What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

Summary: Even as a heavy user of smartphones, I rarely make a video call and it is usually more as a demo or novelty rather than a need. fring is rolling out support for 4 on a call, but I still wonder if any video calling is needed at this time.

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fring was one of the first, if not the first, to bring video calling capability to smartphones and I have been using it for a couple of years on my Nokia S60 devices. They have now expanded to iOS and Android, in addition to Symbian, and are leading the way in video chat again by launching support for Group Video Calls where you can have four people connected at once on a video chat session.

Even though fring, then Qik, brought video calling to smartphones prior to FaceTime, I still find my FaceTime calls to be of higher quality. However, even though I travel quite a bit I still haven't found a really compelling reason to make many video calls. I am not sure if many people are making video calls and it seems to me that having four people on the call will be an even rarer occurrence. You can check out the video below that shows a short demo of fring Group Video Calls:

If you have an iOS or Android device, seems like even fring is giving up on Symbian, then you can sign up for the public beta using this form.

How many readers make video calls? Do you think this is something that still has a couple of years to go before it is popular? I personally would rather see work continue on improving the 2-way video calling service.

Topics: iOS, Android, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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9 comments
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  • Not on this planet

    Video telephones were part of the AT&T pavilion in Tomorrowland when Disneyland opened in the 1950's. The problem is not technology, or that people are going to want them Real Soon Now.

    There is something deeply, fundamentally unwanted about video phone calls.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

      @Robert Hahn It doesn't help that people look at the image rather than the camera, so there always seems to be some anonymous 3rd party your buddy is talking to.
      Aerowind
      • The wimmins

        @Aerowind Every woman I've ever heard discuss these things has said that the last thing she wants is to have to 'put on her face' or do up her hair before answering the phone.
        Robert Hahn
  • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

    Your experiences with video calling match what I've read from others. People outside the U.S. had this ability for quite some time and it was never used.
    Loverock Davidson
  • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

    If anything, the world is heading more towards the other direction. Most people would rather just send a text message than make a phone call these days (myself included). We want less human interaction rather than more.
    Aerowind
  • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

    I seriously tried and we gave up. I too travel and I tried facetime, fring and qik with my family while on travel, but they simply rejected using it after first few calls. We are not comfortable with Video Calling and I think average Americans like me think alike at least when it comes to video calling.
    Ram U
  • 2-way is a conversation, 4-way is a meeting

    I can see 4-way being more useful than 2-way, since it enables small meetings to be held remotely. I think even in that situation, the capability will be used rarely, but it would still be a nice tool to have every once in a while.
    bran.e.murray
  • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

    Since many smartphones have rear facing cameras, seems pretty useless. I'd rather have 4 way video on my laptop.
    pcwizard2600
  • RE: What's better than 2-way video calling nobody uses? 4-way video calling, of course

    If MS told you to use it, you would...and you would love it.

    Such a TOOL.
    james347