When you're unable to meet up with friends in person, using a video chat app is a great substitute. Video chat apps use the magic of the Internet to help you bridge the physical gap, whether you live across the country from your family or you're trying to avoid exposure to the Delta variant.
People who want to video chat will find plenty of choices on this list. If you want to stay on top of your professional or personal relationships, you need to do whatever it takes to do so. All the best video chat apps are listed below for you to download and use immediately.
Zoom is available both for free and for a fee. Calls with three or more people on the line are limited to 40 minutes when using the free option, which supports calls with up to 100 participants. If you don't want to install the app on your computer, you can use it in a desktop browser window instead.
Zoom had a lot to gain from the pandemic, as it quickly became the go-to video chat app for many individuals and businesses alike. Because of its extensive feature set and wide range of platform support, Zoom is a well-liked option worldwide. Zoom has a solution for everyone, whether you're using a desktop, a mobile device, or the web client.
Zoom's free features include screen sharing, encryption, and real-time annotations. With more than three participants, free users are limited to a 40-minute time limit, whereas one-on-one chats are unrestricted. With the Pro tier, you can grant unlimited access to up to 100 people, while the more expensive Business tier allows you to grant access to an unlimited number of people.
The video chat business has been in Skype's hands for a long time, and the service still offers a robust set of features for up to 50 users at a time. It's free to use, and it's available on nearly every device you could possibly need.
In addition, When it comes to calling and texting internationally, Skype is well-known for its ability to connect to both landlines and basic cell phones. You'll have to pay for this, but it comes in handy when you want to stay in touch with loved ones who live in other countries.
Screen sharing, live transcription, and in some cases real-time translation of in-chat audio are all available on Skype.
Facetime has been a feature of Apple's operating system for some time now, but Android didn't have anything comparable. Instead, users had to rely on third-party apps downloaded from the Google Play Store and hope that their friends would sign up for the same services as they were willing to provide.
This was thankfully addressed by Duo, which has a video chat app that is remarkably easy to use and accessible within the Android native phone app. Thanks to Duo! It also supports a variety of entertaining features, such as the ability to record and send video messages, so you can stay in touch with loved ones even when they aren't around.
Duo is even available on iOS, so you don't have to buy an Apple device to use Facetime with your friends who have iPhones. It even has the same 32-person limit as Facetime, so there's really no reason for them to stay away from the service either.
Discord is already well-known among gamers for its use in text chat, but did you know that it also supports video chat? It's also a great way to play games with friends by streaming one user's screen content to the entire group because it allows streaming within the app itself.
During the quarantine, the Tom's Guide team did exactly that, with one user sharing Quiplash from their PC's display to the rest of us playing along by phone. Fortunately, Discord has gone so far as to temporarily increase the number of people who can use its built-in streaming service, Go Live, from 10 to 50. In order to watch in 1080p/60 frames per second on the free plan, you must upgrade to Nitro, which costs $10 per month.
FaceTime's inclusion on this best video chat apps list comes as no surprise. Video chatting wasn't invented by Apple's software, but it was the one that got the ball rolling for mobile users and steered the rest of the industry in the direction of making video chat more accessible.
There are a slew of fun and useful features built into FaceTime now, including cute Animojis, Memojis and stickers, as well as the ability to have up to 32 people on a single call. You can easily route calls over data or Wi-Fi whenever you like with FaceTime because it has a voice call component — FaceTime Audio — which sounds far superior to the voice network of your mobile provider.
FaceTime's only drawback is that it's only available on Apple devices like iPhones and Macs. Before the year is out, Android and Windows users will only be able to access the site via a web browser.
Using Facebook Messenger for video chat has the advantage of not requiring you to sign up for the service again. Using Facebook's video chat feature is as simple as having a Facebook account, downloading the Facebook Messenger app, and logging into the Facebook Messenger web app on your computer. Even if you've deactivated your Facebook account, you can use Messenger even if you used to have one.
To start a call or a chat with a group, simply tap the small video camera icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Like Skype, you can have up to 50 people on a Facebook Messenger video call at the same time, which is significantly more than the maximum of 32 video chatters supported by Apple FaceTime and Google Duo.
Additionally, you can use Facebook Messenger's numerous other features, such as sending chat messages, stickers, and more, even while video chatting.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular smartphone messaging apps today, in part because you can sign up with just your phone number and in part because many of your friends and family members are probably already using it (or at least have an account).
When it came to video calling on WhatsApp, it wasn't the most robust option. However, with the addition of Facebook Messenger's new Rooms feature, the maximum number of participants was increased to 50.
Even though WhatsApp has desktop and web apps, video chat is currently only available to those who use the mobile app. Although video calling has been rumored to be coming to WhatsApp's web client, the feature has yet to appear in the app's beta version.
At the very least, video calls over WhatsApp are encrypted from beginning to end, just like text messages are. So, you won't have to be concerned about anyone listening in on your conversations.
Despite being geared toward businesses and professionals, Microsoft Teams can still benefit individuals. If you're planning on getting together in large groups, this is especially important. At this point, you can host up to 100 people in a single conference call without upgrading to a paid plan.
Teams, as opposed to the Microsoft-owned Skype, also include a few business-oriented tools that you might find useful when conversing with others. Teams' own artificial intelligence powers screen sharing, background blur, and noise-suppression software. It even integrates with Office and is part of an Office 365 subscription, in case you need it for anything other than work.