The best video chat apps for Android
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Video calling is about as easy as it can possibly get these days. You can do it on computers, mobile devices, and even tablets. It’s popular and widespread enough that you even have options. There are plenty of options available for those looking to video chat with their friends or family. Or even strangers if you want. Here are the best video chat apps for Android.
The best video chat apps for Android
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet. We know that a lot of people don’t like the app. We agree that it still needs a lot of work. However, so many people use Facebook that Facebook Messenger just makes sense. The video chat experience works relatively well. Since most of the people you know are on Facebook, it’s easier to use this app than to convince everyone to join a new platform. Plus, the new ads rolling out aren’t great. It’s not perfect, but it’s perhaps the most convenient of the video chat apps on this list. At least it’s free.
Discord is one of the most popular group chat apps out there. It’s made for gamers mostly, but you can start a server and chat with like-minded folks about just about any topic you can think of. The app mostly focuses on group chats, DMs, and voice chats for gamers. However, there is a video chat function should you need one. Of course, both people need to use Discord for it to work, but otherwise, everything went well in our testing.
Google Duo is essentially Google’s answer to FaceTime. It’s also one of the most simple video chat apps available. You simply log in, verify your number, and you’re good to go. You can video call other Google Duo users like you’re making a normal phone call. It also includes a feature called Knock Knock that lets you see what someone is up to before you answer the video call. The app is cross-platform. That means it works between iOS and Android. Rumor is that a web version is coming for computer support eventually. This is about as easy as it gets for video calling apps. It’s really very good. The in-app purchases are for things like emotes and stickers.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
JusTalk is another one of the lesser-known video chat apps. However, it’s actually pretty decent. You’ll be able to theme your app as you please. Additionally, you can do things like doodle while in a video call to add a bit of fun to the proceedings. It also features group chats, encryption, and cross-platform support. It’s a decent alternative to something like Google Duo where video calls are the primary feature. However, we don’t see it competing too favorably with a chat app that also has video chat features. The app is free to download and use. The in-app purchases are for things like themes and other personalization perks. They don’t affect functionality, really.
Kik is a popular video chat app. It’s actually a text chat app with video chat features. The app features single or group chats, support for most types of media sharing (GIFs, video, images, etc), and some extra stuff like stickers. Kik is a popular chat service for mobile gamers. For instance, I’ve used it for Clash of Clans in the past. It also doesn’t rely on your phone number. You just need a standard user name to use much like Skype and unlike WhatsApp or Google Duo. It’s colorful, so those who want something a little more serious may need to keep looking. Otherwise, Kik is a perfectly acceptable app for both video and text chats.
Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger is one of the most popular privacy chat apps. It features end-to-end encryption for all messages, voice calls, and video chats between two Signal users. It focuses a lot on individual chats. There are group chat features, but it’s mostly for personal use. This is one of the biggest differences between it and rival privacy chat app Telegram. Video calls worked fine in our testing so we have no trouble recommending them. It’s a neat way to get some encrypted chats as well. The app is also completely free and open source. You can’t really go wrong with it, but there are better video chat apps if you need group video chats.
Skype is one of the most popular video chat apps for any platform. It has native apps on most platforms, including PC, which makes it one of the best cross-platform options out there. The Android app certainly isn’t perfect, but it can usually get the job done. You can do group video calls with up to 25 people. The app also features a free text chat, Microsoft and Facebook account integration, and you can even call regular cell phones for a nominal fee. The app still needs work, but it’s definitely better than it was a year or two ago. The cross-platform support is top-notch as well.
Viber began life as a voice-calling app. You used to be able to call people on the service along with regular phone calls. It has since evolved into a full-fledged messaging service. You can still make phone calls like you could before (for a fee). You can also text chat, video call, and more. It also features encryption on voice, text, and video calls between Viber users. There are a few extra fun features like hidden chats as well. It’s a little bit heavier, similar to Facebook Messenger. However, it’s otherwise not bad. The app isn’t overly popular in the United States, but it’s quite big Internationally. The in-app purchases are for things like stickers and other personalization items.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps ever. It’s one of only a few that can boast over one billion active users. It started out as a text chat service before Facebook bought them a while ago. Since then, the app has integrated voice calling, video calling, and tons of other features. The video calling works quite well, and you shouldn’t have any problems using it. Not everyone trusts the app since it’s run by Facebook. However, if you’re just looking for something that works and is stable, this is a good app to try.
As it turns out, OEMs and carriers have taken matters into their own hands for video chatting. Some carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and others have video calling built into every phone sold by the carrier. You can quickly and easily video chat with anyone else on the service. Thus, someone with a Galaxy S7 on T-Mobile and someone with an LG V20 on T-Mobile can video call each other directly from the dialer app like you were making a phone call. They’re a bit restrictive, but they tend to work pretty well when you can actually use them. We hope these options are expanded over time.
Bonus: Business level video chat apps
Price: Free / Varies
There are plenty of business-level video chat apps out there. They function differently from consumer-level stuff. For instance, there is a larger emphasis on file sharing, attendance taking, and conferencing tools compared to something like Skype, WhatsApp, or Google Duo. Google Hangouts is slowly making its way to this genre. Some other good options include Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, GoToMeeting, and some others. The prices vary, but the software generally works okay. We only recommend these for business use, though. You can find our list of the best video conferencing apps at the button above!
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