Businesses are moving further apart. That is, many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are becoming spread out across many geographic locations, which brings complex challenges for communication, even for employees that work in-house. Add customers and partners to the mix, and it's difficult to think about talking to all of these folks without extensive travel, which brings restrictive costs. This is where video conferencing can deliver a serious boost to your company's bottom line.
As with all software services, pricing and packages are an important consideration when it comes to video conferencing. The prices quoted and the product descriptions below are typically for the lowest level of service per user per month. (For more pricing information, click through to the individual reviews.) All but one of the video conferencing services I tested offers free trials (most for 30 days) and many don't require a credit card on file, which means you don't have to worry about being charged automatically when the trial ends.
Several of the products here (Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception) still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by 360-degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear 360 as the current home-theater fad. As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media.
VideoShow Video Editor is one of the more popular video editing apps. It’s a simple video editor that lets you do the basic stuff like trim video, organize your clips, and add music. You’ll also find some additional features like the ability to add emoji and text to videos and a variety of video effects to make things a little more fun. It’s great for stuff like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but it’s not powerful enough for bigger productions. You'll want to check out something else for that. The app is free to download and use with some additional stuff available as in-app purchases.
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.
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, there are so many people that 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.
Our reviews also cover the host's admin features. The best services let you set up different types of meetings, such as a lecture-style meeting in which all participants are muted, or a discussion or Q&A mode in which presenters can mute and unmute participants as needed or let all participants speak. If you have ever been distracted by the sound of someone typing or a barking dog in the background, then you'll appreciate these controls. Other options include enabling and disabling webcams, locking latecomers out of a meeting, creating a waiting room while preparing for the meeting, and allowing break-out sessions.
Video doorbells come in all shapes and sizes. The least expensive models tend to be bulky devices with limited color choices, while many of the more expensive models are slim and inconspicuous and come in a variety of finishes to complement your home. Chances are, if the doorbell runs on batteries it is going to be bulkier and more obvious than a wired model.
Wired doorbells are not quite as easy to install as their wireless counterparts, but they are far from difficult and you don't have to worry about losing power unless your whole house loses power. Since most homes already have doorbell wiring, installing a video doorbell is as easy as removing your old doorbell, disconnecting the two wires, connecting your new doorbell to the wires, and attaching it to the outside of your house. In most cases you can connect the doorbell to an existing chime box as well.
8 New State-of-The-Art Video App
PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.