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4 best FaceTime alternatives for the iPad

by Derek Walter

December 9 2013

Skype is one of many cross-platform options
Skype is one of many cross-platform options

Despite what Apple promised when it launched FaceTime, the video app has never been made into a cross-platform standard. It integrates well on the iPad and iPhone, but leaves out those swaths of people that use alternative platforms for video communication.

When looking to connect through video calls, look to these staple apps as essentials to have on your iPad.

Skype

The fact that Skype is used as a verb speaks to its pervasiveness in the video calling space.  Microsoft has been effective at ensuring it is on all major platforms: iOS, Android, and of course its Windows devices.

Skype is especially well done on the iPad, offering easy access to starting and receiving video conversations as well as instant messages. The most recent update gave it a fresher coat of polish that blends well with iOS 7.

Google+ Hangouts

One of the most successful elements of Google's social network had been its Hangouts video chat function. Google has pushed hard to make it a strong, cross-platform conversion tool. On the desktop there are additional apps to enhance discussions, such as sharing Google Drive files.

One can also record a Hangout so it can be shared on a company web site or sent to others who were unable to attend the discussion. Hangouts are also integrated as part of Google Apps accounts, making them easy to use across an organization.

Tango

Tango has had a long run as an excellent video chat service. While more geared toward the consumer market, it does function well at handling video calls. If you need to kill some time, explore the marketplace of connected games that Tango has integrated into its service, such as status updates or a variety of animations to enliven a conversation.

Facebook chat

Considering that nearly everyone uses Facebook, it means that connecting through the social network for chatting is a viable option.  Instead of a separate application, the video chats are baked in to the company’s suite of mobile apps.

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