Video conferencing software makes it easy to connect with partners, volunteers, applicants, committee members, or remote staff. But what's even better? Video chat and conferencing apps. These handy apps let you keep in contact when you're on-the-road.
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- Although working during vacation or while away at conferences isn't ideal, it happens to the busiest of us. ReadyTalk Mobile (iPad) makes it easy to jump in on a meeting if you left your work laptop behind. The mobile app provides all same features as ReadyTalk on your PC so you can participate in remote meetings.
- Citrix GoToMeeting (Android, iOS) lets you attend or start GoToMeeting session from anywhere, as long as you have your smartphone or tablet on you. You can view presentations, mockups, or reports – pretty much anything the presenter shares on screen.
- Microsoft Lync (iOS, Windows 8) is the app component for Microsoft's enterprise communications service. Because the app is built to work with the Windows 8 operating system, you can easily search for Lync contacts within any other app on your tablet or PC. The iOS version of the app lets you connect to Lync conference calls, and allows you to make or receive calls using your Lync ID number.
Free and Low Cost Apps
- ooVoo (Android, iOS) is ideal for small group meetings as you can only have a maximum of four people on a call. The app syncs with your phone or tablet's address book as well as your other email or social media accounts so you can easily connect with your colleagues and constituents.
- Tango (Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7.5) stands out because it lets you video chat over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi networks (some video chat apps restrict how you connect).
- Like ooVoo, Fring (Android, iOS) can support up to four people on a video call. And like Tango, it can operate over multiple networks. This app also features free, unlimited calls (video or audio) to your contacts—no matter where they're located in the world. You just need to ensure that they also have Fring installed on their phone.
- Hangouts (Android, iOS, Desktop) from Google+ is a free video conferencing service that lets you have up to 10 people on a call. This app is more ideal for casual meetups or quick conversations, but you can also share documents over Hangout using Google Drive.
- Skype (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone) is the mobile version of the popular face-to-face video calling service (we use Skype here at TechSoup). You can make calls over both 3G and Wi-Fi connections. You can only have one person on a video call at a time with the mobile app so it is best for one-on-one meetings. The desktop version supports group video calls, however.
- TechSoup's new Audio and Video Conferencing Toolkit has everything you need to help your organization hold virtual meetings or trainings with donated or free software. Make sure to bookmark this page as we will continue to add new resources and products.
- For donated audio and video conferencing software, check out our Communicate and Collaborate solutions page.
Ginny Mies is a Content Curator at TechSoup Global.