Apple’s FaceTime is a popular video-chatting app for users of
iPads, which is very unlikely to ever arrive on the Android platform. There’s no need to feel down if you jump to the Google side of the fence though, as there are many great options you can use to keep up with friends all around the world, usually for free.
We show you some of the best alternatives to FaceTime for Android.
And if you’re just about to make the switch away from iOS, or have designs on a new device in the months ahead, you should also take a look at our
Best Android Phones 2017/18 guide.
Much like the old adage that the best camera is the one you have with you, Facebook Messenger is most probably already installed on not only your device, but importantly those of your family and friends
This makes it an obvious choice to use for video calls, as its ubiquitous nature means it offers the path of least resistance when it comes to signing up to a service and downloading the app.
It’s not exactly the most streamlined of packages these days, with Facebook continually adding questionably useful features, but it works well enough. One feature that’s definitely welcome is group calls, with up to six people being able to share a conversation.
Best Facebook Messenger tips & tricks guide for more ideas on what you can do with the app.
Another app likely to be on your contact’s smartphone is WhatsApp. This messaging app is already on its way to replacing texts, email, and in some cases social media sites, so adding video calling to the list just makes sense.
Call encryption adds a level of security to the proceedings too, but the most useful part of the app is that is works on Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone.
How to video call on WhatsApp to see how easy it is to use.
One of the pioneers in the Wi-Fi calling area is Microsoft’s Skype. This app, that originally started out on the desktop, now has a fully-fledged mobile version that offers free audio and video calls, alongside traditional instant messaging.
Group video chat is included, for up to 25 people, and again it’s available on a number of platforms. If you’re an Office365 subscriber then you also get 60 minutes a month with which you can call traditional landlines and mobile device numbers.
How to use Skype feature for more details.
Google already has its Hangouts app in the Play Store, but last year the search giant launched a successor – Google Duo. This boasts a modern, smart design, message encryption, cross platform support, and the unique Knock, Knock feature.
The latter allows those receiving calls to see your video before they answer. That way you can cheer someone up with a smile before they pick up, or implore someone to take your call. It’s hardly essential, but can be fun.
How to use Google Duo tutorial fills in the details.
Finally, there’s Viber. It might not have the clout of Facebook, Google, or Microsoft behind it, but this app has proven it can hold its own in such exalted company.
With over 900 million users, Viber is its own success, which is down to reliable performance and an easy to use interface. Much like Skype it offers the ability to call mobile phones and landlines with your Viber number, plus there’s the standard chat and messaging features.
FaceTime might not be available for Android, but you’re not going to miss it. The alternatives listed above are just some of the many messaging apps available, and new ones appear all the time.
There’s never been an easier time to keep in touch with friends and family, all without costing a penny. Thank you, internet.