The best free apps for video calling in 2022
Although in-person interactions remain superior to virtual ones, it’s not always feasible. Most users prefer video calling apps on their top Android phones to stay in touch with long-distance relatives and friends. It’s also a practical solution for managing and communicating with team members from several regions worldwide.
While the internet is packed with free video calling apps, we picked the best options among them.
1. Google Meet
Like most Google apps, the company has neatly integrated Google Meet in Gmail, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Calendar. Your next Meet call is just a click away if you frequently use Google’s productivity suite. You only need a Google ID to host or join Meet calls.
The free version allows up to 100 participants, 24-hour one-on-one meetings, and a 60-minute time limit. The features list includes screen sharing, a whiteboard with several annotation tools, Google Meet companion mode for smooth hybrid meetings, auto-frame, and picture-in-picture mode in Google Chrome. The are plenty of Google Meet tips and tricks you can test out to get the full experience.
To record meetings, conduct group video calls longer than 60 minutes, and use other add-ons, you must upgrade to one of the Google Workspace plans.
Platform availability: Android, iOS, and web
Price: Free. Google Workspace plans start at $10 per month.
Zoom received a massive popularity boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the company primarily focused on corporate users. Now, Zoom has become a household name for hosting video conferences. Unlike Google Meet, Zoom has apps for Windows and Mac.
Zoom’s free version is limiting in several ways. While the maximum number of participants limit is generously set at 100, the one-on-one and group meetings cap out at a 40-minute time limit. The free version offers screen sharing, meeting recording, chat, whiteboard, and more.
Platform availability: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and web
Price: Free. Plans start at $150 per year or $15 per month per user.
3. Microsoft Teams
Unlike Google Meet and Zoom, Microsoft Teams is a team communication software with a video calling function. Since Microsoft bundles Teams with a Microsoft 365 subscription, it has quickly become the go-to option for businesses and large organizations. The company also offers a free Teams version to consumers with certain roadblocks.
Microsoft limits up to 100 participants, 30 hours of one-on-one meetings, and 60 minutes for group meetings in the Teams free version. It offers screen sharing, whiteboard, chat, and a neat integration with Microsoft Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneDrive. Video recording is available in the paid plans only.
Platform availability: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and web
Price: Free. Plans start at $7 per month or $70 per year.
So far, we have discussed free video calling apps primarily aimed at desktop users. Let’s check a couple of mobile-friendly alternatives for consumers. WhatsApp, the world’s biggest instant messaging app, has recently stepped up its video call offerings. The video and voice calling options are available on the desktop, and you can invite up to eight members to a group call.
WhatsApp doesn’t aim to replace any business video conferencing tool. It’s limited to consumers who want to catch up with friends and loved ones. However, it misses out on goodies like screen sharing, video recording, and whiteboard. There is no time limit for WhatsApp video calls.
Platform availability: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and web.
Telegram is WhatsApp on steroids. The company announced the Group Video Calls 2.0 update, allowing up to 1,000 participants to join a video call. Out of 1,000 users, only 30 participants can broadcast video from the screen or camera. Other users remain in audio-only mode. It’s useful during online lectures, events, concerts, and seminars.
Telegram has nailed the video calling experience with helpful add-ons. You can share your mobile or desktop screen and use noise suppression to keep everyone’s audio clear and crisp. Tablet and desktop users can take advantage of the side panel to see a split-screen view of the video grid and the participants.
Telegram automatically pins anyone who starts screen sharing on the desktop. It’s useful for smooth coordination between small teams on a video call. Apart from a long list of features, Telegram is high on security, and there are plenty of tips to use Telegram safely and securely.
Platform availability: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Web
Whereby has a feature-packed free version with up to 100 participants in a single meeting room. The software locks the room by default and allows hosts to choose who enters the room. Like Zoom and Google Meet, you can create a room link and share it with team members to start a video meeting in seconds. The free version provides unlimited one-on-one meetings and up to 45 minutes for group meetings.
Whereby smartly integrates with Miro, Google Drive, Trello, YouTube, Outlook, and Slack for a smooth collaboration during group video calls. You can personalize your room with a custom URL, look, and branding, use virtual whiteboards from Miro, create breakout groups, and make your calls fun with live emoji reactions.
Platform availability: Web, iOS, and Android
Price: Free. Whereby Pro is $7 per month.
Zoho is a Microsoft 365 rival with several business apps like email, calendar, notebook, and meetings. The free version of Zoho Meeting allows up to 100 participants, with a 60-minute limit for one-on-one meetings and group video calls. You can also host webinars with the free version (up to 100 recipients). Zoho Meeting includes virtual backgrounds, a whiteboard, in-session chat, meetings notes, and screen sharing.
Zoho Meeting also offers a slew of moderator controls like the ability to lock meetings, switch presenters, and mute and remove participants. Zoho boasts a rich third-party integration with popular email, project management, and team communication apps.
Platform availability: iOS, Android, and web
Price: Free. Plans start at $3 per month.
Your next video is just a click away
Picking up a video calling app depends on your device, use case, and features you want to use on an active call. Mobile users can go with WhatsApp or Telegram, while desktop users who need more participants to fit on a call may lean towards Google Meet, Zoom, or Teams. If you’d rather take calls from your phone, you can always use some of the best video chat apps for Android.