Want to know which video conferencing apps to use? While plenty of choices are available in the market, going through every single one is bound to try your patience, no matter how boundless. Not to mention the fact that you probably don't have that much time to spend on culling through hundreds of site pages just to get the best ones out of the pile.
Well, here are three of the top apps to help you out, culled from lists from Tech Target, Digital Trends and Lifehacker. With these winning picks, you won't have to navigate through that wide and often unwieldy range of choices. Just make sure to settle on one that works for you and your team. That means user compatibility. That, above all, should be foremost on your priority list of features. After all, a very complex system, while beautiful, is useless if users don't take to it. Technology that no one uses ends up obsolete.
The same logic applies for companies. Choosing a system that's most popular with your customers is wise. The more customers use a given technology, the greater the chances you have of retaining and securing a strong consumer base.
Putting a cloud based web conferencing tool like Blue Jeans in place gives you plenty of major advantages and handy side benefits:
- Room to remote: You get reliable, mobile-friendly connection in an instant and features like room to remote video conferencing that enables you to host meetings with offsite employees and groups of remote teams, wherever they might be in the world. So long as a strong internet connection is a given, then you won't have anything to worry about, communication-wise.
- Other features: Other add-ons include content sharing that covers HD screen sharing that goes up to 1080 for all those details you want to highlight. Video sharing through your laptop, in real-time, too, is possible. And if you have images, data or figures you want to really put the spotlight on, the zoom capability allows you to do that easily enough. Blue Jeans also offers recording and playback for those times when you want to rewind a particular conversation or look over the points of a previous meeting.
Going with a long-time player in the industryâ€”such as Skypeâ€”fulfills a great many of your communication needs quite nicely.
- Skype to Skype connections: One basic feature is the instant messaging. Just remember that you and your contact need to have Skype installed in your desktops or smartphones for this to work. Calls are free, but again, only to fellow Skypers. Another feature you can enjoy with Skype is call forwarding so you won't have to worry about missed calls. You can also place calls to mobiles or landlines, whether you're using Skype on a mobile unit or a desktop.
- Group video calling feature: For some, though, all these come second to one feature: group video calling. Video calling one on one or with a group of friends is possible. And free, so it's a great tool for when you want to talk some projects over with coworkers or catch up with friends.
- Fair usage policy: However, there's the littleâ€”or not so littleâ€”matter of Skype's fair usage policy, which encourages video chats of up to five people only. So if you're more than five in a group, expect some problems or little issues with the video connection. Skype's video conferencing environment can handle up to ten users at a time. However, someone in the group mush have a Skype premium account for the connection to take. Otherwise, it's back to five users per group video chats for you. If your team is bigger than five, it might be better to look for other options. If this is perfect for your little group of three or four, though, then have at it.
Going toe to toe with Skype for video chatting features, Google has more than its video chat services to recommend it though. A web based chatting app inside Google+, it's incredibly simple to install. All you basically need to have is a Google account and the installation process is doneâ€”just like that.
- Basic features: The best thing about it, though, is that it's free of any cost. You don't have to spend a dime, whether you want to make use of the app's video hangout feature or if you want to chat with your friend who's off on vacation on another continent. Whether you connect through mobile or a desktop unit, you can send messagesâ€”videos, photos, and othersâ€”for free.
- Tweaks and updates: The downside, though, is that Google Hangouts is still a relatively new service. So expect a ton of tweaks, updates and modifications from Google. All those changes need some getting used to, so if that's not your idea of convenience, look elsewhere. Also, in case of bugs, there aren't any dedicated customer service teams to handle your problems. The service is free after all. But you could try asking around in the forums for help.
Taking your final pick out of the many video conferencing apps out there doesn't sound daunting, not if you have three winning picks like these to consider. So pick one out and start group chatting for free.