Screen Sharing Apps, Video Chat Apps, and Online Presentation apps
I don’t like apps that let another person take over your computer; this is an information security (infosec) issue. Therefore, I don’t do LogMeIn or remote desktop applications. If you really force me to, I have allowed this on a spare machine with me watching the process and then wipe the disk clean and reinstall the OS).
These enable collaboration needs by allowing calls via audio or video call. Some have tools for presentations, screen sharing, or drawing on a virtual whiteboard. These are considered conference calling and web meeting apps.
Here is my latest list of applications for video conferencing:
Clearly, with Amazon’s lead in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services, the existence of AWS-powered applications is a given.
I like this because it is lightweight; it does not require a download and code on your machine to run. This makes your computer more secure.
Around is a new video call and video conferencing app. It claims AI for camera framing and AI to eliminate background noise. It has auto-mute for background distractions, claims no echo, and handles up to 15 connections (calls) right now. It integrates with Slack to permit launching from inside Slack. I found this on Product Hunt.
BlueJeans is a conferencing app that offers video calls, screen-sharing, and live streaming. It does not require you to install any app to join; you can connect from a web browser. I was on a call recently where a vendor used BlueJeans for what ended up being a voice call and I was satisfied with voice quality and connection.
Cisco Webex Meetings is video conferencing software with a collaborative whiteboard while seeing everyone’s faces in the video call.
Hangouts is a great part of Google’s GSuite business applications that begin with GMail. Your GSuite administrator can turn on or off the ability to create a Hangout automatically when you create a meeting invite with Google Calendar within GSuite.
I have to admit that I do not like apps that require a software download to run. In addition, this company makes LogMeIn which can take control of your computer for remote support, but I see this as an information security issue.
Houseparty | Face to Face Social Network
Houseparty was recommended by friends that used it to connect with other friends remotely https://houseparty.com/
Ironically, my friend ended up in a photo while on Houseparty that showed up in this article at the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/17/video-happy-hour-coronavirus-st-patricks-day/
This is another lightweight app that makes it easy to log in with a link or just the name of the presenter (or company). However, it is also part of the LogMeIn family of conferencing products but appears to have less of a security issue for the conference viewer/participant.
Lucid Meetings offers a platform plus training and consulting to encourage better results (outcomes)/
Hundreds can be on a call at once. It includes screen sharing and a whiteboard with annotation tools.
Starleaf has web conferencing, audio and video calls, and team chat that is like group text.
Wow, with half the planet at home because of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), mentions of Zoom have taken off. Zoom has screen sharing and prefers that you download software. Now It does run in a web browser, but I’m not sure you can initiate the conference from a browser. I’ve joined from a browser and been limited in what I can do, such as use a background image. Canva, an online design tool, has a number of free, funny and serious, background images for use with Zoom.
More Guidance on Video Conferencing Apps
One of my favorite sources on app advice is the Zapier blog:
Another source of video conferencing software, especially new offerings, is Product Hunt.
The Krisp App mutes background noise on a call or video conference using software downloaded to your machine. Right now it only supports Apple Mac OS X. This is a helper app for your voice or video call application from any developer.