Upgrade your video calls, as I help you discover the best free video conferencing software for your smartphone.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Xbox
Maximum chat size: 24 users
Everyone’s heard of Skype, and the company has a long history with delivering voice and video calls. Today, Skype isn’t just limited to computers – you can access the service on just about any platform, including iOS and Android. It’s even available in 39 languages, helping you connect with people all over the world.
Just head over to the App Store or Google Play Store, and Skype can be downloaded for free. Paid plans and various Skype subscription deals are available if you’d like to use Skype to reach landlines or mobile numbers via call or text message, however all Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls are completely free and unlimited.
Popular with businesses as well as with families and groups of friends, once everyone has downloaded Skype you’ll be able to make seamless video calls over Wi-Fi or 3G or 4G. Offering HD video quality, special moments can be shared from a distance, and you’ll be able to see the faces of those you love light up as you give your friends a grand tour of your new house, break the news of an engagement or even share the joy of a promotion while working overseas.
As you’d expect, Skype has a ton of features to enhance your calls. You can share your screen with other members of the call, send photos and videos across chat, add some humour with gifs and emoticons or even annotate photos and documents to make explaining tasks and plans simple.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux
Maximum chat size: 100 users
Created in California by remote conferencing services company Zoom, ZOOM Cloud Meetings is available to download for free on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Compatible with iPhones running iOS 8.0 or later, a wide range of Android handsets, Macs and devices running Windows or Linux, you should be able to connect to just about anyone with Zoom.
With the ability to host up to 100 users at one time, ZOOM Cloud Meetings is a popular choice for companies wishing to hold large conference calls or webinars. While the free version will limit calls of 3 people or more to 40 minutes, there is a paid option available to extend calls indefinitely.
As well as providing crystal-clear sound and reliable picture quality, Zoom has ensured smartphone users have access to a huge range of features. Users can share their screen from their handsets, send photos, Google Drive files and Dropbox files directly from their phones, connect via Wi-Fi and 4G or 3G, send invites to other phone numbers as well as email addresses and also switch on a safe driving mode, so others know not to contact you through the app when you’re in your vehicle. Online support is also provided by Zoom, should you run into any problems along the way.
3. Google Hangouts
Platforms: Android, iOS, Chrome
Maximum chat size: 25 users
You might use Google Hangouts already to chat with colleagues at work or friends who use Gmail, but did you know Google Hangouts can also support video calls of up to 25 users?
If you’re after a more straightforward video calling service on your smartphone, Google Hangouts might be perfect for you. After downloading the app, use your Google account to log in and you’ll find all of your regular hangouts contacts ready and waiting. Open a chat with the person you want to video call, or create a group if you fancy catching up with multiple users, and hit the video camera button – it’s that simple. If you do choose to video call a large group, the 10 most active users will show up on the screen, so things don’t get too complicated.
If you’re a business who already uses Gmail and other Google applications like Google Drive and Google Docs, upgrading to a G Suite subscription may be beneficial for you. As well as a whole host of other Google extras, for a small monthly fee you can increase the number in one chat to anywhere from 150 to 250 users. Known as Google Meet, this upgraded version of Hangouts will let you tap into other features like screen sharing, annotations and more.
Platform: iOS, Android
Maximum chat size: 4 users
If you’re only looking to make personal video calls, consider WhatsApp. Extremely popular around the globe, you might already have this app downloaded on your smartphone. Supporting video calls of up to 4 people, this messaging service is really simple to use, and will pull through all of your contacts on your phone automatically.
Video calls are completely free, with no time limit. Up to 4 users can join in a group call, or you can enjoy 1-2-1 calls instead. Starting a call is easy – just hit the video recorder icon at the top of a pre-existing chat to begin. If, at any point, you’d prefer to switch to a voice call, all you need to do is tap the ‘Video off’ button.
Starting a group video call follows the same process, and if you’d like a new member into a pre-existing call all you have to do is press ‘Add participant’. The quality of WhatsApp video calls will reflect the weakest connection in the chat, so a strong and reliable Wi-Fi connection if recommended.
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