I remember watching science fiction shows as a kid and being captivated by their depictions of crazy, futuristic technology. Spaceships, robots, and video calling on handheld devices! Boy, it was exciting to think about all the cool stuff people were supposed to have in the distant 21st century.
Well, the future is here, and we actually get to use a lot of that “crazy” stuff. I don’t have a spaceship or a robot (yet), but I do use video calling apps all the time. Most work delightfully well—even for us simple earthlings. Here are three popular apps I rely on regularly. Each offers a simple interface for easy video calling using either Wi-Fi or your network connection. They also all work cross-platform, so you can call someone on your phone and they can answer using their tablet or PC (or vice-versa.)
FaceTime is Apple’s built-in video chat for iPhone. It’s already integrated within iOS and your Phone app, meaning there’s no additional software to download or advanced setup needed—you simply place a call, choose the “Facetime” icon (which looks like a video camera), and you’re off! Your front facing camera will be activated to show you, and if the person you’re calling also has an iPhone, you’ll be able to see them on your screen.
Google’s Hangouts can be used with any Android device, many of which come with the app pre-loaded, or an iPhone. If you don’t have it, you can download it for free. With Hangouts, you can make video calls linking up to ten participants. It’s an especially handy app to use with tablets, and lets you make video calls quickly with just a few taps on your screen.
Skype has been around for more than 10 years now, and is among the most popular video calling apps, with over 250 million users worldwide. Once you’ve downloaded it, Skype is extremely user-friendly; you simply select the phone number or user name of the person you want to call, and then tap a video camera icon to get started. Like Hangouts, Skype works on both Android devices and iPhones.
Video calling is an awesome way to get up close and personal with your friends and family members. The best part is that you no longer have to be Captain Kirk or Jane Jetson to do it! If you haven’t tried it but want to, you’ll be well served by any of the apps discussed here. Choose whichever one offers the interface and features you’re most comfortable with, and get connected face-to-face.
Google has a new service called Duo. It works extremely well for video calls and is compatible with both Android and Apple phones. It is free.
That’s a great suggestion, Charlie! Duo is a wonderful app, and very user friendly as well.
Does Duo use my data on CC? Great app if it doesn’t affect data.
Thanks for asking! Duo will use data from your plan if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. If you like, you can limit data usage from within the app by tapping the menu in the top corner, then turn “Limit mobile data usage” off. That’s it! We appreciate you posting, and if you try the app, be sure to let us know what you think!
You forgot Facebook Messenger!
Thank you for another great suggestion, Mike. The Messenger app is another popular choice. Isn’t it great that there are so many options available now?
Confused. I got a notice that I now have unlimited calling fro $30 per month. I also got a notice that I was at 77% of my “limit” of 2,000 minutes. Which is it?
Great news, ET! Our new plans went into effect today, so you now have unlimited calling available on your current plan. We’re happy to answer any questions about your plan or invoice at 888-345-5509. Thank you for reaching out to us!
Been a member of AARP when can I receive my discount? Thanks!
We’re happy to help you with that, Joseph! Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 when you have your AARP member number handy, and we’ll add that information to your account. That way, you’ll be sure to get your 5% monthly discount. Thank you for posting, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!
My AARP membership is up to date and ahead still for a couple of years. Kind of wondering about the notice.
Thank you for reaching out to us, Michael. It looks like there may be a discrepancy here, so at your convenience, we recommend confirming your membership information with AARP or with us at 888-345-5509. That way we can ensure your account has the correct information. We appreciate you reaching out to us!
After my account was activated, I expected to get voice and text service. As of today I have NOTHING. It’s getting quite stressful Since I am using my current cell phone, I have no way to call you. What now?? How can I get my service turned on?? PLEASE HELP!
Thank you for reaching out to us, Carol. When porting your number from another carrier, it can take 24-48 hours for the process to complete, though it often takes less time. Please try powering your phone off, then back on again. I reviewed your account, and everything looks to be in order. If the issue continues, we can assist you via email at [email protected] in addition to our phone support at 888-345-5509. We appreciate your patience, and we hope you have a great day!
I can receive your text and phone calls but my phone says no Service and I can not call out. What is wrong….???
Thank you for reaching out to us, Marcia. Please try turning your phone off, then turning it back on outside or near a window. This will allow your phone to reconnect to the nearest cellular tower, and get a better signal. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, we’re happy to troubleshoot further at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting!
The log-in on your home page “disappears” if I move my cursor from the log-in box to my password manager or on-screen keyboard, thereby aborting my ability to use either. Surely something can be done to improve the log-in process so I can use my on-screen keyboard or password manager.
That is great feedback, Brenda! I’m happy to pass that on to our site development team. Thank you for the suggestion, and for taking the time to reach out to us today!
We just changed from AT&T to Consumer Cellular this week but FaceTime isn’t working on our iPhones. What gives?
We appreciate you reaching out to us, John. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we’ll be happy to troubleshoot this issue for you and work to get it resolved. Thanks for posting, and we look forward to assisting you!
Does FaceTime work with Consumer Cellular or no?
I’m thinking about switching but if FaceTime isn’t working I’ll have to find a wireless service that supports FaceTime users.
Hi C L, you can still use FaceTime on our service with your iPhone.
Hello! Does Consumer Cellular support Wi-Fi calling on Androids?
Excellent question, Rob! We do support WiFi calling on our Android phones. For more information or to see about getting that enabled, give us a call at 800-686-4460 or you can also chat with one of our live agents here.
I just bought a consumer cellular phone and what to transfer what I had on my old phone but cant find how to Skype like I had on my other phone, how do I Skype with consumer cellular?
Hi Eleanor, thanks for your question! You will want to make sure the Skype application has been downloaded to your new phone to allow for you to use it with our service. If you have any questions about downloading apps or moving information from the old phone to the new, give us a call at 800-686-4460 or you can also chat with one of our live agents online here.
Does Consumer Cellular limit the video Face Time calls. Mine end after about 6 minutes. Audio only calls don’t seem to have that limit.
If limited, is there a way to extend the time period.
That’s a great question, Charles. Regular calls and FaceTime calls are billed differently. Regular calls will use your minutes, whereas FaceTime will use your data, so you would be limited based on your Connect plan. However, if you’re connected to Wi-Fi then there won’t be any limit.