One of the toughest restrictions we have to face, apart from not living a normal life, is not being able to see our family and friends. Social life and contact with other people is so limited that the feeling of loneliness is more than common these days. Therefore, we have collected a series of free applications with functions that can bring you closer to your closest friends. Because technology is very useful, and even more so with a pandemic threatening society:

HOUSEPARTY

It is an application that is having great success among those affected by confinement. To start using it, simply download the application to your device, or you can even use a web browser. Once you have entered the information requested and following your instructions, the application will allow you to make video calls of up to 7 people and send text messages, such as on WhatsApp and Telegram.

The tool differs from other applications that have this function in that it allows people from your contacts to be added to the video call, once it has been started. In case you want a private video call, you can connect the “Loock room” button. But also, the app allows you to send video messages to your contacts and, most iconically, play online with your friends. The games available are Heads Up, Trivia, Chips and Guac and Quik Draw.

SKYPE

Perhaps the most forgotten of the applications is the pioneer in group video calls. The platform allows you to communicate via text, voice and HD video with anyone on planet Earth. To do this, we just have to download the application and make an account through an email or our phone number.

To search contact your friends, just select the “Search Skype” box in the upper left corner and search for their real name, username or email. If you still can’t find it, you can navigate from the profile pictures or click on the profiles that appear to see your personal information.

HANGOUTS

Mail may only be used for work or college, but Google always thinks of the user experience, and that’s why it has included an application to your gmail that allows you to chat and make video calls with your contacts. To do this, you only have to download the application, so that a chat appears on the left side of the email.

Once you have a list of friends who also have this application, you can create groups and speak individually. In addition, at home conversation there is the possibility of making a video call of up to 10 people, by clicking on the camera button that appears at the top of the box, on the left. It is true that it has been in the market for a while, trying to compete with WhatsApp, but without much success.

DISCORD

Much like Skype, Discord is an application that allows up to 50 people at a time in a video call. The difference is that it does not require prior installation, it is intended to create chat groups for different games, among other features, and it also includes a low-latency voice chat, that is, if they are used while playing, consumes as little data as possible. The server allows creating voice channels with different access channels and for different users.

Discord also acts as a social network, since users can synchronize their YouTube or Twitch accounts to connect various platforms. In video calls, it allows you to share your screen with other people who are watching it and it has a desktop and mobile version. It also has a bot system that manages to give a great variety of extra options to its chat servers. The gamer community is the one that uses this application the most, but after recruiting at home due to the pandemic, isn’t it a good time to join this group?

GRUVEO

This application, although little known, has been at war for some time in the field of video calls. Its main advantage is that it does not need registration for its use. The only requirement is to enter their website and write a name to complete the URL. This URL will be the one that the other participants who want to enter the video call have to use.

The application allows up to 12 participants in the same call and can be registered both from the computer and from the mobile. It also supports the recording of video conferences and has several modes, such as shared screen.

FACETIME

There are also tools built into our own devices. For example, iPhone has the option of FaceTime, an application for voice calls and video calls from Apple. Its capacity is 32 people in the same call, but the drawback is that it is only accessible for Apple devices.

To carry out the call, the procedure to follow is, first, enter the ‘home’ of the application, and then access the icon that appears in the upper right. From there, in the icon to add more people, you can select the contacts that will participate. From there the options of ‘Audio’ or ‘Video’ will appear, and if we click on the latter, the video chat will be opened directly with the people who have joined us.

GOOGLE DUO

Google could not lag behind Apple. The technology giant also has a messaging application that allows group video calls of up to 8 people, and it also has applications for Android, iOS, iPadOS and a web version to be able to use it from any computer.

To start the video call, all participants will need to have downloaded the application. To search for them, you must type the name of the user you want to contact in the search bar. Then select your name from the list and tap the video call icon in the center at the bottom of the screen. Google is very focused on user experience and its interface will greet you the first time you call with a “Smile! Knock Knock is on.”

ZOOM

This application, although intended more for business, also has a multitude of functions that can be interesting for quarantining. The free version allows you to make video calls of up to 100 participants, but the drawback is that they only last for 40 minutes.

To use the app, you need to register. Once done, it will allow you to make video calls, share screen and join from a voice version telephone line. You can also use desktop and application sharing in addition to call recording.

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