5 tips for better video calls

Video calls are getting more popular and with the growth of video calls it’s become a widespread thing that people are self conscious of how the look, act or perform in video calls. So we decided to write a little post to give you some tips on video chatting.1. Turn on the lights
Don’t look creepy. Nobody wants to talk to someone hiding in the dark, it’s just weird. Also you don’t look good when you are in the dark, so turn on those lights.2. Point the camera upwards
Pointing the camera upwards towards your face gives you a better camera angle on video and in short makes you look “better”. With lighting and your laptop/computer/tablet laid on a flat surface with the camera pointing upward towards your face makes you feel comfortable and look good. Thereby you’ll have better video calls.

3. Eye contact once in a while
One of the things people say they hate about video chats is that it seems as if you have to always have eye contact with the person you are talking to. They say it takes too much energy. Well let me say that talking to someone for 30 minutes and staring at them for the whole 30 minutes is really weird, nobody would like that. Video calls should be as natural as talking to someone physically. You look at them in the eyes for a bit and then your eyes can wander off for a while before coming back. With video calls you can even do something else like browse on the web while you talk with the person on the call. It doesn’t matter, the video of you in action serves the emotional purpose of the video call.

4. Stop downloads and uploads
Avoid lowering the resources for the video call by downloads and uploads. That uses bandwidth that could make a ok quality video call into a great quality video call. The downloads could make the video chopping and increase latency in the sound, so you’ll be talking to someone and they’ll hear you 10 seconds later.

5. Depending on your computer, wear headphones
Most video chat programs or apps are now very good at cancelling out background noise so that the receiver hears you properly and you can hear them properly too. However wearing headphones can cancelling out what remaining background noise that may have filtered through the call and makes you hear our caller perfectly.

So there, you now have 5 tips to make your video calls better. One more tip for the road which is an obvious one. Use a good video chat app, one with great features, simplicity, web presence and great video quality. You probably already know the good ones like skype, oovoo, rounds etc Use them. Another good one to check out is Reflap, here is the link, http://www.reflap.com


The best apps for video calls and chats on desktop and web

This is the most comprehensive list of the best video chat apps. These are apps for making video calls with your friends or family.

1. Skype
The most popular of them all and probably the first video chat app that most of you guys used. Skype has great video quality and and awesome sound so your conversations are great. Their mobile app is awesome as well. with skype you can call phones, start group calls (piad feature) and play games with your friendsIt’s a pity they are still a desktop app and not a web app.

2. Oovoo
A website that launched in 2007 and is getting more and more popular these days especially with teens. It does video calls and free group chats contrary to skype. It’s available on desktop, mobile and web.

3. Google+ hangouts
One of the most popular features of google+, google hangouts are group/personal video calls google+ users can start on the fly. It has great quality and awesome features, like shared views, online collaboration tools. games etc. Google+ is great but it’s a pity that it can only be used by google+ users.

4. Vox.io
New slick video chat website from Slovenia. Vox.io allows you to make cheap calls to phone numbers around the globe as well as video call your vox.io contacts. You can also send text messages to people and they have a great im client. They are available on web and on ios.

5. AV by Aol
The only app on this list you can use without registering, it’s an amazing app. It’s web based so you don’t need to download anything except if you’re browser doesn’t have flash and it’s super easy to use. You go to the website, start a call, get a link and send the link to the person you want to call. They then join the call and you guys can chat. It’s really that simple to use. Also AV chats can host up to 4 people so that’s pretty awesome.

6. Bistri
A newcomer as well. They allow you to video chat with your contacts as well as send files between each other easily. They also give you a link that you can give to friends so that they can send you files and call you. They are available on the web and on ios.

7. Faceflow
An up and coming video chat website. Faceflow is web based and lets you call any of your friends that may not be on faceflow using a call link the give you when you log in. The person you are calling doesn’t need to be a user to answer the call. Also the call quality is quite good. Faceflow also has chatrooms to interact with other faceflow users as well as a feature to meet new people like chatroulette.

8. Runfaces
A pretty slick website, runfaces is more of a video chat social network. The website is centered around sharing your experiences with video and also connecting with friends. Like a twitter for video, it also allows you to add friends that you can video call at anytime.

9. Video Chat Rounds
Probably the best facebook based video chat app, this is an app that is only on facebook. It’s great for video calling with your facebook friends as well as meeting new people. They are also very interactive and have a vibrant community.

10. Vivrer
A new web app, Vivrer is a video chat website that wants to provide an alternative to phone number calling. When you register you create your personal call address which is a permanent link that anyone can call you from like a phone number. Also anyone can call you even if they aren’t a user. Vivrer also allows you to call anyone from the website easily user or not, start group chats on the fly as well as chat and call with your facebook friends. It’s a pretty slick new comer.

So there you have it. A list to satisfy your needs for video chatting. Go use them then.

Why video calling will become popular

Video chat has been a human fantasy for some time now. Like Hover cars, jet packs, augmentated vision, people have seen these technologies in movies and shows years before they were even developed. So when video conferencing applications like skype came around it was initially thought that they revolutionize the tech world immediately and everyone would be video calling from then on.

Well it never happened like that, people did use skype and skype was popular with a small core. However not everyone started video calling like it was initially thought. There are a few reasons why that was the case.

At the time internet was slow and almost everyone accessed internet by means of dial up that had maximum speeds of 56 kb/s . That was way too slow for conducive video calls. Also webcams didn’t come integrated in phones or computers. You had to buy it as an extra accessory and they weren’t that cheap as today and they had very low resolution. Finally the early video chat apps were pretty complex and not easily comprehensible by the users at the time.

However since then, internet has become faster, bandwidth is increased greatly. and internet is easier to get access to. Also computer, phones, tablets etc come with webcams by default that are getting better and better. It’s becoming easier to video chat and with better apps that allow you to make video calls it ‘s makes it more enticing.

The most important thing is tilting the tides in video chatting favor is the changing of culture and attitude towards video calls. The younger ones are born in an age with internet and skype were video calls are not as intimidating as the older people. Most youths sees video calls as a necessary way to hangout with their significant others, or with their friends. It is becoming something as essential as texting their friends regularly. That’s the reason why oovoo may not be popular with 25+ people but for the the younger age group and essential the under 18s oovoo is one of their favorite tools.

People may argue that video calls are weird or not made to become popular but those claims are as crazy as those who claimed people wouldn’t want PCs in their homes or that TVs wouldn’t never become popular. Video chatting will definitely become popular. Internet is getting mature and the apps and devices to allow people to video call are become better everyday. People are also getting more and more comfortable about video calls and like to do it. People will learn that video calls are a much more lively phone call that will make phone calls in the future to be mostly by default with video.
It should just be a matter of time before video calls are as big as watching tv.

Why I love Video Chatting

I have read so many articles of people stating why they hate video chatting. It seems as if most of these authors think that video calls are awkward and they never know what to do during the call. People seem to be too self conscious of their image, think that they have to remain concentrated to the person they are call for the whole time of the call etc. Why the fuss on video chatting when it was supposed to be one of our most awaited future tech.

It appears as if people make a bigger deal of video calls than they are supposed to be. Video calls are what TV’s were to radios. Video calls add emotion to calls. When I make a video call with my friend I don’t stare into the eyes of my friend the whole length of the call and I don’t expect them to. We look at each other, he/she shows me something in their room (mostly) then they could later browse on a website while I’ll do the same and we continue conversing.  It just serves to add images to an audio conversation. Nobody expects you to stare into the eyes of someone you are conversing with in real life the whole length of the conversation. That would be creepy.

Phone calls are cool for conversation but video adds more emotion and more feelings and the more video chat the more you see the added emotion you get when you can see the person you are conversing with. If the person is a friend there is no need for awkwardness, you just sit down and talk. Like in the physical world, they don’t necessarily care how you look and you don’t necessarily care how they look too. So why should there be a fuss then ?

Even if the call is with a significant other why would there be awkwardness, aren’t you looking at the person you have feelings for? Seeing the person should be making you more excited like when you see them physically.

Video chats are awesome. Humans have been known to be visually stimulated and video calls add more emotions to conversations, they are the closest to the feeling of actually being with the person you are talking to. People who think video chats are not part of human nature, talk like the people who thought tv’s where a fad or thought nobody wanted PCs in their home.

Video calls are the evolution of synchronous communication online. There have been some people who say that people today prefer asynchronous communication but till the day people stop talking to each other face to face synchronous communication online and offline will still exist. (Also I don’t know about you, but I hating waiting for replies)  Asynchronous communication will from now on be around and coexist with synchronous communication but I dont expect it to dominate synchronous communication any time soon.

Also aren’t any first time conversation awkward. First dates are normally awkward, first calls are as well etc. If people argued that most video chat apps have sub par video quality or lags in the sound, that would be a much more appealing argument. But arguing that video calling is not human nature is ludicrous because humans have constantly defied what people thought weren’t their human nature before.

With bandwidth getting cheaper and increasing and better and better video chat apps, video chat will fulfill its potential.

7 uses of video conferencing

Video conferencing is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives these days. People use video conferencing for meetings, to call their significant ones or to hangout with their friends online. Since there are some people who still may want to figure out what is going on with this video chatting craze we decided to make a list of the best uses for video conferencing. Here we go.

1. Talk with friends and family:

Probably the first main use of video conferencing websites when they came out. Video calling apps are a great tool to talk with your friends and family. People loving staying in contact with their friends, family or significant other and what is a better tool to allow you feel the warmth of your close ones than video conferencing even if you’re 5000 miles away. Using apps you can call them, talk with them and see them as if you guys were all hanging out together. Also long distance relationships have become much easier to bear and maintain because of video conferencing.

2. Interact with a community

Ever joined a forum and had a great conversation with a member and wanted to get to know them more, right then. Or have you ever felt like hanging out with a community you followed. Well luckily for us video chatting has since made that much easier, with apps like google+ hangouts and tiny chat you could just hangout with a community you like online for hours as if you guys were together.

3. For meetings

Remember the movie Up in the Air where George Clooney travelled from city to city just to fire people. I have to admit, I like the travelling but today companies don’t need to pay these costs when through video conferencing you can get meetings done with people from anywhere in the globe. Be it shareholders, advisors, the board, colleagues etc all you need to do is pop a camera and connect with the rest of the meeting and talk. That much easier and that much more convenient.

4. Online learning
A lot of things have been disrupted by the internet and while the internet has been a good companion for school, online schools could soon chip away at physical schools. People can now stay at home and take classes online and join video conferences of their classroom to be able to have a discussion. As simple as you can learn with others online through video chatting, you can also teach a bunch of people through video chats.

5. Host an event
Wanted to watch a show of your favorite singer performing in town? Well before you used to have to buy concert tickets to the show and drive there to watch it. That still happens today but today they are other options to watch shows like online through video streams. You can watch games, movies, shows etc with your friends online and reap the same pleasure from being behind your computer as if you were at the game.

6. Interact with following
Video conferencing makes it much easier for celebrities to communicate with their fans. Using ustream, livestream and google+ hangouts, celebrities have hanged out with their fans on numerous occasions. Whether it’s to show their fans around their house or to communicate to their fans about important updates, video has made that easily possible. You too can use it to host an event. You could be in a band and broadcast a concert from your garage to a stream of millions of fans. Maybe that would be the way concerts are held in the future.

7.Saves money on travel
Hey, how is this not an important use of video conferencing. Now that you have apps like skype, viber, oovoo etc, you don’t need to actually go to your parents’ place every other weekend. You could just pop on skype and talk to them for hours like you guys were at home together. That saves money on travelling. Same goes with meetings. Why buy plane tickets to fly to the meeting why you could catch it up on your laptop and participate on it from your laptop.

So there guys, there you have it. 7 reasons to use video conferencing.

Is video chat becoming more mainstream ?

People have fantasized about video chatting for a long time now. Since the Star trek days when Captain Kirk will talk with the other members of the USS Entreprise via video chat, people waited anxiously for the day when we too would communicate like that.

In the 60’s AT&T released the picturephone which was a huge phone with some sort of camera attached to it. The receiver saw a constant flow of pictures of you which gave it the allusion of a running video. However, the picture phone never went mainstream as AT&T couldn’t attract enough subscribers and the technology wasn’t ready yet for the technology.

It was a good starting point but with the advent of the internet, video chat applications started popping up. When broadband replaced dial up and people had enough bandwidth to effectively do a video chat, apps like skype, msn, camfrog etc grew and a few people started exploring video chatting.

Between 2000 and 2008, adoption for video calling grew steadily but it was still an afterthought compared to texting, im chatting or e-mails. People claimed that it wasn’t in their DNA to video chat as opposed to asynchronous communication. Video chat was also disputed because people claimed that they don’t want to communicate and have to focus 90-100% of their effort in keeping eye contact. With something like texting you don’t need that much concentration in a discussion.

However with the advent of more bandwidth, better video chat apps, better video cameras and mobile phones, video chat adoption has spiked in the last 3-4 years. Their a web based video chat apps now where you don’t need to download any software. On your phone, using apps like Klip, socialcam or viddy you can broadcast your life in a series of video updates. Cameras for video chatting are becoming better so you can see the person you’re speaking to much nicer and people are getting used to video chatting.

With people getting acclimated to video calling and most especially, the teens growing in an environment where video chat is the norm, we may see that by 2020 the world will look like the way it was on Star Trek! So what about you, do you like to video chat ? Why or why not ? Also do you think video chatting is becoming mainstream ? Comment away.

Reflap, a new video chat website trying to destroy phone numbers


Here is a new website that just launched and you should check out. It’s called Reflap and it’s basically a video chat website that allows users to easily call friends and family as well as receive calls. The website is web based so you don’t need to download any software.

Now, when you register on Reflap, you are prompted to create your call address. The call address idea is the interesting part. It’s basically a personal link you create and anyone that knows that link can call you using it even if they aren’t a user. It’s really simple, intuitive and cool. Reflap is betting on the fact that you’re call address can be ported to any device to make it substitute your phone number which is fixed to your phone.

The website also allows you to start easy video calls which you can use to call your reflap contacts or anyone of your choice including non-users. They also implemented a neat google+ hangout feature which allows you to start group video chats on the fly called kickback.

Reflap is really a great website. It’s web based it doesn’t restrict calls to only reflap users and also the call address idea is awesome. I’ll advice anyone to go try it out.