In this digital age it's fantastic to be able to see friends and family from the comfort of your own home. Video calling apps are a fun way to chat face to face, and they are easier to use than you might think!
Video calling on your desktop computer
Zoom is used by a lot of businesses to host video meetings and screen share presentations, that means it is a good choice for video and sound quality. Visit zoom.us to sign up for free and then follow the provided instructions to join calls or invite someone to chat.
Skype is one of the original video calling apps. It is free and allows you to chat one to one or with multiple people using your desktop computer or smartphone. To use it, you will need to download the programme here onto your computer (or the app on to your phone), and sign up for a free account, then follow the instructions to add your contacts and get video calling.
Video calling and messaging on your smartphone
If you have an Apple phone, you can make video calls to other Apple phones using Facetime. Hit the telephone icon to choose someone to call from your contacts list. Below their name at the top of the screen, you will see 4 blue icons, Facetime is third from the left. If they have an Apple phone, you can simply hit the Facetime icon (a film projector sign) to get chatting! If the person doesn’t have an Apple phone, this icon will be greyed out and unavailable.
WhatsApp is a free messaging and video calling app for your smartphone that allows you to send messages including videos and photos to your contacts. It also allows you to create groups so you can chat with multiple people at once (a family group for instance). WhatsApp also features video calling, once you are chatting to someone in the app, you can just tap on the video button to start a video call with them (or the whole group). You can download WhatsApp by clicking here or searching for it in the Apple App store, or Google Play on your smartphone.
Facebook's Messenger app is very similar to WhatsApp, it allows you to chat, send images and video, create groups and video call. If you have a Facebook account already then you will have access to Messenger on your computer, but to get the most out if it, download the app on from the Apple App Store, or Google Play on your smartphone.
For something a bit more fun, try the Houseparty app. This app wasn't as well known until recently, but people have been discovering it as a great way to keep in touch and have a bit of fun with family and friends. Houseparty allows you to chat with multiple people at the same time (up to eight), and includes games such as Pictionary and trivia quizzes that you can play with everyone on the call. Find it by clicking here or searching Houseparty on the Apple App Store or Google Play on your smartphone or tablet.
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