Connect with the family this Easter

You may only live a few suburbs across from them, but getting together with your family this Easter is not the best idea for your health. Leaving your home and gathering with a big group of people is against the rules right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time with your loved ones.

With technology nowadays, it’s all too easy to have a group video chat from your smart phone or computer. These are the best apps you can use to connect to your family.

Skype

To use Skype, you’ll first need to download the app onto your computer or download it from the Appstore if you’re using your smart phone.

Once the app is installed, you’ll need to create an account using your email address and password.

The toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen will allow you to change your profile settings and contact your friends. Click on a contacts name to begin a chat with them.

At the top of this chat bar you will see a video and a phone icon. While you can voice call them with the phone button, a video chat will allow you to see your friends and family while you speak.

To add more contacts to your conversation, click the button in the top right corner of the chat bar that looks like a person with a plus sign next to it.

Once you are in a video call you will be able to control the camera and microphone settings from the chat screen.

To learn more about how to use skype, check out this video by TechBoomers. 

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of Australia’s most popular messaging apps. You can create groups, send voice attachments, images and videos. It’s perfect for creating a regular family chat. WhatsApp decided to make its platform all the more appealing with the addition of video calls. Voice and video calls are free and are used regularly by millions of app users.

You can download the WhatApp messenger app onto an android or Apple smart phone on Google Play or at the apps store, or click here to download it onto your computer. Once you have downloaded the app, you can create an account using your mobile phone number and WhatsApp will send a verification code to your phone. Add your name and, voila, your account has been made.

The compose icon on the top right of the home screen will allow you to message any of your phone contacts who also have the app. By clicking the phone icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, you can select a contact to call. Next to each contact’s name you’ll see a phone and a video icon. Press the icon at the top right of the screen that looks like a phone and a plus sign. Beginning a video call is as simple as clicking the video icon next to a contact’s name. Alternatively, click on ‘new group call’ below the search bar to begin a group call.

Facebook Messenger

This may be the easiest way to connect to your family, as you probably already have a Facebook account. If you don’t have the app downloaded, you can get it on your iPhone here or on your android here. You can access Messenger on your computer by logging into Facebook. 

Create a group chat with the friends and family you want to video call by clicking on the chat icon in the top right corner of the messenger home screen. You will need to be Facebook friends with everyone in the group in order to add them to a chat. Once you have added your family to a chat, you can begin a video call by clicking on the video icon at the top right-hand corner of the group chat.

Trying to start a video chat spontaneously can be quite difficult, as people are unlikely to be available and on their phones all at once. It may be best to add your family to a group chat on any of the above apps before you intend calling, to organise a time and date at which you will all be available for a video call.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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