Video chatting platforms like Zoom are continuously growing in popularity, thanks to the easy-to-use features which allow friends and family to connect when they're not together. If you're looking to switch up your video-chat game as you keep in touch from a distance, there are plenty of options. Whether you want to play some games together or just hang out, here are eight video chat apps to use with your friends and family when you can't be together IRL.
With so many different apps available to make video calls, you can check out the apps' respective features to see what fits your needs. For instance, Zoom users praise its easy-to-use platform, while people with busy schedules love Marco Polo's video chats. Some applications have a limit on how many people may join the chat for free, so if the size of your group doesn't suit certain apps, you'll need to find one that does. Luckily, there's an app for any type of gathering, and you can also choose the best app for you based what device you'll be using, like an iPhone, an Android, an iPad or tablet, or a laptop.
1. The Marco Polo App
The Marco Polo app is a great option if you and your friends are having some scheduling conflicts. Instead of live chatting, you can use Marco Polo to keep an ongoing video conversation by sending video messages to your friends whenever you have time. This way, you and your friends can watch video chats back and reply on your own time. Plus, the app also has some fun built-in features including filters, emojis, and voice changing filters.
2. Google Duo
The Google Duo app is a top-notch option for those who want something similar to FaceTime, but have friends with Android phones. You can use Google duo on your iPhone or Android phone, computer, or tablet. Duo is free to use, and you can video chat with up to 12 people at a time, so it's great for larger groups.
Duo has some fun features like the ability to send video messages with effects and filters. There are also some AR filters you can use to send video messages, like what you'd see on Snapchat.
3. The Bunch App
The Bunch app lets you and your friends group video chat while playing games. Of course, you can group call without playing games, too. The nice thing about it is you can switch in and out of game mode easily. Once you're ready to get in on the fun, you can use Bunch's overlay feature, which lets you still see everyone while you're playing games together. Some of the games they have built into the app include virtual pool, Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble Go, Exploding Kittens, a mobile version of Call of Duty, and Risk.
Bunch supports calls for groups of up to eight people at once.
WeChat is free to use and available on iOS and Android. The features available include text messaging, group chat, video calls with up to nine people, and the ability to share moments like a post on Facebook, or post photos and videos to your Time Capsule, which is similar to IG Stories.
This makes it easy to connect with your BFFs while you go about your day, hop on a video chat, and simultaneously share posts that only your friends in the app can see.
The Squad app offers an easy way to share your phone screen with your friends while you're chatting, which leads to near-endless entertainment options you can share together. Squad supports group video chats of up to nine people, and the coolest part is, multiple users can share their screens simultaneously.
Houseparty offers a fun way to get your friends together over group video chat and play games. Games available on the app are accessible via the dice icon in the right corner of the main screen below the plus sign (+). You can play Heads Up!, Trivia, Chips and Guac, and a Pictionary-inspired game called Quick Draw with up to 8 people at once.
Most people use the Facebook-owned app for secure messaging, but you can also use Whatsapp for video chat. To use it, download Whatsapp from the App Store or Google Play. Once you're all logged in, begin a chat conversation with one of your contacts and click on the camera button at the top of the screen. Next, click the add button in the top right corner of the screen to add another participant.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp only allows group video calls for up to three people, but it's a simple and easy way to connect with your close friends and family members.
You can group video chat with WAVE for free and play games together within the app. Games available include mini-games like Whac-A-Mole and Never Have I Ever, This or That, an escape room-inspired game, Mafia, and a game like Pictionary.
Each game allows a range of up to four or eight players at a time. There's also the ability to watch YouTube videos together built into the game section of the app.
With so many video chatting platforms available on your phone, it's easy to connect with your loved ones no matter where they're at.