APPS GALORE TO STAY TOGETHER
★ BRITS are turning to video calls to try and keep in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus crisis.
★ Government measures on social distancing because of the outbreak means many of us are trapped at home. But the rules haven’t stopped the nation talking. Here JAMES MOORE reveals some of the top ways you can still communicate face to face…
ZOOM: This popular video conferencing app is often used for business, but many ordinary folk are becoming “zoomers” at home. It allows pals and families to chat together at the same time and is being used to deliver everything from kids’ lessons to exercise classes. It’s free, with no time limit for a “one on one” or for up to 100 people in video calls lasting up to 40 minutes. It works on all platforms and you simply download the app or sign up at zoom.us – launch a “meeting” and invite others to join you. SKYPE: One of the best known video call sites, it’s free to download and will work on phones and tablets but is probably best on a desktop device. It allows four hours per call, up to 50 people at once, and 100 hours per month. Get it from the App store, Google Play Store or skype.com. HOUSEPARTY: This one’s ideal for a virtual games night. There are loads of different game options, and eight players allowed. Simply download the app for free on IOS or Android, create an account and then invite your friends. You can then see who else is online at any time and invite them to chat or play.
FACEBOOK MESSENGER: You may have used the feature of the top social network to send messages but there’s also a video chat option to connect with another user. And you can include up to eight people for free without any time limit.
WHATSAPP: You can make free video calls with up to four people. The person you are calling will also need it and you’ll need to add their phone number to your address book. Tap on the video camera icon to start a call. FACETIME: This only works on Apple devices, where it comes pre-installed. Click on your contacts and the Facetime option. A Group Facetime function allows chats with up to 32 people. GOOGLE HANGOUTS: If you have a Google account you can invite people via their Gmail addresses or by emailing a link. Up to 25 people can join in. There’s also the free Google Duo app – a sort of Android version of Facetime for up to eight people.