Video chat apps are extremely popular right now – millions of people are isolated in their homes, so they have to find at least some way to communicate with their relatives and friends, not to mention work-related issues. But there are literally hundreds of different chat apps out there, so choosing the right one is not an ordinary task, especially for someone who's never used them before. That's why we've compiled this list of simply the best videoconferencing apps that you can use to remain social even during these difficult times. Let's check it out!
Skype is probably the most well-known videoconferencing app out there, and it's been around for so long that it's hard to imagine the video chat apps market without it. While it has definitely seen rises and falls, Skype meetings remain a relatively popular way of getting in touch with your family – or just making business. It supports almost every imaginable platform, including most Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, Windows and Mac PCs, and even Xbox One. That's right: you don't even need to turn off your console to answer an important call from your office.
Skype provides you with a variety of options, including free voice or video calls to all Skype users, group calls that support up to 24 participants simultaneously, free chats with all kinds of emojis that you can send, and so on. Skype effectively uses your data and allows you to control it, and there are other ways you can customize your experience within the app. Summing up, Skype is not the best app out there, but it's rather popular, it's easy to use, and it runs on everything. That means you can teach your grandma how to use it, and that sounds like a crucial feature for such an app.
What is Houseparty app, you ask? Well, this app may not be that popular yet, but it's probably going to become big in no time. What's so innovative about Houseparty is that it combines video calls with social media features, allowing you to hang out with your friends without getting official: suffice to say, there's no such thing as rejecting calls here. When one of your contacts gets online, a notification pops up, and you can jump right into the conversation with just one tap.
It's quite surprising to see that one simple feature creates a completely different atmosphere: instead of boring conferences, you can have an actual party, even if only a remote one. There are also built-in games here you can play with your friends, so you won't get bored. The only problem the app has is that you can't invite more than eight people to your virtual party, and while most of the time, that's more than enough, sometimes you need a little more than that.
An iOS exclusive, FaceTime doesn't really need any introduction: if you have an iPhone or another Apple device, you've already heard about it – at the very least. Anyway, if you're actually unfamiliar with the app, it's one of the best options for video calls on the market since it's quite versatile. There are also free voice calls, an option to use your phone's contacts, and lots of funny effects. But what's really great about FaceTime is that it supports up to 32 participants per conversation, and that seems to be still unmatched by any other similar app.
Google Duo is almost as versatile and functional as FaceTime, but it turns out to be quite restrictive when it comes to participants per conference limit – only 12 people can fit into one call. However, it is also more accessible in terms of supported devices: the app runs perfectly well not only on PCs or Android devices but also on iPhones and iPads, creating a real competition for FaceTime. Anyway, the picture quality is similar to what FaceTime provides, and their encryption algorithms are known to be equally secure. So it's more like a matter of taste, really.
An extremely popular messenger, WhatsApp also features free video calls of impressive quality that make it especially useful during the global lockdown. The app itself is very simple to use: it doesn't require that you register a separate account – just enter your phone number and start messaging, and your address book will be automatically synchronised with WhatsApp. That also means that there is no need to remember your friends' nicknames, just find them in the contact list and start a chat.
What's great about WhatsApp is that it can easily become your all-in-one app for social interaction, and if you've already been using it for text chats, then you just need to get used to the video chats – no need to install another app just for videoconferencing. However, the app has one major flaw: you are limited to four people per video chat, so there's no way you can talk to more than three friends at once. But if you don't actually have that many contacts, WhatsApp is a perfect choice for you.
Another popular messenger with advanced video chats, Facebook Messenger is a great way to keep in touch with your family or a small group of friends. The app allows you to invite up to seven other users to your video calls, providing you with high-quality audio and high-definition picture. There's also a variety of interactive filters that make the atmosphere a little bit lighter. And you can use your existing Facebook account to log in, so there's no need to create an individual account for the app.
Finally, there's Zoom. Although the app has been criticised for serious privacy and security issues, it has a couple of truly unique features, including the unbelievable 100-person limit for video and text chats. And the quality of these video calls is impressive, too. Zoom has a good chance of becoming one of the market's leaders – but only if the app's team will start investing in its security heavily.
There're still many decent apps that didn't make it to the list, including such popular options as Line or Google Hangouts. So if you know another app you'd like to share with us, feel free to do it in the comment section.