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Keeping in touch using a video call

Keeping in touch with family, friends and other loved ones makes us feel connected and helps with feelings of loneliness. And while the measures the Government has currently put in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus make this more difficult to do, technology can help.


What is video calling?

Video calling can be a nicer way of chatting with others than just a phone call, because it lets you see the person you’re taking to, and them see you. You can even have a group chat with multiple people.

Not sure how to get started? Here we give you some step-by-step instructions on how to keep in touch using a video call using different devices – some of these include video demonstrations that make things clearer.


Video calling on Apple phone or device (iPhone, iPad, Mac)

Remember: make sure you are connected to a wireless internet network (WiFi) before doing a video call. Video calling uses a lot of data and could result in additional charges from your mobile phone network if you are not connected to WiFi.

If you and the person you want to call both have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can use FaceTime to video call each other.

It will already be installed on your phone or device, so you don’t have to do anything. Follow the instructions below to start a FaceTime chat.

FaceTime on an iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to Contacts and select the person you want to call.
  2. There will be an option to use FaceTime. Click the symbol that looks like a camera to start video calling.
  3. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.
  4. `

FaceTime on a Mac

  1. Open FaceTime using the FaceTime icon.
  2. There is a search box. Type in the name of the person you want to call, click enter.
  3. If the person you are trying to call has the right device, you will see the option to make a video call. Click this to start video calling.
  4. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.

If the person you want to call does not have an Apple phone or device, you can still have a video call with them by using other apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. You can download one of these from the App Store.

WhatsApp

  1. Open WhatsApp on your phone.
  2. Click the Calls tab.
  3. Press the icon showing a phone with a plus symbol next to it.
  4. Click the magnifying glass icon and type the name of the person you want to call.
  5. Click the symbol that looks like a camera next to their name to start video calling.
  6. You can add up to four other people into a video call to turn it into a group chat. During the video call, just click the add participant icon and search for their name to add them.
  7. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.

Facebook Messenger

  1. Open Facebook Messenger on your phone.
  2. Click the Chats tab.
  3. Click the pencil icon and type the name of the person you want to call.
  4. Click the symbol that looks like a camera next to their name to start video calling.
  5. You can add up to six other people into a video call to turn it into a group chat. During the video call, just click the ‘+’ symbol and search for their name to add them.
  6. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.

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Video call using an Android phone

Remember: make sure you are connected to a wireless internet network (WiFi) before doing a video call. Video calling uses a lot of data and could result in additional charges from your mobile phone network if you are not connected to WiFi.

There are lots of different types of Android phones, including ones made by Samsung, Google, Sony and LG. Ask someone if you’re not sure if your phone is an Android phone.

You can use many different applications on your phone to make video calls. We’ll look at some of the most common here. You can download any of these apps for free by finding them in the Play Store.

WhatsApp

  1. Open WhatsApp on your phone.
  2. Click the Calls tab.
  3. Press the icon showing a phone with a plus symbol next to it.
  4. Click the magnifying glass icon and type the name of the person you want to call.
  5. Click the symbol that looks like a camera next to their name to start video calling.
  6. You can add up to four other people into a video call to turn it into a group chat. During the video call, just click ‘Add Participant’ and search for their name to add them.
  7. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.

Facebook Messenger

  1. Open Facebook Messenger on your phone.
  2. Click the Chats tab.
  3. Click the pencil icon and type the name of the person you want to call.
  4. Click the symbol that looks like a camera next to their name to start video calling.
  5. You can add up to six other people into a video call to turn it into a group chat. During the video call, just click the ‘+’ symbol and search for their name to add them.
  6. To end the call, just click the red phone icon.

Video calling using a computer

Zoom or Skype are examples of video calling software you could use.

You don’t need to install anything to use these, it can all be done through your internet browser. The person who you want to speak to just needs to make sure they have an account as well. They can then send you a link to join a video chat.

Remember: Only click links from people you know and trust. It’s always worth double checking with them that they have sent you a link.

Receiving a video call on Zoom

  1. Click on the link your contact has sent you.
  2. Click ‘join from your browser’ to join the video call.
  3. To end the call, click the red phone icon or close the browser window.

Receiving a video call on Skype

  1. Click on the link your contact has sent you.
  2. A window will open. Click ‘join as guest’.
  3. Type in your name and click ‘join’ to join the video call.
  4. To end the call, click the red phone icon or close the browser window.

If you would like to set up the video calls yourself, you will need to download Zoom or Skype to your computer. You can do this for free via Zoom’s website or Skype’s website.

You then just need to sign up for a free account with them using an email address.

Making a video call on Zoom

  1. Open Zoom on your computer.
  2. Click ‘new meeting’.
  3. Click ‘invite’ at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Click ‘copy URL’. This will give you a link that you can share with family and friends. Just copy it and send it to them in an email.
  5. To end the call, click the red phone icon.

Making a video call on Skype

  1. Open Skype on your computer.
  2. Click ‘meet now’.
  3. Click ‘start call’.
  4. When the call has started, click ‘share call link’. This will give you a link that you can share with family and friends. Just copy it and send it to them in an email.
  5. To end the call, click the red phone icon.

If you are using a desktop that does not have a built in camera and microphone you may have to purchase a headset. 

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Last updated: Apr 29 2020

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