Mobile Apps Technology

8 Tips For Choosing A Video Chat App

As the global pandemic continues to limit everyone’s outdoor activities, you’ll rely more on technology to communicate with others. While sending text messages or emails is only a few phone taps away, this still doesn’t feel personal. Sometimes, you’d want to talk to someone via call or video.

But with so many video chat apps available for you to use, which one do you choose? Each app has its pros and cons. Some offer unique features you can’t find in others. If you’re still at a loss, worry no more! Here’s a list of tips to guide you in picking your next favorite video chat app.

Choosing A Video Chat App

Privacy Features

In this era, talented hackers can, unfortunately, breach personal security. Many apps exist solely to phish out people’s information. When browsing apps, check their reviews and comments from other users before downloading.

Especially for a random video call to random people, you need to keep your personal information secure or anonymous 24/7. Look for apps that prompt two-factor authentication (2FA) when you log in. This way, every time you log in to the app, you’ll receive a one-time password (OTP) or code to continue further.

Apps with a privacy or lock feature also help. Enabling this feature keeps you from receiving calls or messages from strangers. Some video chat apps might generate a unique number for your account after registering. You can share this number with those you want to call if you wish to have more private online conversations.

Free Or Paid

You might get tempted to download apps that are free ‘forever.’ But sometimes, these apps are either of lowquality or secretly have paid features that you won’t know until after downloading. Some might even have annoying ads that pop up at random times.

Many free video chat apps have usage limits, so if you prefer longer video calls with no interruption, you might want to consider a paid app. Depending on their offers, you can pay for their services once or periodically.The payment unlocks services the free version of the app doesn’t have, like better video resolution, custom emojis, and filters.

Text Chat Options

While you’re focusing on video calls, sometimes the video or the audio itself can become choppy. When this happens, it’s best to have a second option within the same app.

Some video chat apps offer text chat boxes while you’re in the call. This option is great for when your signal’s breaking up or you’re just not in the mood to show your face while calling.

If you’re using video chat apps for online dating, you can first get to know the person through text chat before committing to video. Be warned, though, like any online interaction, you need to be aware at all times. Not everyone shows their true self online, especially through text. Check out these tips on being smart about online dating to make the experience as fun and as safe as possible.

Participant Limit

Most, if not all, video calls require at least two people to participate. Though two is the minimum, times will come when you’ll want to invite your friends and family in a call. Or you need to have a critical virtual meeting with several people.

Whichever app you choose, make sure it’s capable of allowing as many participants as you wish.Twenty or more people in a video call might be too much. But if an app can handle that, download it. In some cases, you can even increase the participant limit by paying for this option.

Time Limit

One of the factors of an excellent video call is how long you can stay in the call. Some people can talk for hours on one end; others take a few minutes to get their point across. If you’re one of those who need more time, consider a video chat app that doesn’t have time limits or, if any, a limited period that’s long enough for you to say what you want.

Though some one-on-one video calls have unlimited time, others might have a time limit for group calls.A paid app may even remove all call time limits for any number of participants.

Think about the people whom you talk to most often. Are they friends and family? Or are they work colleagues? Casual conversations may last hours, while corporate meetings might need an hour more or less.

Joining Methods

An important factor regarding video chat apps is how you and others can attend the calls. There’s no point in starting a call when no one can join in.

Find an app that’s accessible to anyone you’d like to call. Choosing one that people can access via phone or desktop allows others to join the call in any method they prefer. The app should generate a link you can send to participants through email for more private calls.

Grid View

Depending on how many people are in your call, you might want to see everyone’s faces. You can’t do that if your video chat app doesn’t allow grid views.

You’ll often see the host’s screen or face while the participants faces are hidden or transferred to the side in video calls. Grid views are perfect for those who prefer to see everyone at one go, like video conferences held on holidays involving family and friends.

Recording And Screensharing Capabilities

Though you might not find this critical at first, the ability to record or share your screen should be one of your priorities. Recording videos is crucial, especially for business meetings. This way, colleagues who could not participate in the discussion can access the recording and its contents.

In meetings, you may also need to show your presentation to the participants. Screensharing lets you show significant graphics and information as if you’re in a face-to-face meeting.

And if you or your call host is using an app that allows recording the video, you must always look and act your best. Etiquette is still in place, albeit online. So, to avoid embarrassing moments caught on camera read these dos and don’ts of video conferencing.

Pick Up That Call

Being socially distant from your loved ones and colleagues doesn’t need to be depressing. Society today is lucky that apps exist that allow us to continue conversing with others no matter how far people are from each other.

That’s why it’s essential to use a video chat app that has all the features you need to make online conversations as worthwhile as possible.

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About the author

Arpita Patel

Arpita Patel is an active tech and food blogger. She has Masters degree in computer science from Mumbai University. She has contributed a number of great and informative articles to the internet. Apart from blogging she loves music, movies, outdoor games, cycling and helping people.