Social-distancing can be a lonely term, invoking images of empty streets and closed doors. However, inside our homes, technology has given us the chance – and the resources – to be present in our social lives. Below are some of the most talked-about video and group call resources and the features that make them ideal choices for keeping in contact with colleagues and loved ones.
Current circumstances have longtime Apple users just now learning how to get the most out of the app with group calls. FaceTime utilizes a user’s Apple ID through their mobile phone or Mac computer, and can be opened by starting a group chat in the messages app. It has the ability to host more than 30 people at a time. The best part? FaceTime comes built into Apple products, making it easily accessible. Learn more online.
- Google Hangouts
This free app, usually used for hosting up to 25 people in a video call, has responded to the pandemic by offering premium capabilities free of charge until July 1. These capabilities include the ability to be on conference with more than 200 people, the platform to stream videos to viewers in the thousands, as well as post statuses, photos and animated gifs. The app is available through Google here.
Since 2003, Skype has kept up with what users want in video and group calls. It’s available on mobile and desktop platforms, allowing screen-sharing and video recording, as well as the option to call non-Skype users. Skype can host groups of up to 50 people and includes a live caption and subtitle option, plus chat windows for sharing images and links. Skype is available for free download here.
An app that can be run on mobile or desktop platforms, Zoom offers plenty of features. Users can use the free plan to host groups of up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes and take advantage of simultaneous screen-sharing. Pro, business and enterprise plans include the ability to host calls for 24 hours, customize the room ID and record video. Learn more about the packages Zoom offers on its website.
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