What do I need to get started?
There are several apps that allow you to make video calls. Skype can be easily downloaded on any device – computer, phone, or tablet – and is simple and secure to use. WhatsApp is another simple phone app, that allows you to send messages to one person, or groups of people, as well as video calling. Sometimes your device will have a video calling app built in, like Facetime on iPhone and iPad, or Google Duo on Android phones and tablets.
Does video calling use data?
Yes, video calling uses data, so make sure you are connected to your home internet and have plenty of data or check your mobile phone plan has enough data, so you don’t end up with a large phone bill. If you are on a limited data plan, e.g. 5GB, you can look at your usage before a call, speak for ten minutes and check it again, then you can multiply by six to work out how much data an hour long call will use.
Who can I video call?
You can video call one person or a group of people, who have the same app as you, anywhere in the world. It can be great for getting groups of family or friends together virtually, especially when you can’t physically be together.
Video calls can be social and fun – so you can call at dinnertime and share a ‘virtual meal’ or call over a coffee. If you have grandkids, on a video call you can play games, read them stories, sing them happy birthday or blow them bedtime kisses.
Video calling tips
Always check your own camera image
The majority of video calling apps will offer you a small version of your own video in the corner of the screen so you can see what the person you are calling sees. Check this frequently during the call to make sure your face is in the frame and your callers can see you clearly. It’s easy when holding a tablet or phone to accidentally point the camera too high or low, and become a headless caller!
Pause before you speak
Video calling often has a very slight delay, so it’s good to pause and let the other person finish speaking to avoid talking over them.
Lighting is your friend
Make your video calls in a well-lit area either by sitting facing a window or turning the lights up in the room. Make sure you don’t have a bright window or light behind you, or you’ll end up looking like a silhouette.
Noise and background
To ensure you can be heard clearly, try to limit background noise, such as a loud TV, as this can be distracting and make it hard for people to hear you.
If you would like some assistance setting up video calling and apps to help you remain socially connected, call ECH on 1300 275 324. An ECH Home Support Team Member can assist, alternatively speak to your Relationship Manager or Resident Liaison Officer.