Video conferencing/Video meeting is a technology that allows people who are using it in different locations, to hold face-to-face meetings (or conversations) without having to move to a single location together. This means I could hold a live conversation, I see your face, you see mine as we are speaking, no matter where you’re located on the globe.
Video conferencing is mostly used in workplaces because of the benefits it gives to the overall working experience. These benefits include:
- Employees get to work on their jobs with less traveling which allows better work-life balance, let alone the cost of commuting. An employee can still maintain a good work relationship with team members through having constant video meetings.
- Reduces expenses and the time spent traveling. Picture a scenario where teams, IT personnel, managers get to hold meetings and solve issues without actually leaving their offices, this increases productivity in the workplace.
- Enables people who would not have been able to attend a meeting due to location constraints to actually attend comfortably without any inconvenience whatsoever.
- It makes it very easy for future reference since most of the video conferencing technologies allow users to record video meetings.
With that being said, let us look at the best video meeting apps that stand out when it comes to video conferencing:
Best video meeting apps
Zoom is among the top trending video conferencing apps being used, with its big growing number of users during the COVID-19 lockdown. Zoom has some pretty impressive features that make it a must-have for businesses.
Firstly, it has video quality that is outstanding up to 720p resolution. The sound quality which comes through is very clear on fast internet connections, as well as the virtual backgrounds that ensure standard-setting and privacy.
Zoom has a free plan that you can get started with which allows you to host up to 100 participants in group meetings. Here’s the complete pricing of Zoom.
- Great video quality.
- It has an easy to use interface.
- It is reliable.
- A large number of participants for a free plan
- It uses a lot of resources.
- It has some security issues however they’re being fixed by the company.
Platforms supported: iOS | Android | Web | Windows | Mac
Skype is one of the oldest video meeting apps which was founded in 2003.
The best thing about it is that it’s entirely free for all users except if you need to make calls directly to landlines and mobile phones. Thanks to the 2019 update, users can host meetings of up to 50 people compared to the previous maximum which was 25.
Previously Skype was mostly used by families and friends due to its support for small groups. These days many businesses have started using Skype and it works just fine for groups with less than 50 members.
Users are able to record their video meetings at a free cost and recordings can be kept in the app for up to 30 days.
Most people use Skype to get in touch with their friends and family, but Skype for business is used for much more than this. It can be used for instant messaging, and communicate with people all over the world in real-time.
Skype for business was made basically for all sizes of businesses —both big and small. In addition to video chatting, it lets you use instant messaging.
- It offers high levels of security. Your calls are encrypted to protect your valuable data.
- It can support up to 250 attendees all in one go.
- The video quality is impressive. It keeps track of your body movement and sort of eliminates the blurriness.
- It comes with a variety of features that users might not be familiar with.
- Increased hardware requirements to make it work.
Platforms: Android phone and tablet, iPhone, iPad, iPod
Slack is a cloud-based project collaboration and team interaction tool that was designed to facilitate communication across companies or organizations. The app covers a variety of industries, for instance, education, technology, media, among others.
Some of its cool features include:
- In case you require information, it is an emergency. The way slack pins messages to channels is an efficient method for creating overall visibility around priorities and have-to-know items.
- It aides in getting all your work done in one place, that is all thanks to its integration with several popular apps and tools for example one can easily access Google drive in the channel instead of moving from here to there.
- Speaking of searching, the search function in Slack helps you find what you need in seconds. You can put a term in quotes to dial up exact matches, or even add an asterisk after a partial word to search for any instances of that fragment.
- The app is easy to use
- It allows you to dictate which kind of notifications to receive —this improves efficiency.
- The platform separates groups from channels which makes communication more organized.
- It can get expensive if the organisation is large.
- A channel that is set to private can not be changed to public, this gets disappointing in the long run.
- It has many features that can get overwhelming while learning how to use each of them.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
4. Blue jeans
BlueJeans App makes business-quality video conferencing easy, accessible, and affordable. Multi-party video calls on the go with a variety of video systems are all optimized and work efficiently.
Here are some of its features:
- it supports group text communication.
- With BlueJeans, HD content sharing is possible.
- There’s also instant messaging.
- The recording turnaround time is quick.
- It enables a large number of people to be on a single call.
- The app has a user friendly interface.
- At times the signal is poor when using the mobile app.
- Some features are not that straightforward to find and familiarise with.
- It is unreliable sometimes.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
Just like all the apps I have listed from the first above, each has its own unique features that set it apart from the rest, be price, reliability, ease of use, e.t.c. With GoToMeeting, in case you are using a mobile phone with an Android version of 5 or higher, you can go ahead and get the app from the Google Store to join GoToMeeting sessions as an attendee.
This app has some really interesting features which include:
- Screen sharing. GoToMeeting lets you share your desktop, smartphone or tablet screen quickly and securely from anywhere with whomever you are communicating with..
- Conference calling. It has an integrated Voice over IP conference calls that saves you time and money.
- Mobile conferencing. You can start an online meeting from your mobile device right away and keep it going.
- Meeting recording and transcription. The app also lets you record your meetings in real-time, take notes, mark action items, and share them after the meeting.
Pros of using the video conferencing platform
- The app is reliable. Experiencing technical difficulties like buffering while using the app is very rare.
- The screen sharing feature is easy to use .
- It is pretty is easy to record meetings and share them with your counterparts who were not around.
- It is costly.
- The sound can be unclear when using a computer.
- Logins are tedious,though security is paramount.
Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS