Best video calling apps to help with co-parenting (2021)

Best video calling apps to help with co-parenting | Beanstalk Mums

Note: This article is checked regularly to ensure the information is recent and fresh. Last updated in 2021.

In most family breakups, share care arrangements for children become the norm. This means your kids will live between two homes and spend time away from the other parent. It’s hard for them. And it’s hard for the parent who is not with them. The solution: Video calling apps.

Luckily there are plenty to choose from and most of them are completely free or have a free option that is enough for this purpose.

But which video chat app is best for you and your family?

In this article we provide a list video chat tools for both:

  • One-on-one chats
  • Group video chats

So keep reading and find out everything you need to know to keep your separated family communicating.

    Best video calling apps for co-parented kids in 2021

    HOUSEPARTY

    Houseparty is one of those video call apps that let you play games while chatting with family members. Chat with up to eight people on your screen and have a ‘house party,’ celebrate a birthday or just hang out. The entire family can join in on games like Heads Up, Chips and Guac (like Cards Against Humanity) and Quick Draw (like Pictionary). Some of the trendier aspects of the games might fly over the heads of older adults, but it’s really fun for the kiddos and teens. Houseparty is fairly easy to use if you’re tech savvy, but other people might need some time to get used to the interface.

    Houseparty | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android, Website

    Cost: Free, in-app purchases start at $1

    Pros: Fun, you can play games, great for teens and kids

    Cons: Can be hard to navigate at first, some of the trendy content can be lost on older adults

    You will love this app if: You have older teens or young adults and want a fun way to communicate.

    FACETIME

    Facetime is the number one video calling app for iOS users. It’s pre-installed in iPhones, it’s free, and works great most of the time if you have a strong connection. Facetime lets you online chat with up to 32 people from anywhere in the world over cellular data, but it works best for one-on-one calls or a small group. Probably the best thing about Facetime is the HD quality video calls (up to 720p on Macs). The image is crystal clear compared to similar apps, especially if you have a strong WiFi connection. And even if Facetime isn’t running, you still receive incoming calls without opening the app.

    Video calling apps | FaceTime | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple

    Cost: Free over Wifi

    Pros: Easy to use, invite up to 32 people, lots of fun features, high definition video

    Cons: Requires an Apple device, works best for one-to-one calls

    You will love this app if: You’re an iOS user who wants an easy-to-use app to check in on kids, parents and grandparents.

    BUNCH

    Next on our list of video calling apps: Like Houseparty, Bunch combines video chatting with games and Snapchat-like filters to make virtual huddles a fun experience. The user interface pops with colour and there’s a lot of filters/animations that you can use to customise your screen. The games are fun and range from easy peasy to super difficult. There’s a drawing game similar to Pictionary, a billiards game and a trivia game. You can also play third party games like Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft. Pro tip: Installing the games on your first go can eat up a lot of time. Skip this process if you only want straight video online chat.

    Video calling apps | Bunch | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android

    Cost: Free

    Pros: Fun games and video chat for the younger crowd

    Cons: Installing games can take a while

    You will love this app if: You’re a gamer or you have kids who love games.

    AIRTIME

    Ever wanted to share a cool video with your friend while you’re on video chat? Airtime lets you do that and more. You can chat and watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, listen to music and share photos. Plus, you can create private rooms and party rooms for different people, as well as customising your screen with animated stickers. Airtime lets you chat with up to 10 people at the same time. It’s a fun way to connect with friends and family during isolation, but not ideal for younger kids without supervision. Overall, the app is easy to use and set up, and it’s completely free. Just remember that the app collects a ton of information about you based on what you share with others. All up, a good choice on our list of video calling apps.

    Airtime | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Android, Apple

    Cost: Free

    Pros: Fun, easy to use and set up, great for teens and young adults

    Cons: Not ideal for young kids, privacy policy could be improved

    You will love this app if: You have teens and young adults who want a fun video chat tool.

    BOOYAH

    Booyah is a video chat app similar to Facetime but is designed specifically for WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app for Android. The fact that WhatsApp doesn’t have a video conferencing feature and that you need to install another extension to enable that is a huge drag. But if you already have WhatsApp and you need video chat, definitely get Booyah. You can add contacts from WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Simply send a link to invite up to 12 people for the video chat. No need for guests to sign up.

    Booyah Group Video Chat for WhatsApp | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Android

    Cost: Free

    Pros: Invite contacts from other apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat

    Cons: Designed for WhatsApp on Android

    You will love this app if: You’re a WhatsApp user.

    WHICH APP IS BEST FOR VIDEO GROUP CALLING?

    ZOOM

    You’ve probably used Zoom for work. It’s one of the best video call apps for large teams and families–you can invite up to a hundred people for meetings and classes. It is the go-to video app for many professionals working from home. If you’re a co-parent with lots of kids, Zoom is perfect for connecting with multiple family members at the same time. Setting up Zoom is easy if you already know your how to use Skype and similar apps. Plus, you can customise your screen with fun backgrounds, effects and the popular grid layout.

    Video calling apps | Zoom | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android, Website

    Cost: Free version available, Zoom Pro $14.99/month, Zoom Business $19.99/month

    Pros: Invite up to 500 people (paid version), screen sharing, record meetings

    Cons: App can be hard to use and navigate in the beginning, free 40-minute call limit can be annoying

    You will love this app if: You work from home or you’re already familiar with video conferencing tools.

    SKYPE (one of the original video calling apps)

    Skype’s massive user base and brand recognition are hard to beat when it comes to video call apps. Nifty features like a clean layout that’s easy to navigate, multimedia-sharing, video call recording, live captions, call translate and end-to-end encrypted messaging make it a great app for separated families to connect with each other. It’s also free and lets you invite up to 50 users for a meeting. Just a note for iOS users: currently you can’t run Skype in the background to receive incoming calls (might change in the future with an iOS update).

    Video Calling Apps | Skype | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android, Website

    Cost: Free option, paid version starts at $7.99/month

    Pros: Feature-packed, easy to use, good sound and image quality

    Cons: Not the best video call app for iOS users

    You will love this app if: You are new to video call apps or you already use Skype to connect with co-workers and family.

    Best online chat tools (cont.)

    GOTALK

    Unlike other video call apps, GoTalk requires no log ins or software installations for guests. Simply make a link, connect using your computer or phone, and video chat with up to three other people for free. The link can be shared on social media, instant messaging apps or through text. We like that GoTalk allows you to make custom links in any language–perfect if you have family members living in other countries. GoTalk works best on Chrome in Windows, Mac and Android. For iOS users, you need to use the Safari browser instead of Chrome, which can cause lags in streaming.

    GoTalk | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android, Website

    Cost: Free version available, premium starts at $7.99

    Pros: Can create paid rooms for meetings and seminars, on-screen titles and annotations, up to full HD video quality

    Cons: You can only invite up to 3 people, requires strong broadband connection for smooth streaming, iOS users need to use Safari to avoid delayed streaming

    You will love this app if: You are a professional or business owner who wants to monetize videos or online lessons.

    GOOGLE HANGOUT

    If you’re already using Gmail (and who isn’t), give Google Hangout a try. It’s accessible from your email and easy to use even if you’re new to video conferencing. Just go to the Google Hangout page and invite people directly from your contact list. It’s best to open a pop out window for chatting instead of having the conference from your inbox as people can see your email messages. The quality of calls is far from exceptional, and it’s very noticeable if you have poor to average broadband connectivity. You can also get dropped randomly from large group chats. When this happens you have to reconnect manually as it won’t add you back in. While not perfect, Google Hangout is extremely easy to use even for the tech averse, and you can start chatting with family, friends or colleagues in seconds.

    Best Online Tools for Quarantine | Google Hangout | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Android, Apple, Website

    Cost: Free

    Pros: Easy to use and accessible for Gmail users

    Cons: No grid layout, users report connectivity issues, you can get randomly dropped from large group chats

    You will love this app if: You already have a Gmail account and want an accessible video call app.

    WHEREBY

    Last but not least on our list of video calling apps: Whereby is a professional collaboration tool that lets you setup meetings with team members easily. It’s geared towards professionals and businesses instead of families, with highly-rated audio calls, video conferencing and muting features. The app also supports polls, scheduling and annotations. One of Whereby’s best features is that guests don’t need to download or sign in. They can connect right away and start chatting. Whereby is an excellent communication tool if you mostly use a laptop or desktop computer.

    Best Online Tools for Quarantine | Whereby | Beanstalk Mums

    Available via: Apple, Android, Website

    Cost: Free option (limited functionality), paid version starts at $9.99/month

    Pros: Easy to use, guests don’t need to download or install software, video conferencing is done via web browser

    Cons: No app version, can join other groups/calls by mistake

    You will love this app if: You are a co-parent who runs a small business or a professional connecting with clients and partners.

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