Updated: Apr 2
The demand for video calling apps have never been higher than now, due to the implemented Covid-19 measures. Many people are either avoiding meeting friends or being prohibited from doing so in accordance with self-isolation and social distancing guidelines. Here’s our round up of the best video call apps to ensure that you remain connected to your friends and coworkers digitally, even if you can't be together physically.
1) Zoom: best for work conferencing
One of Zoom’s standout features is the genius tiled view, so that you can see multiple participants at the same time, as well as its voice activation feature. When using Zoom the “tile” of the person speaking is magnified so you can easily see the speaker in question. This one is loved by workplaces with more than half of Fortune 500 companies reportedly used the programme for their video calls in 2019.
2) Houseparty App: best for social butterflies
Despite recent criticisms, Houseparty has emerged as one of the standout video messaging apps of 2020. Owned by reputed online gaming company Epic Games, which also created Fortnite and Assassin's Creed, downloads of the Houseparty app rose from an average of 130,000 per week in February to two million per week throughout March. This app combines video messaging with interactive gaming so you can use it to play trivia in groups. Friends of friends can join your conversation like at a house party, enabling users to meet new people. This is one to download if you're feeling social.
3) Viber: best for maximum security
Think of Viber as Skype’s younger cooler cousin. The video calls are high quality and the service is also accessible across multiple devices, including blackberry, Android, iOS, Windows 8 and MacBooks, making it a popular choice if you want to send emojis without fear they won’t display because of incompatible software. It’s free to download, you can also use it to share files and the service prides itself on privacy and security of its calls.
4) Marco Polo: best for people who are time poor
Marco Polo combines the best of texting, social media and video chats - all in one private, easy to use app. Think of it as a video voicenote system just like text messaging where you can communicate on your own time. Marco Polo works when you have just a moment to talk, even if your schedules don’t match. Unlike other video apps, you don’t need to be live to use it, so you might like this one if you prefer texting to phone calls or if you have less time on your hands.
5) WhatsApp: best for groups of 4 or less
You probably already have WhatsApp on your phone, but did you know you can make group calls within the app? As of 2020 the app registered over two billion users worldwide, so the fact that most of your contact book is already linked up to the service sets it apart for its ease of use. The video calling function enables you to easily add two more people to the call. The downside? The quality of video isn’t as high as some of the newer apps available.