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Tue, Apr 21, 2020 12:00 AM

Video Chat Apps to Stay Connected While You #StayHome


While the coronavirus pandemic continues to loom over us, staying connected with your colleagues and family becomes more important. Thanks to technology, being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t meet or talk to people outside your home. So, here are video conferencing applications and software that will help you arrange meetings and generally stay connected with family and friends while you  #StayHome during the circuit breaker.



Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, has been around for a while. In fact, it is widely adopted among elderly adults so if you are calling your parents and other older relatives this would be a good choice. It can also work for business chats and supports up to 50 people on the same audio call. Its unique feature is having subtitles, which will add subtitle to your calls in real-time, making this a perfect option for calling grandparents who may be hard of hearing or communicating internationally.



A popular option now is Zoom for work conference calls and various organisations. Its features include screen sharing, a chat box that allows for messaging to the chat host or group, and an option to record the call for review later. You can host up to 100 participants for free, but it cost money if you want to meet as a group for more than 40 minutes.  A word of caution on Zoom, though, since it has been experiencing some cybersecurity issues amidst its rapid rise in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.


Microsoft TeamsMicrosoft-Teams-Logo.pngThis is another Microsoft video-conferencing application. If your workplace uses Office 365, then you already have access to Microsoft Teams. What’s best about this? You can share meeting agendas prior to a video conference, invite external guests to join your video conference meeting, and retrieve past meeting recordings and notes. Moreover, you can schedule your meetings in the Teams app or through Outlook.  



This Facebook-owned messaging app is best for those who want to talk to loved ones worldwide. You can use this app to send messages as well as make video or audio calls to your family and friends for free. It has end-to-end encryption, which means that only you and the person you're sending a message to can read what you send.


Google Hangouts and Hangouts Meet5e8cdeb4664eae000408545a.png

If you use Gmail you have free access to Google Hangouts, which is a message and video chat application. Through this app, you can video chat with your whole gang or your family for as long as you want. Meanwhile, Hangouts Meet is an enterprise-only version of Google Hangouts which supports between 100 and 250 people in a single meeting. It allows people to join meetings via a web link through their laptop or mobile app, or a phone line.



Are you looking for a new and different video chat platform? Then Houseparty is the right choice for you! It is sort of a mix of Snapchat and Skype, where you play popular games like trivia and Heads Up! with friends virtually through its interface. Surprisingly, this app has seen a massive growth in downloads since the start of March, maybe because almost everyone is staying home now and looking for new apps to use.


It makes sense that video platforms are now seeing a huge surge in the number of downloads amidst the coronavirus pandemic. So, are you using one of these video platforms? What do you like about them?



~ Carla



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