How To Video Chat with Mom on Mother’s Day
By Tracey Dowdy
When you can’t be there in person, the next best thing to being with mom on Mother’s Day is through a video chat. There’s no better way to show you love her than by putting on that itchy sweater she bought you for Christmas, switching on your front facing camera and sitting down to catch up on her news. Even more than flowers or perfume, she wants to see you and catch up face to face – even if that face is on the other side of the country
There are a lot of video chat apps out there and these are some of my favorites.
Probably the best known video chat service, Skype has over 700 million registered users. One of its best features is that it’s accessible by such a wide variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming devices. Skype allows users to video chat, video message and instant message for free or make VoIP calls to external numbers for a small fee. (Free – Android/iOS)
Once linked with your Facebook profile, Oovoo uploads your friends list to your contacts and allows users to chat with up to 12 friends at once. Video chat, instant messaging and voice calls are free, and you can purchase credits to make landline calls for a nominal fee. You can send text messages or watch YouTube videos from within the app or record the conversation to enjoy again later. (Free – Android/iOS; Premium Mobile $0.99 per year; Premium $2.99 per year)
Facebook is late to the party but its new video chat option is available across Android and Apple devices. While in Messenger, users simply open a chat window then click on the camera icon in the top corner. The time and date of the call are recorded in your chat history but the calls themselves cannot be recorded. Users can only make one call at a time. (Free – Android/iOS)
Available for iOS and Mac OS X users only, FaceTime allows users to make video calls through its streamlined user interface. Calls are made via wireless or your network connection and FaceTime is already installed as part of the device firmware, so there’s no additional software to download. (Free – iOS)
Google designed Hangouts to be just like a live conversation with friends – except with emojis. Search your contacts to start a call or turn a Hangout into a live video call with up to 10 friends, send emojis, or sound effects. Calls to Canada and across the US are free, with low rates to other countries worldwide. Because the app works across platforms no matter which device you’re on – phone, tablet or laptop – your caller will know you’re trying to reach them. If they’re unavailable, the app will let them know you were trying to get in touch. (Free – Android/iOS)
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.