During this time of unrest, uncertainty and self-isolation, it is more important than ever to stay in contact with family and friends to ensure that they are all doing well. Video calling is an excellent way of doing this, but with so many options out there you might be asking “Which one should you go with?” or, “Should I buy a device, use a desktop app or mobile app?” It can be quite baffling, and for elderly relatives you want it to be as easy as possible for them to use, which is why we have put together this short guide to choosing the best video calling solution for you and your loved ones.
UNIVERSAL LIVE’S PICK – WHATSAPP (the one for everyone, anywhere)
WhatsApp messaging service has taken the world by storm, so there’s a good chance that you already have it installed on your smartphone or PC.
One of the best thing about this app is that you can get it on mobile, tablet and PC! It is owned by Facebook, but it is end-to-end encrypted which means, your messages and calls are secured so only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp or Facebook.
It offers plenty of features to rival Skype, including text messaging, voice and video calls, and group chat. It also provides both web and desktop clients. You don’t even need to create an account to use it – just a mobile phone number. The video call feature allowed millions of people worldwide to make video calls with no cost for family and friends. The application is available in both Android, IOS, and Windows. You can also call it as a voice chatting app.
-Video call/voice chatting
-Multimedia sharing and receiving
-Group WhatsApp, here’s a how-to
-Call waiting support
-No fees (Local & International)
-For business users, you can easily share documents, and there’s a WhatsApp business API as well.
-Share a link via text or email to anyone who you would like to join WhatsApp, and they can download it straight to their device of choice.
-Price: FREE Sign up for WhatsApp here
FaceTime video – Great for Apple users
-FaceTime Live Photos
-Use your Memoji in FaceTime
-Use FaceTime Audio with Call Waiting
-Already pre-loaded on your Apple device
-Price: FREE (if you have an Apple device)
Google Hangouts – Best for Google users
-Connect your Google account for texting, calling, and mail integration.
-Group video calling app
-HD video calling
-Auto screen focus
-Price: FREE You can sign up for Google Hangouts here
Video call devices
UNIVERSAL LIVE’S PICK – GOOGLE NEST HUB MAX (the all-rounder)
Sure, the Nest Hub Max has a larger screen than the original Nest Hub, but it also offers a lot more features and functionality in addition to its brilliant HD screen. It has a 6.5-inch megapixel camera with auto-framing so that you can make video calls, and the camera will even follow you as you move around the room. The Google Nest Hub Max has a camera for video calling, and it has a built-in Nest Cam.
With the Nest Cam built-in, you can use it to check on your home while you’re away, although some of the more advanced features require a Nest Aware subscription.
-Video calls and video messages
-Photo slideshow from Google photos
-YouTube and All 4 integrated
-Chromecast from your phone to the Hub Max
-It does everything that a regular Google smart speaker does. This makes it the best device for Q&A as well as setting timers, alarms, reminders, requests for the weather and most other questions are accompanied by visual information, such as a photo of the sports star you have just asked a question about.
-Takes photos and videos
-Smart home control
-Price: £198.99 -£219 buy it now
Facebook Portal – for the social butterflies
-Makes video calls with WhatsApp or Messenger
-Listen to music from Portal
-Photos are taken from Facebook and Instagram when not making calls
-Instant photo and video sharing to Facebook, Instagram and Messenger with AR masks
-Price: £79 – £239 buy it here now
The Echo Show 2 – the best that Amazon has to offer
-Impressive sound quality
-Crystal clear display
-Larger screen than the previous model
-Built-in smart home hub
-Make video calls
-Price: £198.99 – £219.99 Buy it now
UNIVERSAL LIVE’S PICK – SKYPE (the old faithful)
Undoubtedly the most popular, Skype has been around for a long time now. It has come a long way and has only been notching up in offering the best video calls over the years. Its interface is still the same, simple and easy to use, however with time it has added many more useful features. This video chat software offers both free and paid call facility. Its paid version allows user to call any number across the world at a nominal price. You can make not only voice calls but also video calls.
So, stay in touch with your loved ones by downloading this video chat app for desktop right now.
-Audio and HD video calling
-Call recording and Live subtitles
-50 people video calling
-Price: FREE Get it now
Further desktop base apps include:
Facebook video chat – for those that like to keep accounts together
-Contact with all of your Facebook connections
-Available on desktop and mobile device
-Price: FREE with messenger.
Talky – browser-based desktop app
-Chat room capabilities with password protection options
-Collaborative working tools
-Video chat with up to 15 family, friends or work colleagues.
-Price: FREE Sign up here
In our opinion, if you are going to use any of the above to keep in contact with your nearest and dearest, it would need to be Whatsapp. It’s easy to use, free, has excellent features and most importantly anyone anywhere can use it on any device all you need is your phone number, no signing up to Google, Facebook or Amazon. But, give one (or two) of them ago and let us know who you get along.
For more information or to talk to one of our team about a suitable video calling solution for you, a family member, a friend or even a colleague give us a call on 0845 302 5470 or email email@example.com