Legal Tech

Call Out: Apps Put Videoconferencing in Lawyers’ Hands

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Videoconferencing via smartphone is now a widely available application—and one attorneys may want to employ in their practices.

Here’s a sampling of applications. All the apps are free:

Oovoo, a leader in the smartphone video app space, works across multiple platforms, including Android, Apple’s iOS and various PC operating systems. With 35 million users worldwide, 65 percent of Oovoo aficionados are under age 25, according to the company. Key features include free group video calls of up to 12 people, HD-quality video, and the ability to record and upload calls to YouTube. Users can also exchange instant messages while on the platform or over Facebook. And you can set up a Web chat room for free on Oovoo.

Skype popped up in the PC world years ago and has been expanding its compatibility to more devices ever since. Probably its key advantage is its near universality. Like Oovoo, Skype has broad compatibility on Android, Apple’s iOS and Symbian, as well as on Windows and Mac.

FaceTime’s primary disadvantage is that it only works on Apple technology. But if you’re videoconferencing with another Apple user, you’ll appreciate its ease of use. And you can invite another Apple user to videoconference using your contact list or by using Siri, Apple’s voice-recognition software.

Google Talk—if you have one of the newer Android phones, this app is likely already installed. Plus, if you have a Gmail account, you also already have a Google Talk account. But despite its broad footprint, Google Talk has had trouble gaining traction due to some unfavorable user reviews.

Tango is a lesser known app but offers a wide reach, with calling compatibility on Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone and on the PC. The app is best optimized for Android users, who can initiate a Tango call directly from their address books.

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