In today’s lean economic — and environmentally aware — times, more businesses and individuals are video conferencing to save money, gas and energy. Video conferencing today occurs not only on desktops, but on mobile devices, including smartphones. Video conferencing on smartphones has never been simpler, with software options including the following:
How it works: A known entity in desktop video conferencing, Skype also is available on select Androids to any Skype-supporting device, including desktops, tablets and iPhones. Skype video conferencing also can be used from your Android to a landline with Skype credit or a monthly subscription.
Availability: Across platforms by downloading the free software from skype.com.
Cost: Skype-to-Skype calls are free; costs for Skype credit and subscriptions rates vary, from 2.3 cents per minute with the pay-as-you-go credit.
Pros: Supports any device on which Skype is used
Cons: Cannot be used to start a conference call; can only receive video conference calls if you are signed into Skype on your smartphone
How it works: The Atlanta-based company’s iMeet features a version for use with smartphones. It allows conference participants to share documents, presentations and videos in their own private “room.”
Availability: Compatible with iPhones, and there is an HTML5 version of iMeet for use on other devices.
Cost: App is free but requires iMeet subscription, which starts at $39 a month with a free 30-day trial. Conference participants can call in for free.
Pros: Accommodates video meetings with up to 15 people, anywhere in the world. HD quality picture.
Cons: Not for use on Android
FuzeBox Fuze Meeting
How it works: According to its website, Fuze works within the Internet “cloud” to allow up to 10 users to collaborate across any mobile device anywhere in the world. With high-definition video content, Fuze Meeting “is browser, operating system, and device agnostic and resolution independent,” meaning users are not confined to one type of device or program.
Cost: Price points range from $10 for meetings by the day, to Fuze Meeting Pro, which costs $69 per month or $828 annually.
Pros: High-definition mobile app; price points; storage ability
Cons: Though some price points of Fuze Meeting include high-definition video, recent trials of this and other video conferencing sites by the industry magazine PC World found that other video conferencing companies had better video quality.
How it works: Standard on iPhone4 and iPhone4S, FaceTime is a built-in app for use “right out of the box.” Click on the FaceTime icon on a person’s contact information, and they are invited to video
Availability: For use from iPhone to iPhone, or other Apple devices
Cost: The price of the phone and your calling plan
Pros: The iPhone’s two cameras allows you to video conference with the front camera and switch to the back camera to share your surroundings.
Cons: Only for use with Mac, iPhone and iPad Touch; does not allow for multiple participants
Have other thoughts on video conferencing on smartphones? Leave us a note in the comments below.
Editor’s note: PGi is a Mother Nature Network sponsor.