23 March 2020 16:33
STAYING socially isolated doesn't mean you have to cancel your social plans — you just need to adjust them a bit. With more of us having to spend time indoors due to the coronavirus outbreak, virtual communication is key, and various apps like Zoom are here to help. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 2 Google Hangouts is a great way to keep in touch during the coronavirus outbreak Credit: Getty Images - Getty This is where apps like Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangout, Skype, and others, can be very useful so you can video chat with your family and friends from the safety of your home. How can I make video group calls? Zoom Zoom allows free one-on-one video meetings for as long as you want or for three or more people for up to 40 minutes with their free plan.
Its paid monthly plan lets you set up video calls for up to 100 participants and for up to 24 hours long. Download the Zoom application at zoom.us, open it from your desktop and click "Launch meeting." Click "Invite participants" and either email them or add them from your Zoom contacts. After everyone has joined, you can share your screen by clicking the green "Share screen" button in the bottom center of the video. Participants will be able to see your face in a windowed video and you'll be able to see theirs. 2 Many people across the world have been asked to stay at home due to coronavirus lockdown Credit: Alamy Facebook Facebook's Messenger app is primarily used for sending messages, but also includes a video chat option, making it a convenient choice for those who are on the social media platform all the time anyway. If the person you want to talk to is also a Facebook Messenger user, you can initiate a video or audio call with them through the app. And like on Facebook's main app and Instagram, you can also add a temporary photo or video to your Story on Facebook Messenger. Google Hangouts Hangouts now lets you invite anyone, even those without Google accounts, however, organisers still need a Google account. You can invite other people by their Gmail addresses or by emailing them a link. You can set it up as a voice or video hangout and up to 25 people can join a video Hangout and up to 150 people can join a voice-only Hangout. To share your screen once the Hangout has begun, hover your mouse in the call and click the three vertical dots on the upper-right hand side of the screen and click "Share screen." Google Duo If anyone in your planned get-together doesn't have an Apple device, Google Duo is basically an Android version of FaceTime. The app is free to download and up to eight people can join a Duo call. Skype Skype is free to download and works on phones, tablets and computers with webcams. If you're playing host, it'll be easier to set up the call if you're on a laptop or desktop computer, but other participants don't have to be. Add your friend's Skype contact name and click on his or her name from your contacts list before clicking the camera button in the upper-right corner to start the video call. To share what's on your screen, hover your mouse in the video and click the icon that looks like two stacked squares on the bottom right of the video call screen and click the "Share screen" button. You and your group of friends will be able to see each other's videos at the top of the shared screen. MOST READ IN NEWS Live Blog CORONA FEARS LIVE: UK deaths at 289 as Boris prepares for speech after lockdown warning VIRAL SPREAD Being obese 'increases your risk of deadly coronavirus', docs warn UNCHARTED WATERS Thousands IGNORE strict new rules to party on boats off Florida beaches Exclusive Gruesome end Gannon Stauch was stabbed and shot before being stuffed in a suitcase CALLOUS THEFT Mum of baby in isolation after 3 heart ops slams thieves who stole their milk SEX STOP Porn biz halted by 'mandatory production hold' after coronavirus scare FaceTime FaceTime is Apple's proprietary video calling app. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, it operates seamlessly, letting you start a video chat with any of your contacts the same way you would a phone call or text message. While FaceTime's primary purpose is video chatting, as its name suggests, you can also do audio-only calls if you're in a place with a Wi-Fi or data connection but poor phone signal. With the release of iOS 12 in 2018, Apple also added a Group FaceTime option, allowing you to chat with up to 32 people at once — assuming they all have Apple devices, of course.