Being away from your friends and family can be difficult. Not being able to have a real face-to-face conversation and having to settle for phone calls and text messages or emails can make it even harder. Luckily, with modern technology you can have the next best thing – a video chat!
In this article, we’ll tell you about some of the things we think you should look for when trying to choose new video chat apps to try out, as well as give you a list of some of our favorite ones. For starters, let’s talk about what makes a good video chat app.
What to look for in a video chat app
The best video chat app will give you everything you need to have a great video call with your family and/or friends. Here are some of the things we think you should look for:
- Ease of use – Look for a video calling app that appears simple and easy to use. If video chatting is something that’s new to you, you’ll definitely want something that won’t be too complicated or frustrating to get set up.
- Cost – With so many great free options available, paying for a video calling app really isn’t necessary. However, if an app requires purchasing to use it, be sure you think it’s worth paying for before buying it. All of the options we mention in this article are available free of charge.
- Safety – Nobody wants their private conversations being accessible to just anybody, so safety features should definitely factor in to your decision when looking for a video call program.
- Data usage – Almost all video calling apps require an Internet connection to use the service. This means that if you don’t have your device connected to Wi-Fi while using the app, you’ll have to use your device’s cellular data service. This could result in a charg for data usage on your next cell phone bill, so be mindful of how much data you’re using when making video calls.
- Unique features – To stand out from the rest and convince you to download and use it, a video call app will need to have some cool, unique features. Why should you bother downloading it? What makes it better than other apps like it? What does it offer that other apps don’t?
Those are some of the things we think you should look out for when choosing an app for video calls. Now, we’ll tell you a little about some video chat apps that we think are the best!
One of the most popular video calling programs around is Skype. Skype is available on multiple platforms, including iPhone/iPad and Android. It’s free to download and use, and allows users to have video calls, audio calls, and send text, pictures, videos, and other computer files. It’s also great for meetings because you can share your computer screen with people during a Skype video call. You can even use Skype to make calls to standard telephones at a low cost. If you’d like to learn more about this app and how to use it, check out our Skype course.
Best Feature: Multiple options for ways to communicate.
Another app that’s similar to Skype is ooVoo. ooVoo is especially popular for group video chats. You can make free voice and video calls to other users, and have group video chats with up to 12 people. You can also use it for instant messaging and sharing your screen, just like on Skype. While having a video call, you can even watch a YouTube video with the person you’re on a call with. ooVoo also makes it easy for you to record your conversation if you wish, and the ooVoo app is available for Android and iPhone/iPad, as well as other devices.
Best Feature: The ability to have group calls with up to 12 people.
3. Google Hangouts
Our next video calling app recommendation is Google Hangouts. Hangouts is a video chat program made by Google that allows you to have free voice and video calls, share files, and send messages. If you have a Gmail, YouTube, or other type of Google account, you’re already set to use Hangouts. With our Google Hangouts tutorials, you can learn everything you need to know to use the program. Download the mobile app for your iPhone/iPad or Android device to get started.
Best Feature: Easily log in with existing Google account.
Snapchat is a very popular communication app for sending pictures, videos, and text that automatically get deleted after being opened. What many people may not know is that you can also use Snapchat for video calls.
A lot of people really enjoy Snapchat because of its high security and privacy features, so if privacy is a concern for you, this could be a great choice! You can import contacts from your device’s address book so you don’t have to waste time asking your friends and family for their usernames. Snapchat is only available on mobile devices, but you can download the app for Android or iPhone/iPad for free. If you need some help getting started, head over to our Snapchat course.
Best Feature: Encryption and automatic deletion of messages for increased privacy
5. Facebook Messenger
Another very popular option is Facebook Messenger. Over one billion people use Facebook, so you, your family members, and your friends are likely already all set up to use this app. Download the Messenger app on your iPhone/iPad or Android mobile device, and you’ll be able to have text chats and video calls with your Facebook contacts.
Best Feature: Integrated with Facebook to easily get in touch with your friends.
Our next recommendation is only available on Apple devices, but it’s so great we just had to mention it! FaceTime comes built in on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, and allows users to make video or audio calls to their contacts who also have an Apple device. With FaceTime, it’s very easy to have a one-on-one video call without any extra, unnecessary bells and whistles. It does come built-in, but if you need to download it for some reason, you can get it from the Apple App Store here.
Best Feature: Simple interface for ease of use
The last app we’re going to tell you about is called Tango. It offers tons of features that many other free video chat apps don’t. You can use Tango for free voice and video calls and instant messaging, as well as free calls to come and mobile phones. While the quality of calls isn’t as great as some other options, we love that it’s so simple to use and that it allows users to save money by not having to add extra cell phone minutes to their plan. Tango is optimized for mobile devices and can be downloaded for iPhone/iPad here, or for Android here.
Best Feature: The additional free features.
That wraps up this article on the best video chatting apps for both Android and iPhone. If you’ve tried any of these apps, tell us what you thought of them in the comments.