Keeping in Touch

We held our first online meeting via Group FaceTime on Friday 3rd April. At the meeting we took time to catch up with fellow members, talked about the month’s Apple news and discussed different methods of communicating with friends and family while isolated at home.

Tools for Keeping in Touch

We discussed a number of tools available to communicate with friends and family online including:

FaceTime - Apple’s free audio and video calling app that also supports group calls for up to 32 people, they all need to have an Apple device with a recent OS. Apple have support articles for group FaceTime on Mac and iOS.

Messages - the built-in text chat app is also useful for keeping in touch with people using Apple products. We mentioned that on the Mac this also provides one-to-one screensharing including remote control, very handy for giving and receiving technical help. Whilst a screen share is active, audio chat is also available.

Skype - Skype offers free cross platform audio and video calling as well as text chat. It supports group video calls and view-only screensharing.

zoom.us - This group meeting service is being widely used during the COVID-19 outbreak and had has support for screen sharing and more structured meetings with designated presenters. There is a free plan where meetings are limited to 40 minutes at which point the host has to refresh. A number of privacy issues have been reported recently to which Zoom has responded.

It’s important to setup your Zoom meeting correctly to avoid unwanted participants potentially “crashing” the meeting.

Jitsi Meet - This free and open source service offers unlimited online meetings with screen sharing in computer web browsers or dedicated iOS and Android apps. Currently the only fully supported Mac browser appears to be Google Chrome but Safari support is in the works.

Keeping Entertained

Some ways of keeping entertained while staying at home were mentioned:

News Discussion