Video conferencing applications are one of the types of software most searched, downloaded and used in recent weeks. The goal is well known: to meet the new needs of digital communication in the face of the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These applications are used for teleworking (although this section has more specialized collaboration and productivity tools). by students to connect with centers and / or teachers, or simply on a personal level to maintain contact with family or friends. Not surprisingly, in times of physical social distancing, these video conferencing applications are used Have recorded record growth.
If you don't know all the offers available and want to try these types of tools, we have put together the ones that are most interesting for all platforms.
Google Hangouts – Meet – Duo
If you have a Google account, you have access to Hangouts, a free communication tool that includes chat, phone calls, and video calls through a web browser or through special applications for iPhone and Android.
Google enables Hangouts for simple Gmail or G Suite Basic clients without a subscription Video conferencing up to 10 people. The service also supports simultaneous voice chat and allows participants to join a conference via email or a sharing link. In response to the coronavirus crisis.
Google is replacing Hangouts with Meet, a tool designed for education and business areas that contains interesting news like integration with Gmail. Noise reduction; Share individual tabs or increase support for up to 16 users in the same meeting. Google has also relaxed some restrictions for all G Suite and G Suite for Education business customers, regardless of their subscription level. Customers can now hold video conferences with up to 250 participants until July 1, 2020.
The internet giant also offers other types of video conferencing applications such as Google Duo. Created by Justin Uberti (responsible for the WebRTC communication standard) was developed as an alternative to FaceTime or the messaging services. And as a special improvement to a hangout that never exploded. Google recently expanded the capacity of group calls to 12 participants. It works very well (especially on Android) it offers excellent streaming quality and is also available for iOS, Chrome OS and on the web.
An extremely interesting project 100% free, open source, private and where you don't need to register or install. Jitsi started out as a Microsoft Messenger clone, but was supported with multiple protocols and over time developed into Skype-style VoIP solutions.
Now it's one of the most powerful suggestions in its workgroup category, though it's available to home users. It includes functions such as desktop sharing, presentation playback, document editing and of course video conferencing with integrated chat and a limit of up to 75 participants.
Apple's communications application will be its first ten years old next June and is obviously one preferred option for users of Cupertino. It works via a phone number or an Apple ID and allows you to make audio or video calls with up to 32 participants at the same time.
FaceTime is integrated in the list of recent calls in the phone app and can also be used via the contact list. It allows the use of effects to turn the user into an animoji, send stickers and other functions.
It works over Wi-Fi networks or cellular services and supports iOS, iPadOS, or macOS operating systems to work on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac computer.
CISCO is a name that is generally associated with commercial business products and is generally out of reach of ordinary users. But there are also solutions such as Webex, a robust and free option for those looking for basic video conferencing applications.
Allows you to receive up to 100 participants as long as you want in a single call. There is no limit to the number of calls you can make. With a free account, you get 1 GB of cloud storage. Conferences support functions such as screen sharing, files or video recording.
With Webex, users in up to 52 countries can use a standard phone to attend a conference. Participants who want to use their webcams can choose between a website, dedicated desktop applications or mobile applications for iPhone and Android with their own screen sharing functions.
Despite its security and privacy issues (improved in the latest version 5.0) and its ban by various governments and companies It is still one of the most widely used video conferencing applications (over 300 million users) for the user-friendliness of the user interface, the entertaining backgrounds or the scalability for use on multiple devices.
Zoom is a complete video conferencing package for business users, but offers an attractive free option. Users with a free account can organize video conferences for up to 100 participants. However, meetings with three or more members are limited to 40 minutes. You can upgrade to a payment plan to remove these restrictions, or just keep it free. The number of meetings you can organize is unlimited. So you can easily organize a new video call as soon as you reach the limit.
With the free account, you can also make calls, record video or audio locally and share screens with other participants. Zoom can be used over the web with dedicated apps, browser extensions, and mobile devices that use apps iOS y Android.
Microsoft Skype – Skype Meet Now
Microsoft proprietary software after purchasing the best VoIP platform on the market. There is much more competition these days and Skype has lost traction at the consumption level, although its technology has been integrated as a communication tool for other business applications such as teams.
Skype allowed Text, voice and video communication over the Internet (VoIP)Free of charge by voice and video between Skype users from and to anywhere in the world and at very low cost between computers and landline or cellular networks. It also includes a useful cloud-based call recording feature that any member can activate and share with the rest of them upon prior notice.
Each participant must register and download Skype in any way, be it an application for desktop computers (Windows MacOS or Linux), mobile platform (Android, Windows Phone, iOS). It is also compatible with most smart TVs and can be used on consoles like Xbox.
To counter the penalty that this type of registration and installation entails, this week we know the Skype Meet Now variant, which enables video conferencing without you having to register anywhere or download and install an application. Simply go to the Skype Meet Now website and click to generate a link that you can share with those who want to start a conversation. This includes the option of recording calls or sharing the screen with the same number of participants (50) in the general application.
If you are looking for one safe and private alternative It's not part of a company's business. Here is an open source solution, the clear definition of which means clear distances from other commercials: "Tox is made by people who are tired of the existing options, who spy on us, persecute, censor and hinder us from innovating.".
Perhaps you're worried about a bad user interface or confusing configuration, but that's not it. Simply install qTox (the app with all functions) or uTox (for lighter systems) and start chatting. Tox is completely free and without ads. It offers secure chats, voice and video calls, as well as screen sharing and unlimited file sharing. Tox offers desktop versions for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as cell phones for iOS and Android.
Contrary to the name, it's not a free service by default. It's a paid premium service, but it does offer a decent free option that can be useful for simple cases. FreeConference only supports up to 5 video conference participants at the free level. What makes FreeConference glow is the support of up to 1,000 audio participants who can call on the phone.
The service also takes a software-free approach to video calls, so most users can only connect through a browser. It also offers mobile applications for iPhone and Android that are open to free users.
A. classic option with all standard functions, including group chats, video calls, and stickers. If you change devices frequently, you'll appreciate Viber's transfer feature, which allows you to move calls to a cell phone.
Viber offers public chats (called communities) that let you connect when you have no friends to send messages to, and built-in games when you want to compete with your friends. Viber doesn't stand out for any reason, but it's a solid app. To use Viber on the desktop, you first need to register on your phone to synchronize the account.
WhatsApp and Line
We end up leaving (because you know them well) two other great instant messaging apps: WhatsApp and Line. Although they are not the best video conferencing applicationsThey also offer these types of functions and are certainly used massively due to their versatility, user-friendliness and because apps like WhatsApp are installed on more than 2,000 million devices.
To keep up with more specialized tools, Whatsapp has recently announced the extension of the video conference function to 8 participants and is welcome. They know the rest of the features well, including voice calls and text messages.
In relation to lineis another well-known messenger (although it is used extensively in Asia) that you can use to keep up with friends and family with ease. It offers free video calls, voice calls and text messages for groups. Also thousands of animated stickers, though most are paid for through in-app purchases.
We stopped here because we could include another half a dozen video conferencing applications, software that breaks usage, and traffic records due to the life change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.