Staying in touch apps
While contact with friends and family is limited, the contact we are able to have is particularly valuable. Telephone calls are great, but there are also a number of useful apps that allow you to see the people you are speaking to. This article is a useful guide to some of the most common apps, how they work and what you need to set them up.
Skype has been around for a long time, and those who have used it may have experienced the frustration of video suddenly freezing up or issues with the audio. These can still be a problem when using on a laptop or PC, but the phone app is more reliable.
Set up an account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or go to www.skype.com
Facetime is a popular function on Apple products, such as the i-phone and i-pad. However, if you use an android phone you will not be able to use Facetime. Click on the Facetime icon on your screen and search for someone in your contacts to call (they will need to have an Apple device to be able to take your video call).
If you have an android device, you can use Google Duo. You will need to link it to your Google account, but no longer require a phone number to link to, if you wanted to use it on desktop.
Set up an account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or go to https://duo.google.com
You will need a Facebook account to be able to access Messenger. Once on there, you can video chat, send videos, photos and typed messages and even play games with the person in your contacts.
Set up a Facebook account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or go to www.facebook.com
WhatsApp is another popular app with similar functions to Messenger. It is now owned by Facebook, but you do not need a Facebook account to use it. Like Messenger, you can video chat, send videos, photos and typed messages.
Set up an account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or go to www.whatsapp.com
Zoom is used by a lot of businesses for conference calls. You can set up a meeting and send a link to people to follow in order to joint that meeting. It is also available as a phone app for personal or business use.
Set up an account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or go to https://zoom.us/
Like the above apps, you can use this app to video call one or multiple people. It is designed as a sociable app, so also includes various games, such as a drawing game, where one of you is given a word by the app and has to draw the image. The others have to guess as many of your images as they can within a sort period of time. It is primarily designed to use on phones, so while there is a desktop computer version for the MAC, there isn’t currently one for Microsoft Windows.
Set up an account by downloading the app from your phone’s app store or, for a MAC, go to https://houseparty.com/