The best webcam tools for catching up with loved ones
In the 21st century, the internet’s biggest gift to the world has been allowing family and friends to stay in more frequent contact – no matter where in the world they might be.
Thanks to email technology, people need no longer keep track of multiple addresses in order to get in touch with someone. And as a result of webcams, catching up “face to face” has never been easier too.
If you regularly video call family and friends, it can be easy to stick to software you know. But there are plenty of options out there – make sure you scour the market to find the tool that works best for you.
Using your webcam to catch up on the web
One of the world’s most popular tools for catching up online is Skype. First released in 2003, this application incorporates voice calls, video calls and instant messaging. So if your friends and relatives are signed into their Skype accounts too, you can chat, talk and see them in just a few clicks. Integrated webcams in laptops and monitors have made video calls on Skype very popular, but there are other alternatives too. Oovoo and UberConference, for instance, are popular with businesses arranging video conference calls on the internet. But if you’re planning a large family video chat online, one of these clients may be better suited to your multi-person needs than Skype.
Never one to be outdone by its competitors, Google+ Hangouts is one of the newer video chat options on the web. Launched in May 2013, Hangouts is similar to Skype in that it enables messaging, video and voice chats. However, its emphasis is on group conversations, rather than one-on-ones. So if you’re organising a family get-together, or simply want to be able to send a message to all your children, grandchildren or siblings at once, this is a great solution – especially if you all already have Google accounts.
Alternatively, Facebook fans should experiment with Facebook Video Calling. If you’re connected to your family members and friends on Facebook, you just need to click the call button on their profile to start your video chat. This is a great way to get in touch with that elusive child who won’t reply to texts or phone calls but seems permanently glued to Facebook. However, the drawback is that you can only call one person at a time.
Video chatting with your smartphone camera
Though camera phones have been around for a while, smartphone apps have made video chats possible. The great thing about video chatting on your smartphone is that you don’t just get to see the face of the loved one you’re chatting too – you can show them what’s around you too. So if you’ve just walked up a hill or mountain, for instance, you can video call friends and family to share the view with them.
Both Skype and Google Hangouts are available for smartphones, and iPhone users can use Facetime to video chat with each other too. But remember, if you don’t have unlimited data or you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, video streaming could really hit hard when you get your next mobile phone bill.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Which travel adventure is top of your Bucket List? - June 26, 2017
- Does the country need a new ‘caretaker’ prime minister? - June 25, 2017
- Escape to Ardencote Manor - June 25, 2017
- Five Essentials for Carers Looking After Someone with Dementia - June 22, 2017
- Over 50s ‘should have more sex to boost their IQ’ - June 22, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!