After 1 and a half years of pandemic, these are the best video calling apps

0
33
after 1 and a half years of pandemic these are.jpg
after 1 and a half years of pandemic these are.jpg

Video calling applications were the most used during 2020, not in vain did the confinement make face-to-face meetings impossible. Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Messenger, Duo … The list is huge. And they all have something in common: apart from having gained users, the apps added new features to improve remote meetings.

We all have a favorite messaging app. And surely also a favorite video calling app, the one that we have used with some frequency for months. The companies turned to dilute distances with the idea of ​​reducing loneliness among friends, family and partners they were to be kept confined. After more than a year and a half since the pandemic began, it is time to analyze which video calling applications continue to offer the best service.

Seeing and hearing anyone is easier than ever

Video calls

With the explosion of video calls, the main beneficiaries were those companies that specialized in remote audiovisual communication. Services like Zoom became a common name, also Google Meet, two of the most popular during confinement. Messaging apps also increased the use of video calls.

Applications such as WhatsApp increased the number of participants in each video call (from four to eight), Telegram released them, Facebook Messenger popularized its Rooms with dozens of people (even in WhatsApp) and other more “minority”, such as Google Duo or Skype, tried not to miss the train by facilitating use on mobile phones. Even FaceTime has made the leap to Android (and browser).

Most downloaded apps worldwide
Most downloaded apps worldwide

 

2020 was the year of video calls, the year in which video and audio communications reached even users who did not usually use the camera (those Zoom or Meet sessions with grandparents, for example). Communication applications took the top 10 worldwide: According to Apptopia, 7 of the 10 most downloaded applications were related to communications. And most of them they reinforced the infrastructures to face the enormous bandwidth that the confinement demanded.

After a year and a half after the explosion of video calls, some platforms reversed part of the advantages that they applied to private users. Zoom regained the 40 minute limit (and went on to encrypt end-to-end communications), Google Meet also cut minutes for non-professional and educational users. This in the realm of video conferencing platforms, that messaging apps kept their video calls and features.

How much data do video calls consume?

Data

The more abusive use of video calling apps and services greatly expanded the network’s data needs. Part of the companies took advantage of optimize the sending of video and audio over the Internet (Google improved the Duo codec, for example); which improved data consumption, especially on mobile connections.

We have faced the most common apps when making video calls, contrasting their data consumption under two conditions: mobile data (4G) and WiFi (in 600/600 Mbps fiber network). All video calls were made between mobiles (iPhone 12 Pro Max and Google Pixel 4a) using the dedicated app and with one minute for each communication.

Mobile Network Wifi
Google Meet 36.4 MB 38.4 MB
Zoom 25 MB 26.6 MB
WhatsApp 6.6 MB 15.2 MB
Telegram 9.5 MB 12.5 MB
Google Duo 8.7 MB 28 MB
Skype 7.2 MB 17.4 MB
Facebook Messenger 10.1 MB 21.6 MB

And the best application to make video calls is

WhatsapptelegramWe have already seen some of the improvements that the main platforms made during the pandemic and confinement, we also put one of the basic qualities on paper when choosing a mobile communication app: how much data do you spend. WhatsApp is the most contained, Google Meet the least. But this is not enough to erect the podium.

During our tests we have not only analyzed consumption, but also video and audio played a leading role. All the apps were more than capable of making video calls; no matter how much each presented its own qualities.

Skype compresses a lot during mobile data (the image looks very pixelated). Telegram and WhatsApp offer good video and audio, both on mobile phones and on WiFi (both are the most balanced in both aspects). The best specific app is Google Duo, especially with WiFi (In 4G the quality drops due to high compression). And if we were to give an award for the best communication platform under video calls, especially if you want to invite a large number of participants), the award would go to Google Meet. Meet communications are of high quality, both in video and audio. Nearby is Zoom.

Google Meet is the best video calling app, but it consumes too much mobile data. If you are not going to invite many people, with WhatsApp, Telegram or Messenger you have more than enough

Our recommendation is to use Google Meet in large meetings, Google Duo for a participant’s video calls and WhatsApp or Telegram for those who use one or the other as their favorite messaging app (Messenger would also enter here). The quality of video calls, and the low data consumption on mobile networks, means that it is not necessary to choose a specific app.