what is video calling how to video call

Share moments from anywhere in the world: How to Video Call

Many families today don’t have the luxury of popping around to see each other, with relatives often living dotted around the country, sometimes elsewhere in the world. This may be common in modern life, although it needn’t mean we don’t get to see the smiles on their faces, whenever we please. Learning how to video call means that regardless of where your loved ones are, you can speak face to face, hearing and seeing them simultaneously, enabling you to share moments as if you’re together.


Getting Started: How to Video Call

The first thing you’ll need is a device to video call from, but the chances are you’ll already have one. A desktop computer with a webcam and microphone will do the trick, although a ‘smart’ phone (a mobile phone with computer-like capabilities), or a tablet computer, is an easier way to get set up, as you can use them when out and about or from the comfort of your own home.

You’ll need a connection to the internet in order to make a video call (and so will the person you’re calling). We recommend connecting to Wi-Fi to make a call, as calling using mobile data will use lots of your monthly allowance. As well as at home, Wi-Fi is freely available in most public places like coffee shops, hotels, shopping centres and even many trains, just ask!

Click here to watch our video on how to connect to Wi-Fi (Android devices only)

There are many applications or ‘apps’ available that allow you to video call others, all of them free to download (ie put on your device) and use. Their features differ slightly, but on the whole they enable the sending and receiving of messages, images, video clips and of course the ability to voice or video call. The best one for you depends on the device that you have and which app the people you wish to speak with use, however it makes sense to go with one which the majority of people have access to (listed below).


How to Video Call On a Smartphone

Whatsapp‘ is used by over 900 million people worldwide and is the most popular mobile phone messaging (and video calling) app in over 109 countries. You don’t need an account to use it, as it links up with your phone number and contact list, so you can instantly communicate with minimum fuss. Just open the app and select the contact you wish to video call from your address book, tap the phone icon in the top right, then select video (or if you have an Apple iPhone, tap the video camera icon). Unlike ‘Facetime’ where both people have to own an Apple device to call each other, Whatsapp works on Apple, Android (e.g. Doro or Samsung) and Windows devices. 

how to video call whatsapp

Once you’re in the call you can even swap between your front and rear facing camera (to share what’s in front of you!

 You need the most recent version of WhatsApp to video call, make sure both you and the person you’re calling have the latest update before calling. The app will tell you if the person you’re trying to video call does not have the latest version.

How to Video Call on a Tablet, Desktop or Laptop Computer

Skype‘ has been one of the most popular ways to video call on computers for many years, however their latest app is free and a great way to share moments and keep up to date with family or friends. One of its best features is group video chats, where it allows up to 10 people to speak simultaneously, (although I think any more than 4 would be a challenge). All you’ll need to download the app and create an account is an email address (if you don’t already have one, create one free with Hotmail or Gmail.), then simply add your friends and family to your Skype contacts and you’re ready to video chat. 

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