As Metro Nashville officially begins the Safer at Home Order, you might be looking for the best ways to see your family and friends without leaving your home.
Here are a few free apps you can use to video chat those you’re missing most right now:
- FaceTime: If you and all of those you’re connecting with have iPhones, this is your simplest option. FaceTime is available exclusively on iPhones, and is already installed into your phone. It allows up to 32 people to join in on one video call. Choose this app if you and all your loved ones are iPhone users.
- Google Duo: Available as an app on Apple and Android phones, as well as on the computer. Duo allows up to 8 people to video call at once. Choose this app if you or some of your loved ones are Android users.
- Houseparty: Also available as an app Apple and Android phones, and through your computer via Chrome or macOS. Allows users to video chat with up to 8 people at once. The bonus of Houseparty is that you’re able to play a handful of games with friends while on a video call. Games include Heads Up!, Trivia and Quick Draw. Choose this app if you want to impress your teenage niece who has been using Houseparty since before it was cool.
- Skype: Skype is available through computer and phone apps, and allows up to 50 people to video chat at once. Great for the extrovert looking to still host a big party while maintaining their social distance. Choose this app if you’re already familiar with Skype.
- WhatsApp: WhatsApp is known primarily as an instant messaging app, but you can also make phone calls over Wi-Fi, send files, and video chat with up to 4 people at once. While WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, it is known for its security features. Choose this app if end-to-end encryption matters to you.
- Zoom: Zoom’s free version allows unlimited time spent on a chat with one other person. For video chats of multiple people (up to 100) you can still chat for free for a maximum of 40 minutes at a time. Unlimited options begin with a paid subscription starting at $14.99. Choose this app if you’re already using it for work. (When using Zoom, make sure to send the invitation for your meeting directly to those you intend through email. Don’t post the link to your meeting on a public social media account. For more information on securing your Zoom meeting, click here.)
The BBC has also put together two videos demonstrating how to use WhatsApp and FaceTime for those who are new to video chat. You can view those videos here.