There are now hundreds of apps that allow you to message and video call your contacts (friends, relatives, colleagues) for free. Video calling is a great way to stay connected when you can't be together in person.
This guide gives a brief overview of some of the top video calling apps specifically for Android phones. Many of these apps will also be available for iPhone users via the Apple store. Remember that in most cases the person that you are connecting with will need to have the same App downloaded onto their phone and be connected to you for you to be able to call them.
If your phone is made by Google, Honor, Huawei, LG, Samsung or Sony, it is an Android phone. Several other companies make Android phones too.
Facebook Messenger is a must-have if you love Facebook and want to get the most out of your Facebook account on your phone, although you don’t need a Facebook account to use it. The Facebook Messenger app allows you to make high quality HD audio calls, as well as video calls, all for free as long as you use wifi. Facebook Messenger also gives you access to the full range of functions for your Facebook account, including the ability to read your messages, send stickers and voicemail messages, start group chats and even send money.
Download from GooglePlay
WhatsApp is one of the most popular group messaging apps, it allows you to easily organise and send messages, as well as share videos and pictures. Now it also offers the facility to make video calls. Unlike some other video calling apps, it doesn’t matter what type of device a contact has. As long as they have WhatsApp installed, you can make a video call to them. All you have to do is go to the call tab and then tap on the call button to start a call. Download WhatsApp
Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, is probably the best known video messaging app and comes with all the features you’d expect from a leading app. As well as one-to-one video calls, you can also make group video calls including up to 25 people. You can send video and voice messages, text, instant message and more. Skype will even translate a call for you if you need to talk to someone who speaks a different language.
Download Skype from Google Play
Houseparty is a video messaging service that has become particularly popular with young people. When you open the app it is similar to going to a house party where you can chat with other people who are there. When you use the app, your friends will be alerted that you are available to video chat, or that you are “in the house”. Users are able to see who is chatting and can ‘join’ the video chat or ‘room’. Houseparty uses a split screen to make multiple video-chatting easy between multiple users, adding in a feature that allows for secret chats among participants.
Read this useful guide to Houseparty from Webwise Ireland.
Download Houseparty from Google Play
Zoom is a popular video conferencing programme that has become a major rival to Skype. In 2020 it's popularity has grown during the Covid-19 outbreak. Zoom includes all the video calling features of many of the other apps, but also includes features aimed at businesses, which come at a cost. Zoom is free for personal use but there may be time limits for group meetings.
Download Zoom from Google Play
Last updated August 2023