Bored at home? These group video calling apps will keep you connected

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 31 Mar 2020
Bored at home? These group video calling apps will keep you connected
HIGHLIGHTS

We compiled a list of free group video calling apps that you can use to dial in and have a small party right on your phone’s screen.

These include apps like Zoom, Google Duo, Instagram and more.

You no longer have to stay bored at home with these video calling apps.

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Bored during the lockdown? While the coronavirus-induced nation-wide lockdown is like a dream for introverts, the social butterflies may find it difficult not seeing the regular faces to talk to. Sure, your organisation has ramped up its infrastructure to support group video calls with its employees, but what about when you have to get together with your friends sitting at your home? We compiled a list of free group video calling apps that you can use to dial in and have a small party right on your phone’s screen. Here they are —

Zoom

Zoom has emerged as the undisputed champion among video calling apps during the lockdown. It has already surpassed TikTok and Instagram to become the most downloaded app in India with many organisations, colleges and schools relying on the app for business. You can also use it for your personal calls. 40 minutes chats on the app are free, post which you have to pay with plans starting from $14.99.

The USP of the app is the number of people it can support. A Zoom session can support up to a 100 people and the app’s algorithm ensures smooth connectivity and clean audio.

Google Meet

Google Hangouts is now officiall Google Meet which G-suite users can use as a premier video conferencing app that rivals almost every feature that Zoom offers. That includes a recently added 16-tile video conferencing layout to let 16 people be on a call simultaneously, along with a promise of better call quality and privacy.

Google Duo

This app from Google started with two-way video calling but soon expanded to support up to 8 people in a chat. And recently Google announced it will support up to 12 people to let you stay connected with a lot more people. Duo is probably the easiest app to use for video-calling. There’s no hassle of typing in a username and getting it verified. All you need is a phone number.

The USP of Google Duo is in its simplicity. It may not support a lot of people in a chat, but it’s free and is available across all platforms including iOS and Android. Our favourite feature of the app is its ability to show what the person who is calling you is doing even before you pick up the call.

Instagram

Your favourite social media platform also supports video calling. It’s built into the DM section which is good for a quick call. It also supports up to six people in a group call and the quality is surprisingly good.

The USP is its availability. By now, most of your friends will have an Instagram account, so initiating a session shouldn’t require a lot of setup.

WhatsApp

Ever since WhatsApp added video calling, and especially with the proliferation of 4G data, video calling itself have taken off like anything in the country. And that’s simply because WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in India. You can take up to four people in a session with average video and audio quality.

The USP is of course the wider availability. Anyone with a smartphone can join in and it doesn’t need extra steps to set up.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has had video calling support for quite some time now. And with each update, the app has added more and more features to make it more interactive and fun. Surprisingly though, it’s usage has been limited to few users with many still choosing to go with Instagram and WhatsApp. Perhaps it has something to do with how much resources it ends up consuming.

The USP of this are the fun AR filters it supports. You can spend hours trying out fun and creative filters with your friends.

Houseparty

This fun app has been around for quite some time but it also during quarantine that it has gone viral (too soon?). The app supports eight people in a room and you can drop in and out as you please.  

The USP of this app is the way it’s designed to bring out the real you. It acts as a social network but doesn’t let you post a status or anything. Instead you just call up friends you want to chill with and chat or play games together. It’s fun. At least the first few times.

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