WhatsApp, Skype or Houseparty: Which video-calling app is the right fit for you?

Few popular apps that may or may not be the app for you.

Agencies
With virtual meetings becoming a norm, WhatsApp, Skype and Houseparty have become some of the most-preferred video calling apps.
What was once an exception — virtual meetings and video calls — has now become the norm. Be it office meetings or talking to friends and family, almost everyone with a smartphone has turned to video calling apps. Here we tell you about a few popular ones and why they may - or may not - be the right app for you:

Google Duo
Get it for: Free
A FaceTime alternative for Android, its Google Duo. Available on Android, iOS and web, the app offers clutter-free interface, well laid out menu options and it’s free. Google Duo is a dedicated audio and video calling app and so it does not come with a text messaging option. The app allows users to make group video calls as well but has a limitation of 12 users at a time.


Pro: Support for multiple platforms
Con: Can’t get more than 12 people on a call

Apple iPad2_bccl
For Apple lovers, FaceTime is the best option as it offers seamless integration with iPhone and MacBook.

Apple FaceTime
Get it for: Pre-loaded on Apple devices
If you’re entrenched in the high-walled gardens of the Apple ecosystem, then FaceTime is the best option as it offers seamless integration with iPhone and MacBook. Fast, free and reliable, the app even supports group video calling with up to 32 users at a time. However, it might not match up to the competition when it comes to certain features like no customisation or noise cancellation. And we cannot ignore the fact that it is not available on other operating systems.
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Pro: 32 people can connect on one call
Con: Only for Apple users

Skype
Get it for: Free
Skype is among the most feature-rich when it comes to video calling. It is almost impossible to find a device where you cannot install Skype. It is available on Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Alexa, Xbox and it even has a dedicated web plugin which gives it the upper hand over other options available. Apart from the ability of making group calls with up to 50 users, Skype’s mobile app even comes with features like smart messaging, screen sharing, file sharing, background blur, real-time voice translation and more.

Pro: Multiple platform support, reliable mobile app
Con: Consumes relatively more data than other apps
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WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app.

WhatsApp
Get it for: Free
WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app. The app is available on Android, iOS and KaiOS. Well, WhatsApp on paper does offer almost every feature that a user needs, but the group video call is limited only to 4 people at a time. But most importantly, the call quality is not as good as other options, especially when compared to FaceTime and Skype.

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Pro: Ease of use
Con: Limited number of people in group video calls

Blue Jeans
Get it for: Is paid
BlueJeans is among the highly-rated video conferencing service providers. It offers tons of advanced features such as Dolby Digital voice, noise cancellation, recording, smart integration and more. It is available on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. While joining a meeting is free, to host one needs to purchase the license, which starts at Rs 845.56 per month for the standard version (can host up to 50 participants). The enterprise edition supports up to 100 participants.

Pro: Loaded with features
Con: Some paid features

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While, January 28 is observed as the Data Privacy Day in India, the US, Canada and 47 European countries each day, Sunil Sharma, managing director sales, India & SAARC, Sophos advises you to treat every day as Data Privacy Day and apply these simple tips to secure your data.

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Houseparty
Get it for: Free

Houseparty is pitched as a social media app rather than a video conferencing app. Available on Android, iOS, Mac and Chrome, it allows up to eight people to video chat in a room. The easy-to-use interface, readily available calling options further adds to user experience. It even allows users to play games with other room members. One annoying feature of the app is that it does not require anyone to call, users automatically get notified when friends open the app and they can join chats with them.

Pro: Added fun element
Con: Security and privacy may be at risk
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