Probably, a confinement like the one we are suffering these days would have been much more unbearable just 20 years ago. Without the internet or social networks to communicate with others, the telephone would have become our only window to the world. Thanks to new technologies in the 21st century, the windows are so many that the walls seem transparent.
Video calls allow visual contact – although virtual – but free of coronavirus, with friends and family. A breath, a relief, a comfort. A birthday? Do you just want to do a bar chat or a restaurant table? Welcome everyone to the group. Let’s see each other, let’s chat.
With Houseparty you can play
One of the ‘apps’ that are hitting it right now is Houseparty. Available for iOS, Android, macOS and Chrome, it has been present in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for years, but the isolation and boredom that the coronavirus is causing has caused its downloads to have shot up to reach the top positions. In addition to allowing users to chat, Houseparty allows video calls with up to eight participants who, attention, can play ‘Trivial’, ‘Pictionary’, ‘Whos who …
Houseparty, owned by the video game and software company Epic Games, is the most ‘fun’ because it allows you to play in addition to chatting with your people, but there are also other ‘apps’ and programs that allow video calls, such as classic-classic Skype, which allows up to 10 people to be on the same video chat (25 if it is audio only, a real chicken coop) and has details that make it very complete, such as the possibility of using it on mobile, computer and web, sharing the screen, making Real-time translations in various languages, blur the image background …
WhatsApp video calls.
One of the most popular ‘apps’ when it comes to video calling is WhatsApp. Whoever does not have it on the mobile, raise your hand. Up to four people can establish a connection that, yes, can only be done via mobile. And whoever has an Iphone will have Facetime, the voice calling and video calling application that Apple installs on all your phones, tablets and computers. If you have 32 friends or family with devices on the block, you can connect with them through this channel.
Another ‘app’ that everyone has is Instagram. Even if it is to see photos and ‘stories’, you can also video call. Four people at the same time fit in the same meeting that is activated in the Direct section (you have to click the paper airplane, at the top right of the screen, and then the video camera icon). It is only possible via mobile if you have created the group with the members you are going to talk to before.
Snapchat and its fun filters.
Instagram copied the idea of the ‘stories’ to Snapchat, which continues to triumph thanks to its fun filters, although we must not forget that video calls are part of its catalog of functions, in this case suitable for 15 people who can use its filters.
Facebook offers Messenger for video calls in which up to 50 participants can participate, although only six can be seen, while the other 44 communicate by voice. The consolation is that you can make a video call via mobile or computer.
Up to 100 people at a time in Zoom
With Discord, also free and suitable for mobile phones and computers, you could almost set up a virtual conference of presidents, not autonomous but provincial, if any, because their maximum capacity for group video calls is 50 participants. But for many participants, that of Zoom, ‘app’ for Android and iOS that is ready to host up to 100 people! in the same video call (yes, only the first 40 minutes are free) sharing the screen or recording calls, among other advantages.
Gruveo it is not an app. It also doesn’t need you to sign up. You simply enter its website, write your name and call your people, who must also enter that url. Up to 12 people can ‘meet’. The meeting can be recorded, the screen can be shared and the mobile and the computer are compatible.
Google has Hangouts and Google Duo
Hangouts, which is accessible to anyone who has a Google account (that is, almost everyone) because it belongs to the technology giant, allows video to connect 10 people at a time (25 in the business version) and is famous for its high quality sound and image. Google also has Google Duo (maximum 8 people), available for Android, iOS, iPadOS, and a web version for computers.