An ever-increasing number of countries are calling upon their residents to stay home, flatten the curve and limit their contact with others to avoid the spread of Covid-19, a.k.a. Coronavirus. However, people need human contact, whether it be to check in with family, organise a conference call for work or even celebrate a friend’s birthday (albeit from a distance!); everyone is looking for a way to keep in touch with loved ones. Unfortunately, many have realised by now, that neither Whatsapp, Skype nor other popular messaging apps are living up to the demands of larger group calls. As a result, we have compiled a list of the best free apps for making group video calls during quarantine.
Zoom is a revolutionary application, both for its operational capabilities and its speed. It can gather a whopping 100 people together for a free video call, although this is limited to 40mins duration. In addition to this, Zoom also provides screen sharing and the option to record conversations whilst using the app. To use Zoom, you must be registered, have an online browser and also the application for either Android or iOS. You can download it for free here.
Originally, Google created Hangouts to compete with WhatsApp in the mobile messaging market. Unfortunately they couldn’t quite come close to Whatsapp, however Hangouts did become one of the best options for video calls. For normal users, up to 10 people can be added to a video call at one time and the business version can cater for up to 25 people! There are several other advantages to Google Hangouts including its compatibility with all other Google applications and its versatility to host meetings either by phone or also visually from a Mac or PC. The app is free, and you can download it and find out how it works here.
Discord is a free messaging app, particularly popular in the gaming community. The program is not only free, but has an application and a browser version and can support up to 50 users simultaneously. It boasts excellent sound quality and a huge range of options and tools. It also enables screen sharing, which is advantageous for business meetings or if, for example, you need to help someone configuring their system. Discord is free to download here.
Jisti is an open source application. It exists and is improved daily thanks to the altruistic effort of thousands of programmers and anonymous users. Jitsi is considered one of the most effective, fast and powerful applications for making group video calls and boasts two main advantages over others. In addition to being an ‘open source’ app, you do not need to install any software-just a few clicks and you can set up your call-and there is no limit on the number of possible participants in your video call. Start using Jitsi here.
Apple has also produced its own application for video calls: the well known FaceTime. With FaceTime, up to 32 people can join a conversation simultaneously and it is also a free application. The only drawback with this app, is that it works exclusively on devices with iOS operating systems (iPhones, Macs, iPads etc). Download it here.
Google Duo is to Google what FaceTime is to Apple. With Google Duo you can call up to 8 people at a time and it is unique in that it also works with Nest smart displays. In addition, it includes a mode to reduce screen lighting which can help protect your eyes. You can download Google Duo by clicking here.
Gruveo is an application that allows the user to make group video calls by simply clicking on a link-no registration required. You can use Gruveo on any device, smartphone, PC or Mac. Like other apps listed above, this app offers conversation recording, screen sharing and can accommodate up to 12 people in the same conversation at any one time. Try the free trial of Gruveo here now.