Once you have found packages in your price range, the most important consideration is ease of use. Obviously, if the user interface (UI) is difficult for you and your colleagues to navigate and use, then it's going to cause delays in meeting start times, which will frustrate everyone. For each review, I discuss the ease of signing up, creating a meeting, inviting participants, and setting up audio and video controls. I also look at the user experience (UX) from the meeting invitees' point of view, which can make or break a meeting.
Instead of spending half your life in airport lines, bring life to your meetings by using a video conferencing service. This way, the presenter is not just a voice on the phone but an on-screen presence who is able to see and interact with other attendees, share presentations, and more. For collaborative meetings, the host can sketch out ideas on an online whiteboard and invite participants to join in. Some video conferencing services let presenters pass control to another participant who can continue the meeting without interruption. Others let hosts deny access to latecomers to further avoid disruption.
For presentations, screen sharing is important as are granular options such as the ability to share just one application (Microsoft PowerPoint, for example), document, or image or share your entire desktop. Most of the video conferencing services in this roundup also offer a whiteboard tool, which you can use to sketch out ideas or take notes during the meeting for everyone to see. You also need to consider what the participants are able to do, such as share their screen, enable their webcam, sketch on a shared whiteboard, and even take over the presentation. Think about how much actual collaboration you'd like in your meetings.
I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters, and Corel recently followed suit in VideoStudio 2019. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
Additionally, video conferencing services tend to offer more than just face-to-face interactions. Best-in-class video conferencing services let users share their screens, remotely access one another's desktops, chat via text, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards, and even broadcast conferences to large groups of passive viewers. Some are part of business-geared voice over IP (VoIP) packages, which allows for dynamically changing voice calls to video calls and shared meetings at the touch of a button without establishing new connections.
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.
One of the unique selling points of LumaFusion is its UI. The app looks really clean with no ads or annoying popups to hamper your experience. What I love most about LumaFusion is that it not only allows users to edit videos in landscape mode but also portrait mode. Not only that, you can easily switch between the two modes without any hiccup. This comes helpful as the app supports a variety of video aspect ratios including landscape, portrait, square, film, and more.
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!