Staying in touch via Video Calling

Keeping in touch with friends and family has never been more important. 

Technology can sometimes get in the way, so we have rounded up the best apps to use to keep in touch during the lockdown.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a solid choice as most people have installed it on their phones as a way of sending photos and videos for free. It works on both Android and iPhone too.

If you are looking for a bigger gathering, it’s not suitable as it has a maximum of 4 people per call.

Another downside of WhatsApp is that it is mobile only, so you can not access it from a laptop or desktop computer.

Pros: Most people have it.
Cons: Mobile devices only, limited to 4 people per call

Messenger

Facebook’s messenger app is another good one that people will probably already have on their phones.

Unlike WhatsApp Facebook can host big gathering with uptown 50 people on the call (although only 6 people will show up at any one time.)

Facebook also allows you to have some fun, using funny face filers and play interactive games during the call, such as Burger Catch!

You will need a Facebook account to be able to use it.

Pros: Face filter effects, games
Cons: Only people with an FB account

Zoom

Zoom has risen to the top of the pile when it comes to replacing workplace meetings. It has also had a huge rise in personal use with up to 25 people on screen at the same time meaning you could have large family gatherings.

A whole host of people started having zoom dinner parties and game nights.

I can be used on all devices and only the host needs an account, making it easy to organise a gathering.

Some security issues have arisen and it is important not to share your zoom address online, otherwise unknown people might turn up and gatecrash!

Pros: Up to 25 people on screen at once
Cons: 40 minute limit on the free plan

HouseParty

When the lockdown hit House Party head straight to the top of the app stores.

Allowing up to 8 people to meet up at any one time, it’s fun and easy to play games make a very fun app to use.

You do need to download Houseparty to use it, and with it not being as popular as WhatsApp or Messenger, you may have some problems getting everyone to download it and get it up and running.

Like Zoom there have been security issues and unwanted visitors to your “Houseparty” isn’t ideal, especially with kids involved.

Pros: Fun app with lots of interactive games
Cons: Security issues and everyone needs the app

FaceTime

FaceTime is well known and like other apple products, very easy to use. It has some fun filters and can host uptown 32 people.

It only works for Apple users though, so unless everyone has an Apple device it’s not going to suit.

Pros: Easy to use, fun filters
Cons: Apple devices only

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