Looking for some of the best video chat apps for your mobile devices? We are here to help!
Some of us might be old enough to remember when video calling seemed like some far-off futuristic idea drummed up by The Jetsons. (Side note: for a bit of a laugh, peep this clip of the show’s almost clairvoyant reference to our inevitable need for a “morning mask” or, perhaps, a filter of some kind with the advent of this technology for everyday use!)
Well, welcome to the future where video chatting is a thing of the present, and we can’t really imagine life without this capability! It’s helped keep long-distance family and relationships together, helped keep those with a traveling lifestyle connected to home, and, more recently, gave us a vital sense of closeness during the pandemic.
Even if you weren’t an avid video-chatter before, you’ve very likely had to navigate some form of it to adapt to the pandemic restrictions. And now that this communication medium is more popular (and necessary!) than ever before and seems to be staying that way, we thought it might be a good time to review some of the best video chat apps out there to help you stay connected with your family, friends, and coworkers.
With so many to choose from, which is the best video chat app for you? That largely depends on what you are using the video chat platform for. Whether it be for staying connected with family and friends or conducting important business with clients and colleagues, some video chat apps might be better than others. Luckily, most of the best video chat apps out there have enough functions for free that you can try them all out if you want!
Whether you’re video chatting on your iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other device, here are some of the best video chat apps out there for whatever your needs might be.
We thought it only fitting to begin our list of the best video chat apps with the shining star of the pandemic: Zoom.
At the outset of the lockdowns, Zoom zoomed into the spotlight as the go-to platform for the new “[everything]-from-home” lifestyle. From work, to school, to training, to social interactions, Zoom has been there.
Zoom has been our pandemic go-to for a reason. It might just be the best all-around video chat and video conferencing app out there, covering just about all of your online video communication needs. Zoom works across all platforms and all devices and has a comprehensive feature set that makes it fun and functional for friends and colleagues alike. This makes it popular for both professional work teams and simple video chats between friends.
The app is free to use. Well, sort of. With more than three people involved, a 40-minute time limit is imposed. Purchasing a higher-tier subscription lifts these restrictions, which may be worth it to you depending on how you plan to use the app and how often.
It should be mentioned that since its early-pandemic popularity, some security flaws with Zoom have been uncovered. However, while Zoom is addressing the flaws and updating its security, it is still a safe recommendation for the majority of users when password protection is used.
No list of the best video chat apps would be complete without Skype, everyone’s OG for all things video chatting.
Skype has been around since the emergence of the capability of video chatting as a household norm. It began by being a means of video communication through webcams with computers, but over time has adapted itself well to be easily used across all platforms and devices, making it essentially the “Old Reliable” of video chatting.
Skype is (and always has been) excellent for international calls and texts between families and friends in various countries and is free to use. And unlike Zoom, it allows up to 50 people on a call at a time without any extra payments. It does have a business upgrade available for purchase, but the casual user should find all necessary comprehensive features available without any upgrade.
Next on our list of the best video chat apps is WhatsApp, another great go-to app for international relationships and travelers everywhere.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular smartphone messaging alternatives worldwide. This is largely because it’s so easy to join (with just your phone number!) and most people have it. While WhatsApp does offer desktop and web messaging apps, video chatting is restricted just to smartphone use at present.
However, WhatsApp also freely allows up to an impressive 50 people per chat. And the quality of video chatting has increased over the years. It also offers end-to-end encryption of its video calls, so calls stay secure.
Next up is Facebook Messenger. Facebook messenger is one of the best video chat apps simply because of its accessibility. Almost everyone probably has Facebook Messenger video chatting capabilities whether they are aware of it or not.
If you have (or ever have had) a Facebook account, this app is automatically available to you. However, you don’t have to have a Facebook account to enjoy the Facebook messenger app and its video chatting capabilities. And, just as with Facebook, it is free to use for all, allowing up to 50 users on one video chat. This app keeps it fun by allowing all other messaging capabilities during video calls, such as chats and stickers.
Another one of the best video chat apps out there is Google Duo. Google Duo is Google’s answer (finally!) to Apple’s FaceTime app (discussed below) which remains exclusively available to Apple users only.
You’re simply out of luck if you have an Android device and someone wants to FaceTime you from their iPhone. Google Duo, however, is available to all operating systems (not just Androids!), across all platforms, and all devices. This inclusivity makes Google Duo much less fussy to use amongst friends than its Apple alternative.
While Google Meet is the more enterprising business-ready counterpart, Google Duo keeps video chatting easy and fun with lots of great messaging features. Google Duo is free to use and comes pre-installed on most new Android phones. Although it only allows up to 32 people on one video chat, most casual users find that number more than sufficient.
We close our list of the best video chat apps with FaceTime. As previously discussed, FaceTime is Apple’s built-in video calling app exclusively available on all iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Although Apple was not the first to come up with video chatting software, they did pioneer video chatting capabilities for mobile users, leading the way for the industry to make video chatting easier and more accessible overall. While FaceTime remains free but only available to those with iOS devices, Apple users still find FaceTime one of the best video chat apps available. It has tons of super fun and useful features that (Apple hopes) could make even the most stalwart Android supporter a little jealous.
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