Best Video Calling Apps for Older Adults and Pensioners
The UK has been dealing with a massive transformation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s social and cultural component has been altered because of COVID. People are not as social as they were a few years ago. This is especially true for older adults, pensioners, and elderly individuals. Many people within this group have fewer contacts than they did in 2020. Video calls can be a tool that pensioners can use to stay connected within society. Once they learn how to use this technology, they typically won’t have to experience long stretches of isolation and loneliness. The information presented here will help older adults to learn how to use video calling services to keep them connected.
What does a person need to make a video call?
Anyone who makes a video call must have certain equipment to complete the calls. First, you’re going to need an internet connection. Without WiFi you won’t be able to make a video call. If you don’t have WiFi in your home, we’ll tell you how to get it shortly. The next thing that you will need is a computing device with a camera and a microphone.
Seniors who are not familiar with computing devices can be taught how they work. Many older adults have children and grandchildren who have computing devices in their homes. Younger relatives can show them how to use a smartphone, PC computer, tablet, notebook computer, or laptop. Any one of these devices can be used to make a video call.
The best devices to use to make a video call are a PC computer, notebook computer, or laptop. PC computers are the best because the monitor is usually large enough to allow the user to see multiple contacts. PC computers also have more capabilities in terms of features and speed. Laptops and notebooks are also good choices for video calls.
A laptop is a small portable PC computer. It has the same features as a standard PC computer, but you can carry it around. PCs are normally used at a fixed location and cannot be transported. They were not defined for this purpose. Most laptops have big enough screens for people to see multiple contacts. They also provide different features and good speed.
Notebooks are one step below laptops. Their screens are limited in size (generally not bigger than 9 inches). However, multiple users can be shown the screen without too much difficulty. Many schools in the UK passed out notebooks during the pandemic to school-aged children. The notebook computers helped students to stay current with their studies through virtual learning. Most teachers taught their students through a video calling service.
Older adults who are not familiar with modern tech should understand that smartphones and tablets can be used for video calls. However, these smaller devices work best for one-on-one calls. Keep in mind that most elderly people will not be making conferencing video calls. So, a tablet or smartphone would be useful for them to keep in touch with family and friends.
Still, having a personal computer, laptop, or notebook would be ideal for seniors. Ultimately, no matter what type of device is used for video calling, it should have audio capabilities and a microphone. Most laptops, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets typically have these capabilities built into them. PC computers usually require added hardware (camera or a microphone) to be connected to them to provide these functions. Once a senior has WiFi and a computer device with an audio and microphone connection; they will be set up to make a video call.
How to Get WiFi for Video Calls
Okay, we’re going to briefly tell you the best ways to get WiFi. First, if you have the money, you can simply pay to get internet service from a broadband provider. Paying for WiFi is a simple way to get it. The UK government no longer provides free broadband services to seniors. However, they do sometimes offer discounts. You will have to frequently check with UK government services to find out what specials they have to offer. Sometimes they will provide vouchers for this service.
Seniors that cannot afford the internet should consider using a small amount of the service. There are limited plans that allow users to operate the internet during certain times. Some plans only allocate a certain amount of internet service per billing period. For example, a senior can purchase a smartphone plan that only provides them with 10GB of WiFi per month. This is just an example of how metered plans work. You can check with some of the major broadband providers in the UK to find out who provides the best prices and services. Now, let’s discuss your video calling options.
You can make video calls with Skype. This video calling service has been around since 2003. This video calling service is one of the first video calling programs of the modern era. However, on July 31, 2021, Microsoft no longer uses Skype for business. The service isn’t over, it is no longer being supported. Still, that doesn’t mean it can’t help seniors to keep in touch with loved ones and friends.
Skype is perfect for making free voice calls over the internet. You can get Skype in one of three ways. First, you can download it from the Apple Store on an application for Apple mobile computer devices. Skype can also be downloaded from the Google Play Store in the form of an application for Android devices. Windows and Mac computing devices can download Skype from its online website.
Once you have the app or downloaded data you can then install it on your computer device. Sign up for the service and you can then begin using the software. Skype allows you to make free calls over the internet. You can make audio and HD video calls with this service. You’ll be able to contact people through their profile pictures and the service will allow you to mute/unmute your calls whenever you decide.
Other features include smart messaging, integrated calling, call recording, and even live subtitles. The live subtitles features make it easy for people with hearing problems to stay involved in the conversation. You can even call landline phones with this service. Finally, there are many other features such as the encryption button that allows you to keep your calls private.
WhatsApp will allow you to send a single message to multiple users at once. This is a great video calling program for contacting multiple people. Seniors with lots of friends and connections will appreciate this aspect of this service. Here are some other benefits of WhatsApp. WhatsApp works best on mobile devices. However, you can use it on your computer. Download the app from the Apple or Google Play stores. Then install it.
Once you have the app installed you can then make texts and send pictures. That is the purpose of WhatsApp. By the way, you should consider texting as a form of communication. You might not be able to see, hear, or speak directly to a person but you can still hold a conversation through texts. WhatsApp also gives you the ability to transfer lines between your computer and landline phone (if you still have one of those). You can also have your conversations recorded and sent to your email.
By the way, while WhatsApp is not designed for the computer, it can be used on your computer. You can do this by utilizing the web app and desktop client to send messages to your PC through your smartphone.
Facetime is designed for one-on-one communication. The only problem with Facetime is that it is limited to just Apple iPhones and iPads. You can also use it on your Mac computer. However, Android-based devices and PCs with Window Operating systems can’t use this program. Still, most people use Facetime on their Apple computing products.
You can use this service by pointing the device’s camera at you while you speak to the other person. This Apple video calling service is free with other Apple users. This will limit your communication with other people. Remember, not everybody has an Apple styled smartphone. You can upload your contacts with this service.
Once you have them on file you can call just about any Apple user who has a smartphone. Facetime has upgraded its services you can now use this app over the web, and you might be able to use it with other services. This means that you should be able to call other people but that’s not clear. Facetime also will allow callers to watch or listen to the same media or audio presentations. This video calling service might not be for everyone, but it is a good communication platform once a person learns how to use it.
Messenger is owned by Facebook. It is often set up with Facebook profiles. People generally avoid contacting each other over Messenger because of the fraudulent individuals on the platform. Still, you can use this service to contact your friends. The key is to make sure that you and the people you contact know about this service to keep in touch.
You can do things such as text or make video calls through this service. You can also watch movies, music videos, and TV shows with your friends through the service. So, you can talk to your best friend while watching a TV show. The platform allows people to use emojis for communication. You can also use stickers, special effects, and themes for your conversations. You can also send money to friends and family. Instant messaging is also available with this service. You can also record your conversations.
Google Duo is not that well known. It is a service that is available through Google, but it is not often used. You don’t need a subscription to join this service. Google Duo was made for speed and reliability. You sign up for the service with your smartphone and you can use this device to make calls. You can also make it through your computer. You can switch between WiFi and mobile data while using the platform.
Google Duo has a lot of features. You’ll be able to capture calls and messages, get more people involved in your calls, make calls from a dialer (app), use a picture-in-picture mode, share your phone screen, pin contacts to your home screen, use filters and effects, save on metered data, and you will have the Knock Knock button to see who is calling you.
Google Duo might be a bit of a challenge for older adults who are not used to making video calls. There are other services that are better suited for this purpose. What makes Google Duo worth the trouble is that it provides reliable calls, and the platform is versatile. Once you learn how to use it, you should be able to make calls without problems.
Zoom is something that must be mentioned within this article. Zoom is not a video calling service. This is a business meeting appl. Zoom is easy to use and it is effective for contacting other people. You simply have to download Zoom to your mobile device or PC. Once you do, you can set up a meeting ID and then start communicating directly with other people. This app works with just an internet connection and is supported across multiple devices. The free version of Zoom is limited to just 40 minutes and there are some privacy issues and concerns. Still, Zoom will work if you just want to talk to someone face to face for a few minutes to keep in touch.
Contact Limits for Video Calling Services
Each video selling service has contact limits. Skype allows for 50, WhatsApp provides up to 8 people, and Facetime gives you a 32-contact limit. Messenger provides 6 contacts and Google Duo offers up to 12. The calling limits will probably increase over time because there is a lot of competition within this market.
Portal is a newly created service that is designed for elderly people. This service is marketed in the form of a device. It comes with Alexa assisted features and it is easy to use. You will have to use this device through Messenger or the WhatsApp. Portal is similar to a tablet that is designed for single calls. You can also make multiple calls. The device is exclusive for video calls. It provides a few other features. Pictures, videos, and downloading video calling apps are other features of this service.
A Final Word about Video Calling Services
Seniors that use video calling services can improve their lives. You can select the right type of service to keep in touch with people. Once you have the equipment and learn how to use a video calling service communicating should be an easy thing to do. Video calling services are available online, within app stores, and they are sometimes preinstalled on devices and computers.