Skype is the big name, but not the only game
Thanks to being “first” to the game and being the best positioned and marketed video calling service, Skype is now synonymous with online video calling. As we have seen before, in the world of the internet, being first doesn’t always mean your the best. I have been using Skype since it started and have currently been looking for alternates since Skype doesn’t work natively on the Chromebook, thanks, Microsoft.
So what are some other options for making video calls? Well, it turns out, if you need to Skype someone, there are a lot of ways to do it. The only real hurdle is convincing your friends and family to try out a new service.
As I stated before, Skype is the old man in the video calling business. They may not have been the first, but they were the best marketed. The idea of video calling is now called Skyping, even when you don’t use Skype. Since the service got bought out by Microsoft, I feel it has gone downhill a little. At least for me. I find calls do not connect as often as they could and the quality of the connection is never that great. Since I went to Chromebooks, Skype is not handled natively and has to run in the browser, which makes it worse.
This is the service we rely on most often now for video calling. It’s great since most everyone we know is on Facebook, so it’s not hard to convince people to give it a shot. All you do is go to the messenger screen and click the video button, it’s really that easy. The call connection has been reliable and consistent, and the sound quality is good also. We have found that this is currently the best option for us. Also, it works great across our Android phones and the Chromebooks. It is really the platform agnostic solution we have been looking for.
If your friends and family have Google accounts this is a good one to try. While not as popular as some other messaging services it does do a good job of connecting people. Also as a side benefit, you can set up Google Talk inside of Hangouts to give yourself a second phone number. It’s a great way to screen calls or have a number to hand out that isn’t your primary phone number.
While I have not had a chance to try this one out myself, since I don’t really have any Apple products, I know that is is a very popular service among the users of the fruit. With its integration among all Apple devices,
I can see where it would be really easy for people to get on board with. It’s is exclusive to Apple products, so I would mark that as a limitation if you and your family are not part of the Apple ecosystem.
There are several more services beyond what I have listed here. The basics are it has to boil down to what works for you. We happen to like the Facebook Messenger app for our video calling needs. It just works for us, and that’s really all that matters.
Which services do you use? Let me know in the comments. Also, please sign up for our email list to get notified when new articles are posted.