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11 Best Video Chat Apps for Your Next Virtual Hangout

It can be tough to stay connected to family and loved ones who live far away (and with social distancing it’s even harder). Video calling apps are a great way to spend time face-to-face when you can’t be together in person. Whether calling your boss or trying to stay in touch with your friends and family, you should have a great video chat app on your phone or computer.

Although it's amazing that there are so many options, it's tough to know which video chat app is best for you. That’s where experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute come in. Not only do our engineers rigorously evaluate apps (check out our picks for sleep and meditation), but our panel of testers also give 'em a try, making sure we're recommending the best of the best.

The picks below are from programs we love, apps with rave reviews, or new, innovative features we think you’ll enjoy. All of the featured video calling apps are cross-platform and free to use, but some have pay options for more features.


1. Best Overall Video Chat App: Zoom

Popular for work conferences, school classes, and all virtual get togethers alike, Zoom is the best overall choice for a video chat app. It works great on both desktop and mobile devices with options to view just the person speaking or the whole group. Hosts can also organize webinars where they're the only one with video and audio. It's free to use, but there's a 40 minute time limit for three or more users unless you opt for one of their pricing plans.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 100 until paid subscription

2. Best for iPhone Users: Facetime

iPhone users are likely familiar with Facetime, which is the built-in video chat app on Apple devices. It works on iPhones, iPads, and MacOS desktops. It's easy to make calls from group texts or the middle of a voice call. Note that Facetime calls won't work with Android users.

Works with: MacOS (desktop) and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 32


3. Best for International: WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app across the globe. You can also make voice and video calls for up to four users. The calls are on the phone's data plan or via WiFi, so voice calls do not eat up your phone minutes. Since it has such a far reach, it's the best choice to stay in touch with international loved ones.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 4

4. Best for Android: Google Duo

Google Duo is the newest app from Google that's perfect for video calls between Android and iPhone users. Unlike Facetime, Google Duo is ideal to use when you have friends without iPhones. The app has an innovative feature called "Knock Knock" where you can get a preview of who is on the other end of the line before accepting the call. We also love Google Hangouts for work calls.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 12

5. Best for Families: Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a separate application that lets you easily chat and video call with your Facebook friends. Video calls have a limit of 50 users, which is more than most social networks with video chat capabilities. Since your whole extended family likely already has a Facebook account, it's easy to get them on board – even if they're not totally tech-savvy.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 50

6. Best for Work: Skype

For professional calls, Skype reigns supreme. In addition to video chats with a max 50 users, Skype also accommodates screen sharing and real time translation in their chat feature. It's also easy to sign up if you have a Microsoft account already.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 50

7.Best in App Games: Houseparty

Unlike most video chat apps, Houseparty allows you to join the "house" and then others in your contact list can jump in and out. This lets you to reconnect with people you may not think to video chat. Houseparty also has great games included, such as heads up, trivia, and finish the song lyric.

Works with: Windows and macOS (desktop), Android and iOS (mobile)
Max users: 8

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