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The 11 Best Phone and Video Conference Software & Apps

Nicole Harvey

By Nicole Harvey

Phone and video conference apps and software have been around for a while. However, as an increasing number of people have started working remotely in recent times, there has been a significant surge in the usage of such software and apps. After all, businesses of all sizes are now looking at different ways of keeping in touch with employees and clients without the need for face-to-face interactions.

Important Features of Phone and Video Conferencing Software

While web design and development play an important role in the usability of any such software or app, here are some of the other features you may look for when choosing from the different options that come your way.

  • Number of participants. This can vary significantly, from five to even more than 1,000. It essentially depends on whether you need a free video conferring app or one with paid subscription plans.
  • Screen and application sharing. This lets users share their screens and apps with others to increase productivity.
  • Two-way audio/video. This makes way for easy interactions.
  • Record/playback functionality. This gives users the ability to review sessions at a later time.
  • Private messaging. This allows users to send private text messages to each other.
  • Video streaming. This is beneficial if you wish to stream your meeting online in real-time.
  • Presentation streaming. Use this feature to live stream your presentations. Gives users an easy means to put forth their points. Gives users an easy means to put forth their points.
  • UI and UX. While the user interface (UI) determines how people interact with a website or an app, user experience (UX) relates to their overall experience.  This makes UI and UX equally important.

 

Here are some of the top phone and video conferencing apps that require your attention. They are listed alphabetically, and not in order of ratings.

Amazon Chime

amazon chime review

 

A relatively new entrant in this field, Amazon Chime is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Chime gives you a simple way to connect to a call exactly on schedule. While it’s video quality and latency rate well, it works well for audio calls too. Chime also comes with a built-in chat. The Pro version lets you add up to 100 participants.

 

Its screen sharing tool lets you minimize the videos of other participants when you’re making presentations, helping keep distractions at bay.

 

Its main features include:

  • Standard chat rooms
  • Start video calls from chat rooms
  • Schedule calls – Chime calls everyone at the given time
  • Attend meetings
  • Make one-to-one video calls
  • Chat
  • Screen sharing
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Dial-in numbers for meetings
  • Conference room video systems
  • Recording

 

Amazon Chime rates well on the user interface (UI) front, with its design paying attention to all crucial aspects. However, there are some problems when it comes with the overall user experience. For instance, there have been complaints of no notifications being received, connection problems, and slow loading speed.

Pricing and Other Features
  • Basic Edition. $0
  • Pro Edition. $3 per user per day up to $15 per user per month, with free 30-day trial

 

BlueJeans

blue jeans pricing

You may use BlueJeans with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. This futuristic inter-operable cloud-based tool gives you the ability to improve productivity by offering meeting transcriptions and highlights. It provides seamless integration with more than 30 apps that are part of its app network. It does not offer a free plan, although you may sign up for its 30-day free trial.

 

Some of the other features you may look forward to include:

  • Automated alerts
  • Live meeting controls
  • Live stream interactive events
  • Cloud video interop for access to Microsoft Teams Meetings

 

BlueJeans is developed using Drupal. Written using PHP, Drupal is a free open source web content management framework. It is used as a back-end framework for a significant number of websites from across the world. The use of Drupal for business collaboration and knowledge management is also common.

The design and UI of this BlueJeans focuses on ease-of-use, giving users access to all actionable tasks at the top of the screen. However, to use all the features on a desktop, you need to install its app. Complaints surrounding UX include frequent ads, getting logged off, inability to join meetings using mobile phones at times, and failure to launch.

Pricing for BlueJeans Meetings
  • BlueJeans Standard. $12.49 per host per month
  • BlueJeans Pro. $17.49 per host per month
  • BlueJeans Enterprise. Need to contact company for quote

 

Pricing for BlueJeans Events
  • One-Time Event. $499 per event
  • Unlimited & Large-Scale Events. Need to contact company for quote

 

Pricing for BlueJeans Gateway
  • Up to 19 rooms. $113.85 per room per month
  • More than 20 rooms. Need to contact company for quote

 

Cisco Webex

cisco webex meetings

Cisco Webex works with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. If you choose to go with Webex, you get peace of mind knowing that the service is backed by one of the largest technology-based companies in the world. What stands out about this software by Cisco is its high quality audio and video. Setting up the software is easy, and requires no technical knowhow.

 

Some of the top features you may expect from this audio and video conferencing app include:

  • Conference recording
  • Screen sharing
  • Up to 1,000 participants (depending on the plan you select)
  • Customizable layouts

 

Cisco prioritizes security in the design, development, and maintenance of Webex. Some of the drawbacks with its user experience include the need to download an additional program for voice calls, problems with logging in, echoed voice, and freezing videos.

Pricing

You may check if this platform works well for you by using its free 30-day trial. Paid plans include:

  • $13.50 per host per month
  • $17.95 per host per month
  • $26.95 per host per month
  • Need to contact company for quote

 

CyberLink U Meeting

u meeting app

Predominantly a browser-based video conferring software, CyberLink U Meeting is available for use with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Since the value-for-money drops as you add more users, this solution is best suited for small businesses and enterprises. Voice and video quality leave little to desire.

 

Features you may look forward to include:

  • Screen and app sharing
  • Easy integration with Outlook and Google Calendar
  • Detailed meeting analysis
  • End-to-end encryption
  • U Webinar lets you deliver live presentations
  • U Messenger is a user-friendly chat platform

 

CyberLink U Meeting is developed using AngularJS. This open-source JavaScript-based front-end web framework is primarily maintained by Google along with a community of businesses and individuals – all working in tandem to address challenges faced when developing single-page apps. Long-term support for version 1.7.x will exist until July 1, 2021. Developers will then have to turn to Angular 2.

CyberLink U Meeting offers a UI that is easy to navigate through, but its design misses out on some important features across different devices. For example, non-PC users don’t have recording options. Some of the UX problems reported by its users include the camera freezing at times, connection issues, and not receiving the confirmation code.

Pricing
  • $0 per host per month
  • Pro 50. $29.99 per host per month
  • Pro 100. $49.99 per host per month
  • Need to contact company for quote

 

FreeConference

free conference call app

FreeConference works perfectly well with Mac and Windows as well as iOS and Android. You may consider using this software if you require video conferencing to conduct small international meetings. When you use it with a desktop, you don’t need to install any software.

 

FreeConference was developed using ASP.NET and WordPress. ASP.NET is a server-side open-source web-application framework. It is designed to produce dynamic web pages developed using Microsoft, giving programmers the ability to create dynamic websites and apps. WordPress is a free open-source content management system written in PHP, and it is paired with a MariaDB or MySQL database. While it was originally created as a blog-publishing platform, it now supports various types of online content.

 

The app development team at FreeConference delivers an intuitive user interface that works equally well across devices. Reported problems with the app’s user experience include complicated setup, audio clarity, and login issues.

 

Features that FreeConference includes are:

  • HD audio
  • Up to 1,000 voice and 100 web participants (depending on the plan you get)
  • Screen sharing
  • Whiteboard
  • Document sharing
  • Chat
  • Audio and video recording
  • Free international dial-in numbers
  • Smart summaries

 

Pricing
  • $0 per month
  • $9.99 per month (with the first two months free)
  • $24.99 per month
  • $34.99 per month

 

Google Hangouts Meet

google hangouts conference call

While Google Hangouts Meet works with Windows and Android, it is also compatible with Mac and iOS. What sets this software apart from most of its competitors is its seamless integration with other Google software and apps. For example, once you create a meeting using Google Calendar, you and all other attendees get a Hangouts link that lets everyone join the call instantly.  You can also access and share files from Google Drive and Apps while on a call.

 

Some of the other features that come with this video conferencing software include:

  • Up to 250 participants (depending on the plan you get)
  • G Suite integration
  • Integrates with Skype for Business
  • Dial-in phone numbers for all meetings
  • Hangout Chat
  • Cloud search

 

Google Hangouts Meet was developed using AngularJS.

 

The UI of Hangouts Meet leaves little to desire, with all key features easy to access and use. Challenges when it comes to user experience include a near-hidden mute button, poor audio, lagging videos, and problems when switching between different Google accounts.

Pricing

To make use of Google Hangouts Meet, you’ll need to sign up for G Suite. There is no free plan.

  • $6 per user per month
  • $12 per user per month
  • $25 per user per month

 

GoToMeeting

gotomeeting video conference

You may use this video conferencing software with Mac, Windows, and Linux. It also has apps for iOS and Android. However, it offers no free plans. This platform boasts of a highly intuitive interface that is perfect for people who’re not tech savvy. While GoToMeeting is great for online meetings, you may also benefit by using it Turnkey Room Equipment and Webinar solutions.

 

Features you may expect if you sign up with GoToMeeting include:

  • HD audio and video
  • Up to 3,000 participants (depending on your plan)
  • Screen sharing
  • Dial-in conference line
  • Unlimited meetings with no time limits
  • Office 365 and Google Calendar plugins
  • Meeting diagnostic reports

 

GoToMeeting was developed using Java EE and ASP.NET. Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) rebranded as Jakarta EE. It is basically a set of specifications that extends on the Java SE 8 platform. It includes various specifications for enterprise features, and developers can get its apps to run on reference runtimes.

 

GoToMeeting comes with a pleasing UI that is easy to use. Complaints reported when it comes to user experience include poor video quality, problems when scheduling meetings using mobile devices, and inability to screen-share at times.

Pricing
  • $14 per user per month when billed monthly; $12 per user per month when billed annually
  • $19 per user per month when billed monthly; $16 per user per month when billed annually
  • Need to contact company for quote

 

Join.me

join me pricing

You may use Join.me with Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android. It has no free plan. This service requires your particular attention if your business focuses on its branding. While it offers customizable video layouts, it also provides personalized URLs.

 

Other features that put Join.me on this list include:

  • Up to 250 participants (depending on your plan)
  • Customizable meeting background
  • Screen sharing
  • Recording
  • Webcam streams
  • No time limits and unlimited meetings
  • Unlimited internet and toll calls that include international conference lines
  • Scheduling
  • Could storage

 

Join.me was developed using PHP and ASP.NET. PHP, a server side scripting language, is commonly used to develop static and dynamic websites and applications. Incidentally, version 7.2, the most popular supported version of PHP, is to stop receiving security updates from November 30, 2020.

 

Join.me’s clear visual engagement along with its smooth transition of sharing control rates well among its users. Problems when it comes to overall user experience include poor audio quality with larger meetings, difficulty for newcomers, not easy to mute, and inability to turn the volume down.

 

Pricing

  • $10 per month, billed on an annual per user basis
  • $20 per month, billed on an annual per user basis
  • $30 per month, billed on an annual per user basis

 

RingCentral Meetings

ringcentral app conference

RingCentral Meetings is compatible with PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. The fact that you can add up to 100 participants using the free RingCentral Meetings plan definitely works in favor of this audio and video conferencing app. Add-ons that you may choose from include Webinars, Large Meetings, RingCentral Rooms, and the RingCentral Room Connector.

 

Other RingCentral Meetings features that deserve your attention include:

  • HD audio and video
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Create custom meeting IDs
  • Unlimited one-to-one meetings
  • Unlimited group meetings with paid plans
  • Join by telephone dial-in
  • Desktop and app sharing
  • Whiteboard
  • Private and group in-meeting chat
  • Team messaging
  • Outlook Integration – one-click scheduling
  • Recording

 

Plans

  • $0 per user per month
  • $14.99 per user per month
  • $19.99 per user per month

The RingCentral Meetings UI makes way for easy setup and use for advanced users, but it can seem a little challenging for people who are not tech friendly. Some of the reported UX problems include excessive battery drain, inability to join meetings, and unexpected error codes.

Zoom Meetings

zoom conference app

Zoom Meetings works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. Like RingCentral Meetings, this phone and video conference app lets you connect up to 100 participants through its free plan. The Enterprise Plus plan allows up to 1,000 participants. Other Zoom solutions that businesses may consider using include Rooms and Workspaces, Phone Systems, and Video Webinars.

 

Features that come with Zoom Meetings also include:

  • HD audio and video
  • Up to 1,000 participants (depending on your plan)
  • Unlimited one-to-one meetings
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Simultaneous screen share
  • Group messaging
  • Whiteboard
  • Join by telephone dial-in
  • Desktop and app sharing
  • Chrome and Outlook plugins
  • Recording

Zoom Meetings comes with a clean user interface that makes it easy to look for and use its various features. Scheduling meetings using Google calendar requires re-authorization, especially if you have multiple Google accounts. Some users have also complained about difficulty in switching between business and personal accounts, problems with recording, and no audio during calls.

Pricing.

  • $0 per user per month
  • $14.99 per user per month
  • $19.99 per user per month (at least 10 users)
  • $19.99 per user per month (at least 50 users)

 

UberConference

uber conference app

UberConference is a high-quality audio and video conferencing service that you may use with Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, Android, and iOS. One distinct feature about UberConference is that any user can mute any other use at any time. The free version lets you add up to 10 users. The app boasts of an intuitive user-interface.

 

What you may expect if you sign up with UberConference includes:

  • Phone and VoIP audio
  • HD audio and video
  • Up to 100 users (depending on your plan)
  • Screen sharing
  • Unlimited conferences
  • Call recording
  • Custom call-in numbers for the U.S. and Canada
  • Custom hold music
  • Dial out to add guests to a call

 

The UberConference app is designed in a way that makes it easy to schedule and start conference calls on the move. Some of the UX drawbacks that one might experience include not being able to mute audio at will, no clarity about what information is required to dial in for the first time, and having to follow a few steps to enable screen sharing.

Pricing

  • $0 per user per month
  • $15 per user per month

 

Conclusion

The ideal starting point when narrowing down on a phone and video conferencing app that suits your needs is to determine if you’re willing to go the paid subscription way. If you wish to use a paid alternative, come with a suitable budget in advance, so you may limit your search accordingly. Fortunately, if you’re not after too much in the form of features, you also get some good free options from which to choose.

 

If you’re a business manager or a business owner who needs to keep an entire team working in tandem, a free video conferencing app might not be the best solution. This is because you’ll take into account aspects such as number of participants, multi-platform compatibility, user experience, audio and video quality, time limits for meetings, dial-in abilities, screen sharing, messaging, recording, as well as integration with existing systems.

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