Skype and other 'social' connections?

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#1
In this time of social distancing......the question arises, other than phone calling what about using video calling???

In a situation where the devices being used by people include Android phones, iPhone, tablets of both "flavours" and computers (Windows & Mac). What is a good/best option to use???

TIA for user insights et al :)

PS this question was triggered by SWMBO saying it would good to keep in touch with family with video included ;)
 
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Jim
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#2
Apple have Facetime for other Apple users but Whatsapp is good and works on all flavours.
 
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John
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#3
WhatsApp video conferencing but it only allows 4 per session. Nearly everyone has that on their phone.

It works well if you make up a Family Group (if you have only 3 siblings or 4 phones logged in) and its just private family chats. Handy if Parents are housebound and the whole families are using it on the other end.
 
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#4
Zoom ?
 
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Stuart
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#5
Our camera club has just started using Zoom (while the physical club is shut), we will be trying GotoMeeting next month as slightly cheaper with the same features.
Zoom is free for virtual meetings with up to 50 participants for a maximum duration of 45 minutes, there is no limit for two users.
Google hangouts is also an option you could consider
 

Nod

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#6
Mrs Nod is hoping to start using Zoom to teach her Yoga classes. Plan (at the moment) is for her to "teach" one of the other teachers who uses her studio while she (Mrs N.) observes the students. Of course, if there's a lockdown, plans will have to change and I might have to be the student!!! :p
 
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Box Brownie
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#7
Thanks all for the speedy user insights, much appreciated :)

Will have the liaise with the family..... fairly sure that at least one of the nieces uses Whatapp already?
 

Jimmy_Lemon

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Tom
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#8
We are using Facebook messengers video call feature. Seems to work fine and is very simple to use.
 
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Tim
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#9
+1 for WhatsApp for family, it’s been great to keep in contact apart from our in-laws who don’t have a smart phone. They do have a laptop so we Skype with them.

For larger groups Zoom and Hangout have been very good too. It’s worth putting in some thought to how you place the camera for good lighting, background etc and microphone for clear sound.
 
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#10
We're using Zoom but according to a friend they have received so many new signups that it has been impossible to get it just recently.
 
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#14
Ah, I wasn't aware of that, I have it on my phone, tablet and PC, my apologies!
 
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#15
I use Rambox https://rambox.pro/#ce and you can add multiple apps to it, like facebook, gmail,whatsapp etc etc --- for whatsapp you need your phone to have the app open and the phone to be online ( wifi / 3g/4g) as it uses that to sync messages to the app installed on your pc
 
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#16
Ah, I wasn't aware of that, I have it on my phone, tablet and PC, my apologies!
I only know because I'm setting up an iPad for my mother in law who doesn't have a smart phone so she can take video calls while we can't visit her - If you'd asked me yesterday I'd have assumed you could install WhatsApp on a tablet without it being on your phone.
 
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Anthony Ralph
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#17
Are you sure? - it says 'WhatsApp must be installed on your phone'
You can use WhatApp on a PC - however - it must also be installed on a smartphone and the 'phone needs to be on. The PC software accesses WhatsApp via the 'phone to synch messages.

Anthony
 
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#19
We are using Whatsapp to maintain contact daily using our smart phones and Skype on laptops to have a three way family video conference
 
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#21
Have been digging and so far as @broc mentions WhatsApp and Skype look interesting.

It seems we can get Skype for free user to user video calls on both PC and our Android phones........have to grasp how we "start" / "call" the other person :)

As for WhatsApp, perhaps I read it wrong but not clear if like Skype you can actually do video calling???

So, still a bit in the :thinking: stage as to what to do?
 
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#22
Have been digging and so far as @broc mentions WhatsApp and Skype look interesting.

It seems we can get Skype for free user to user video calls on both PC and our Android phones........have to grasp how we "start" / "call" the other person :)

As for WhatsApp, perhaps I read it wrong but not clear if like Skype you can actually do video calling???

So, still a bit in the :thinking: stage as to what to do?
You can do video calling using Whatsapp, we tried it but found that when there are groups of people (2 or 3) at each 'node' of the call the laptop is better (much bigger screens).

You are correct, Skype is a free download from Microsoft, using it we have had 3 way video calls with up to 7 people.

On our laptops we use our Microsoft Outlook accounts to login to Skype, once logged in you can invite others to join the call, for convenience you can add 'callers' in as contacts to make life easier.
 
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#23
WhatsApp also works on an Ipad
 

Nod

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#26
Mrs Nod is hoping to start using Zoom to teach her Yoga classes. Plan (at the moment) is for her to "teach" one of the other teachers who uses her studio while she (Mrs N.) observes the students. Of course, if there's a lockdown, plans will have to change and I might have to be the student!!! :p
Phew! Of course, soon after posting the above, :lock::lock::lock::lock::lock:! Luckily, Mrs Nod and one of the other teachers got together (at 2m separation) and sorted out the techy side of Zoom and also discovered that the wifi at the studio is too slow to have a laptop (for the larger screen so students can be observed for their own safety as well as offering a second view of the teacher) and a phone (for the better camera) connected at the same time, let alone any other devices. So, Mrs N. has had to shift the set up to our front room which is JUST big enough for her to teach relatively gentle classes from her mat. This also allows her to use our large (49" IIRC) TV to be plugged in to the laptop for a bigger view of the students. Her lunchtime class today had 12 students but she reckons she'll be comfortable with double that if necessary - all the students are (and will be, due to insurance stipulations) already known quantities as far as ability and health goes.
Long story short, Zoom worked great. she got all the students to mute themselves during the class then had a 15 minute open mike discussion afterwards, followed by a one-to-one discussion with a student whose cancer treatment means that she won't be able to attend normal classes for 3+ months so for whom the online option is a godsend! Oh, and I didn't need to do any bending!!!
 
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Jonathan
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#27
Yeah - we're using Zoom for my Tai Chi class. Haven't been able to get it to work personally due to low bandwidth but other students are happy with it. Just uprated my 4G aerial so hope to be able to use it myself from now on.
 

Nod

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#28
I think she's going to have to invest in a Bluetooth mic - downward dog takes her voice too far from the built in one in the laptop!
 
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