The best video-conferencing apps

When you need to get a far-flung team face-to-face, rely on these apps

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As businesses get increasingly far-flung, with employees, associates, and clients located all over the globe, the need for face-to-face communications does not diminish. No worries! You can rely on some excellent videoconferencing apps to keep your company running smoothly, regardless of size. While the desktop traditionally hosts many sophisticated videoconferencing applications, the need to hold meetings while out in the field — or working at home — is equally critical.

Videoconferencing boosts productivity among employees and teams, providing a different way of interacting with colleagues, partners, and clients. Companies benefit from lower travel costs and even abbreviated project times as a result of better communications — including better interpretation of non-verbal cues and a stronger sense of bonding among business contacts. Participants develop a sense of familiarity with folks they may never meet. The apps below facilitate mobile face-to-face meetings, accompanied by chat, screen sharing, and other business-oriented features.

If you need a more family-type chat app, or have an extremely small company, check out our selection of mobile video chat apps.

Zoom Cloud Meetings

The free Zoom Cloud Meetings is an easy way for work teams and clients to stay connected regardless of physical location. The app delivers high-quality video, audio, screen sharing, and cross-platform instant messaging. Connect with anyone on your mobile device, Windows, Mac, Zoom Rooms, H.323/SIP room systems, or telephones. All you have to do is start a meeting and invite anyone in your contact list to join in. Virtual backgrounds are available on some later handset models and operating systems. The app works over Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, and 3G networks, letting you share and co-annotate screens and applications or, use Zoom’s chat and phone services.

iOS   Android

Skype

Link up with up to 25 colleagues with Skype on your mobile phone for an HD video call. You can also use Skype to send SMS messages, place voice calls to both mobile and landline phones, send GIFs, chat, share photos and videos, or share your screen for business presentations. The app lets you read and reply to phone-based SMS messages on your desktop computer. There’s plenty of variety with Skype, though the app is consistently a work in progress and seeks feedback on the user experience. While Skype-to-Skype calls are free, you may incur data charges, so Skype recommends an unlimited data plan or Wi-Fi connection.

iOS   Android

Free Conference Call

Need to set a meeting? Free Conference Call, an easy-to-use collaboration tool, allows the flexibility of holding online meetings with HD audio, videoconferencing, and screen sharing. Host or join a meeting, share content, or chat with participants anywhere and at any time. The app provides free audio conferencing for up to 1,000 participants and online meetings with screen sharing. Just tap the invite link from your email or tap the FreeConferenceCall.com icon and enter the meeting credentials to get into the meeting. Once you have joined, you can dial in to the conference call using your internet connection, and also interact with documents by zooming in or out of shared content.

iOS    Android

Hangouts Meet

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Google’s Hangouts for casual get-togethers may have faded away, but its Hangouts Meet for businesses is alive and well. It offers a simple way to conduct videoconferencing and keep teams tight regardless of where members are located. The app features high-definition video meetings with up to 100 participants (for G Suite Enterprise customers), easy access via a one-click shared link, and the ability to dial in to any meeting for audio phone call-ins. It’s designed to work with Google Calendar, which makes it easy to schedule, view meeting details, and join right away. You must give permission for Google to access your camera, microphone, and photo library in order to use the app.

iOS   Android

GoToMeeting

You may already be familiar with GoToMeeting, a popular desktop app. But its mobile counterpart is no slouch, offering accessible and reliable meetings anywhere on the planet. It’s easy to jump into a meeting without having to sign up. You can also host a meeting on any smartphone or tablet for free without a credit card. You get clear VoIP audio, face-to-face videoconferencing, the ability to share your device screen with meeting participants, the option to hand off presentation control to various attendees, and the ability to view presentations. You can also see all of your upcoming meetings and join with a tap, as well as get alerts when a meeting is about to start or chat with other attendees. If you already use GoToMeeting at the office, you can sync your calendar to your mobile device to join meetings and use the commuter mode to save up to 90% of data when joining a mobile meeting.

iOS  Android

BlueJeans

BlueJeans offers business videoconferencing via Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, making itan easy and affordable route for businesses that facilitates hosting or joining videoconferences from anywhere you are. The app works alongside the BlueJeans service to provide multiparty video calls on-the-go with a variety of conferencing systems, including Polycom, Cisco, LifeSize, and Microsoft Lync. You can host meetings via the BlueJeans app, with an existing BlueJeans account, but an account is not needed to attend a meeting. You can also host or join a video meeting with up to 25 participants — up to 100 with the premium service.

iOS   Android

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