One quarantine with Skype, Duo, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger

For the past few weeks everyone’s been using video conferencing and Karen still hasn’t figured out the red mic with a slash across it means she’s muted. Get with the program Karen.

TL;DR – Paul’s experiences with various chat apps, your experience may vary

I’ve video chatted from three computers, a phone, an iPad, an Amazon Fire Kid’s edition (the newer ones,) and my Lenovo Smart Display (which uses Duo).

Trying to compare these is difficult as everyone you talk to has a different camera, internet connection, lighting, but I think I’ve decided that the definite loser is Hangouts, which is odd since Duo seems to be fine.

I offer up however that the Hangouts was a computer of unknown origin -> WiFi -> Comcast Cable -> AT&T -> WiFi -> iPad version of Google Hangouts.

Between crashes, stops for no reason I could tell, and disconnects Hangouts was the only video chatting I could not do easily. Video quality was also pretty low and blocky.

We’ve done some Duo (Lenovo smart display) to Android devices in Oregon that are either on a 1.5mbit connection or whatever the LTE was providing there and they were smooth, talking was fine. Seemed to be very low latency and few people stepping on the other’s lines.

Zoom is hit or miss. I mean it’s great, we have a weekly meeting with some friends and love it but one person’s constantly having to dial in, one complains about the video nonstop although everyone else sees it fine.

Facetime appears the best video overall, however to be clear here with my testing it’s been iPad to iPad, same city, both have high speed connections. Picture’s been great, lag’s been minimal.

Skype, while good has been odd. I think I’m going to skip the Skype oddness as I need to determine if it’s them or me. Experience was not particularly great but may be my hardware.

What’re your best and worst this quarantine?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts