Best free video calling apps
Pandemic like situation has made us stationed in our own home. Working from Home has become Normal. Moreover, due to restrictions like Lockdown, and due to reason of Quarantine, many of us mostly staying at home.
In such a situation getting in touch with each other and that too with social distancing is quite tricky.
In this time we get in touch with our relatives, friends, or colleagues through the phone either by normal call or by video call. As the data rates are dwindling day by day, Video calling by an app has become a new normal.
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Today we will check the video calling apps available and compare the features.
Following apps are covered here.
- Google Duo & Meet
- Messenger and Rooms by Facebook
- FaceTime by Apple
- Skype by Microsoft
It can make Voice calls and Video calls. Google Duo is a recent app which is popular because of its superior audio & video quality compared to its competition.
It is available for Android, iOS and even on the web. It is absolutely free like other Google apps.
Duo is targeted towards general users. Google also has a Hangouts app with similar capabilities, but it is targeted towards Business users.
Duo is secure with end-to-end encryption.
It can make Group video calls up to 12+ people, which is very popular in this lockdown scenario. Moreover, Duo allows you to leave a video message, audio message or even a note.
In addition to this, whenever you receive a video call, you can see a preview of the caller, even before picking up the video call! This feature is called “Knock Knock.”
You can make funny doodle while on a video call with fun mask and effects.
Along with Google Duo, to counter the rise of Zoom video calling app, Google introduced Meet. Basically, this video calling app was targeted towards business users for group video calling.
In this app maximum, 100 participants can join a group video call or “meeting.” Although for paid users of G Suite, this maximum limit is 250 users depending on the subscribed package plan.
Google presented Google Meet as an alternative to Zoom.
As of now, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app. Apart from sending text and photo and media messages, Whatsapp can make audio & video calls.
It is one of the simplest messaging apps with end-to-end encryption.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. It is available on Android, iOS, desktop and on the web.
It shows receive and read message receipt in form of tick. You can send photos, videos, documents with size up to 100 MB.
With WhatsApp, you can make a video call with a maximum of 8 participants. While making an audio or video call, you can add participants at your will.
With the latest update, WhatsApp has brought digital payment system. This is still in deployment mode and it is rolling out on a staged basis starting from Brazil.
Messenger by Facebook
Facebook Messenger does everything that other apps can do. You can message, audio message, audio & video calls and group video calls.
As per my experience, I can say that Facebook Messenger has the most extensive and yet beautiful filters and stickers for use in video calls.
Recently, Facebook introduced Rooms.
What makes Messenger Rooms unique is that you can have a group video call with up to 50 participants.
In this, you create a link called Room and share this link on Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram etc. As Facebook promised, Rooms are coming to WhatsApp and Instagram too.
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This is the easiest way to start a group video chat. Maximum 50 participants can be added in Messenger Rooms. This makes it a worthy competitor of Skype and the infamous Zoom (due to its privacy issues.)
Importantly, to join a room one doesn’t require an account. Messenger Rooms does not have any time limit. All you want is a link.
You can join from anywhere, phone, tablet, desktop or from a web browser. No need to download anything.
Do keep in mind that this is not encrypted, take care until Facebook sort it out. As a creator of room, you can edit the participant list. You can invite specific people or even a whole group just by sharing a link.
On a funny part, you can use camera filters, mood lighting, themed events and 360° backgrounds while in Messenger Rooms. This makes it very appealing.
This service is built for iOS devices only and as per Apple, every Apple user is using it. Almost every Apple devices support it.
Making a group video call is simple and convenient as it is the case with every Apple device. you can make audio and video calls on FaceTime. All you need is an Apple ID.
Like other apps, FaceTime supports Animoji or Emoji during video calls.
The maximum number of participants on a group video call is 32 for FaceTime. While on video call you can add other by ringing them.
Zoom is an online service used for Audio and Video conferencing. It is popular among corporate and commercial customers.
Zoom also provides basic free plans for group video calling for non-commercial use with a time limit of 40 minutes.
With zoom, anyone can schedule a virtual meeting between up to 100 participants. Addon plan can host up to 500 participants.
Consumers praise Zoom for its plethora of options and customisation settings. Zoom offers end-to-end encryption to its business users for better security.
With global pandemic situation and Work to Home trend, Zoom surged to the top in terms of popularity. For online students classes, virtual business meetings, family get together with social distancing, Zoom is used everywhere.
In past Zoom had privacy issues and users info was leaked. Even zoom was accused of a data breach as it sent user’s data to Facebook for advertising purpose.
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Before zoom and other video calling app, Microsoft-owned Skype was the king of all.
It is one of the oldest video calling app. It is available in every platform like Android, iOS, PC, online.
You can make calls, group audio & video calls and even send messages. It has an option for call recording and even has live subtitles.
You can connect to up to 50 people at a time in a group video call.
The best thing about Skype is that it can also connect to those who are not using skype! It can connect them via phone and SMS messages.
Skype is popular for online meetings and interviews.
Just like other apps and service, you can change the background of the group video calls.
Just like Skype, Viber is also video calling app with almost all the feature like other available alternative apps.
Before free calling on WhatsApp, Viber was primarily used and was a market leader. With the rise of WhatsApp calling, Viber use declined.
As you have seen there are many “video calling apps” and services. On top of that, the majority of the apps free and are available on almost all platform, except FaceTime by Apple.
You can have all the apps, but you should choose that app which is used by the majority of people you know, friends, relatives, colleagues.
The ultimate choice is in your hand. Before blindly subscribing a new app or service, first check about security features online to stay safe.
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