Mobile Video Conference Apps aka Video Chat

Aug 10, 2011

Here's a look at the most popular video chat and conferencing applications, with an emphasis on mobile and an eye toward multi-party conferences.

Regardless of the fact that the service was recently purchased by Microsoft, Skype is still the most popular video chat services available today. It's cross-platform, available for mobile devices, and easy to use and familiar. Still, complaints are rising: the influence Microsoft will have, the rise of paid features, and application bloat.

Google Talk is almost as ubiquitous as Skype, and since you essentially have access to it every time you check Gmail, many of you have already switched over to it. It's also cross-platform, and Google just announced video for Google Talk on Android last month. Google Talk is also praised for its high performance on systems with varying specs, even low-end machines.
Google+ Hangouts also offer a robust platform for multi-party video conferencing.
iChat is Apple's home-grown instant messaging client. The app has come a long way over the years, starting off as AIM and eventually growing to support multiple chat networks and video and audio conferencing over Apple's own networks, AOL's network, and Google Talk. iChat also supports screen sharing and application presentation. Even though it's only available for the Mac, it is included with OS X, making it the easiest option for Mac users to collaborate with one another, or chat with friends on any platform.
ooVoo is free, supports Mac OS and Windows, mobile devices, and video calls among all of them. Also, the participants on your video call don't have to be ooVoo members if they don't want to sign up: they can join your video call via Web browser. You can share documents, record video calls for posterity, share desktops, and collaborate on documents. Best of all, it's free – as long as you're only video chatting with three other people. Any more than that and you can pay per use, or per month, depending on the features you want.
ooVoo's picture quality was not as good as the competition. iPhone owners with a rolodex of Skype subscribers may want to stick to that video-chat service, and when it comes to face-to-face calls with buddies on Android phones, Fring or Tango are better. But ooVoo's multi-party feature is nice to have for those who need to conduct conference calls.
Up until recently, AOL Instant Messenger didn't have its own video chat service. All that changed when AOL launched AV by AOL, a free video chat service for up to four people, all with no account or application required: all you need is a Web browser. Generate your video chat "room," send your friends the link, and they can join, free of charge. You can also log in to AIM and invite your friends to join to chat.
Free video calls can be made by anyone who has downloaded Tango to their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android phone or tablet.
Fuze Meeting lets you conduct online meetings with anyone, anywhere and on any device. It’s the easiest way to hold web conferences, whether it’s with a distributed work force, clients across the country or mobile sales forces. Collaborate online so you don’t have to deal with the burdens of travel.

Top iPad Applications for Video Conferencing
Skype is definitely the most sought after app in the category, as lots of people associate the very process of making video calls exclusively with Skype. If you are a Skype user, then with the help of this free app you will be able to enjoy its functionality to full extent on your iPad.
FaceTime is a built-in video app for iPad 2. It gives you a possibility to enjoy high definition video chatting to help you always stay in touch with your friends. However, you will be able to use FaceTime conferencing only with other owners of iOS devices.

With Fring you will be able to enjoy all features of FaceTime video conferencing together with very useful additional ones. For instance, it allows chatting over 3G Internet and can connect you with Android users as well.


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