Free online conferencing tools -
Facetime: (iphone and ipad) This is only for iphone/ipad apple users. Facetime enable audio and video one to one and Group Facetime (up to 32 people at the moment)
What's App: works on Android and Apple - one to one audio and video and it can provide group conferencing but only up to 4 people at the moment
Facebook Messenger: works on Apple and Android - one to one but only up to six people at the moment
Skype: Works on Apple and Android one to one audio and video but has just changed to enable up to 50 people to conference for free.
Goole Hangout: If you use a gmail account you can use Hangouts for audio and video (150 people audio and 10 people video)
Skype: Still one of the best for one to one and multiple conferencing in my opinion. Easy to use and you can share desktops which many people do not know about! You can also make calls to landlines and mobiles (if you pay a small fee) which means you could call friends and family in other countries and share with the free Skype? You will need to set up your own account - email and password
Zoom: Host up to 100 participants with unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. Restricted to 40 mins limit on group meetings - Unlimited number of meetings. One person can set up the main account and send a link to the participants for the meeting
Google Hangout: If you use a gmail account you can use Hangouts for audio and video (150 people audio and 10 people video) but you have the advantage of being able to share your desktop and record the sessions
Teamviewer: great for sharing desktops exchanging files and. Not sure about audio but you could use your phone??
I have used all of these in the past and found them reliable but the quality of the video will depend on the speed of your connection ( it uses more bandwidth than audio-only) It will take a little time to set them up but they are easy to use once you are set up.
If you want to know more about any of these just search Google....
Click on images to go to the web site -
Some ideas of how to use these during lockdown-
1. Connecting with friends and families in UK or abroad using skype - it's free. If they are abroad and they don't have skype you can call them on Skype but there is a small charge.
2. Children and grandparents using any of the apps -
- connect and read your children a story or share your desktop (SKype) and read with them
- connect and play questions and answers or tell them something about your life and times
- connect and show them some of your photographs (using Skype and sharing desktop)
- Learn a language together - Google translate or other courses
- Listen to music together - "desert island discs" - "Self isolation tunes"??
- Download BBC sounds app and listens to some of the masses of podcasts/ music/ programs together
- Learn how to use some o the apps that you haven't used on your phone or tablet
Do you have an idea? send it to firstname.lastname@example.org