Mike's NBC-TV stories

Video Conferencing and Chat Apps

Whether looking to conduct business efficiently or connecting with friends to study or plan a big event, video conferencing apps can come in handy.

While Microsoft’s Skype is king, there are plenty of other options to consider.

The Zoom app connects up to 50 people to a video conference all at once. The app offers high-quality face to face video, screen sharing, and instant messaging – and all at no cost. Zoom users can also send group text, images, and audio files from both mobile devices and desktop computers. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Appear.in allows up to eight people to connect on the same video conference call. Users create a video chat room and send a link to others, inviting them to join. Creating a room is easy and there’s no registration required, whether inviting others or responding to an invite – a unique feature for a video conferencing app. The app is free for iOS and Android.

The ooVoo app connects up to 12 people to connect to a video conference. Users engage in full-screen chats, and can talk, text, and send files in real-time. Calls also can be recorded and shared. Further, users can start calls with people who don’t have the service simply by sending them a link. The app is free for iOS, Android, and Windows.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.