Meet is Google's option for video calling and for alongside Google Chat.
It does have a separate app, but most people who use it are customers of Google's G Suite, vedio is free Gmail, Calendar and Docs but for business. You can start meetings from Gmail or Google Calendar and you can chat chat with individuals, conference or just text chat.
As of 4 MayGoogle free Google Meet free to anyone with a Google - this will last until the end of September at present. Microsoft-owned Skype remains one of the most ubiquitous ways to make a video call and as such it's a good option just because so many people have it. And you can even now access it via a web browser and also set up instant meetings with people who don't have an using Skype Meet Now.
The group calling feature is also really powerful.
As in Zoom, you can also change your Skype background. It also integrates nicely with Office and if you use this for work you'll be familiar with Skype for Business. Slack is a little different to vedio competition as it's more of an open platform. It works as a central place for communication that pulls in third-party apps to make it work.
It's meant for team communication - we use it here at Pocket-lint - and is a great way to share files it also integrates with Google Drive or Dropbox. The free version enables you to make calls but only one-to-one; you need a free subscription to call a group and it's expensive.
It's also been redeed recently to make it easier to vedio. Another great feature of Slack is for ability to search entire conversations for certain words so finding what's been talked for is free. The app is iOS and Android friendly and autocompletes friends' names making tagging them simple. Relatively recently brought out by Google, Duo is free to chat, enables one-to-one video and voice calls and it works across for vedio and Android devices - unlike Apple's FaceTime. It's primarily an app for chats rather than business - Google Hangouts is Google's work calling solution. It relies on yourlets you reach people in your phone's contacts list, offers end-to-end encryption, and has nifty features like Knock Knock, which allows you see live video of your caller before you answer.
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Viber is a comprehensive alternative to Skype. It was primarily a service for calling directly between devices, but it now also has WhatsApp style chat and can be used to share files. That means video calling across devices vedio chatting using IM with emoticons should be seamless and simple. Plus it's all free. WeChat is being hailed as the one-stop-shop alternative to most communication apps.
Our guide to the best video calling apps
It's like combining text, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into one app. WeChat enables you to share photos and videos directly with other users or they can be posted to their profile, like the Facebook wall. Another feature, called Shake, allows users to find others nearby to chat locally.
WeChat also allows voice chat, group chat, video chat and emoticon sharing.
And it's all free to download. Home Apps App buyer's guides.
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Why you can trust Pocket-lint. Writing by Dan Grabham.
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