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Monday, October 22, 2012

Awesome Apps - 22/10/12

This week, I've been looking at some different apps in the space of video calls and more specifically video conferencing.  There's been an increased need in my home life as well as work life to transcend the miles and make effective communication links and I've been trying to find something that gives a real experience and doesn't make it feel like you are on a call at all.

Of course a great much of this depends on the device itself, but the app is a key part in the chain.

Here's some of the best I've tried and would recommend:

  • Google Hangout - for free this is pretty awesome indeed.  In particular I like the way it handles multi person calls.  This is a great experience on the Nexus 7 tablet - better than other devices I've tried.  I guess you'd expect this from google integration.  Handles low bandwidth really well.
  • Skype - it's everywhere!  Device agnostic, I guess you would say.  And this is indeed one of its better qualities.  Having everyone I know onboard with Skype makes it pretty easy to get to them.  Call quality is patchy though, particularly for low bandwidth.
  • Facetime - if you are an apple addict you've got this already.  Brilliant point to point.  We have an iMac at home with a super HD camera.  On this device its the best experience I've ever had with video calls.  Make it feel like you're in the same room and just chatting.  Wish there was a multi person version.  Call quality is always great.
  • Airtime - just getting my head around this one.  Not used it much yet.  Starting to see the pluses and minuses.

Try them out and let me know what you think.  They're all awesome in their own ways.  It's just a question of whether they are awesome for your individual context.

If skype is your bag, then why not take a look at this as a device.  Makes your HD TV into a wonderful skype interface.  Particularly good for home use.  Also quite good for small office / meeting room: 

Look forward to your thoughts :)

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