Using technology to keep in touch with loved ones

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Guest Writer
Using tech to keep in touch

If you’ve moved abroad or are travelling for a long period of time, staying in touch with loved ones or friends is likely to be one of your top priorities.

New apps and updates to long-established services have made keeping in touch with friends and family much simpler and they are constantly improving to ensure that using them is as simple and enjoyable as possible.

With a modern phone or tablet and a good Internet connection, there’s plenty of free apps that allow you to make voice and video calls. Here’s look at five of the best and a quick guide on how to use them:

Facebook Messenger

The most widely used messaging service in the world alongside WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, offers the ability to make video and voice calls and is available for download on nearly every mobile or computer device.

All calls are free, you simply use your internet connection and the latest version of the app allows for group phone and video calls.

Making a call

Tap on a contact or group from the Messenger app list and click on the video or phone icon in the top right corner to start a call.

Download Facebook Messenger here.

Skype

Skype is one of the most popular apps for making video calls as it available on just about every phone operating system as well as computers, tablets, smart TVs and other devices.

You can search for people by name and add them to your contact list and create groups. Apart from being able to make free voice and video calls to other Skype users, it also allows you to share files and send messages.

It also offers low cost calling and texting to mobile phone or landlines if your contact does not have Skype.

Making a call

To make a video or voice call, open a contact or group and tap the camera or phone sign in the top-right corner of the screen.

Download Skype here.

Viber

Similar to Skype and Facebook Messenger, Viber is available for almost all operational systems including Windows and Macs, and most mobile devices including Blackberry, Windows Phone, Android and Apple. You will need to install Viber on your mobile phone before using it on a computer or tablet.

Viber users can share files and send messages and allows group audio calls for up to 40 participants and video calls to individuals.

Making a call

Tap the camera or phone sign next to a person or group name and start talking.

Download Viber here.

Facetime

Facetime is a video call app that comes as standard on all Apple devices. It only allows you to communicate with other Apple users but is one of the simplest apps to use.

Making a call

To make a FaceTime call, you need the person’s phone number or the email address they’ve used to register with the app.

In the FaceTime app, enter the person’s phone number or email address in the search bar on the top (left if using on a computer or tablet) of the screen then tap the video or audio icon to start the call.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world boasting over one billion active users. Available on Windows, Android and Apple mobiles, the app recently introduced voice and video calling to individuals and you can use the in-app camera to scan a QR code on your computer screen and send messages using WhatsApp Web.

Making a call

To make a call, click on a contact, tap the phone icon at the top of the screen then choose either the phone or video call option.

Download WhatsApp here.