Video calls on Ipad2 or Xoom
June 27, 2011 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Will I have a decent experience trying to have regular video chats with my kids using an Apple Ipad2 or Motorola Xoom? What hardware/software would work best for the family PC?

I will be away from home for an extended period, and have been thinking about buying either an Ipad2 or Xoom as a splurge. One of the benefits I can see is that with the cameras on the tablet, I might be able to stay better in touch with my kids via video.

The family at home does not use any Apple products, so Facetime on the Ipad doesn't appear to be an option. So what software should we use? Absent the use of Facetime, what is the actual user experience like using a tablet for video calls? Are there material differences in the video call experience between the Ipad and Xoom?

There's currently no webcam for the home PC, so I'm looking for recommendations regarding what hardware pitfalls there might be there.

Bonus question: I have an Android phone with PDAnet that I use for my laptop when traveling. The bandwidth via the tethered phone is adequate for most of my websurfing, but my assumption is that using a tethered phone's 3G connection for videoconferencing on the tablet isn't a viable option. Any real-world experience on this issue would be helpful, too.
posted by QuantumMeruit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I do skype and facetime on my Ipad2 and it's wonderful. Perfect for what I need. Since you can't do FT, skype will be more than enough for what you need.

Skype will work over 3g as well.
posted by damiano99 at 8:55 AM on June 27, 2011

We use Facetime and Skype to keep in touch with overseas grandparents, and MrJoh when he is traveling. Mr Joh recently bought an iPad2, and it is great for this.
posted by Joh at 9:18 AM on June 27, 2011

Sype is pretty great at this. I used to skype with a coworker in Australia all the time (from the SF bay area). And yes, available on iPads & PCs, at least until Microsoft decides otherwise.
posted by chairface at 6:31 PM on June 27, 2011

The downside (right now) to Skype on the iPad is that the iPad-native version hasn't been released yet. So you'll be running the iPhone version pixel-doubled. Web chats aren't exactly clear, so that might be OK for you.

There is another chat client called ooVoo that has an iPad native version, and it seems to work all right.
posted by bigdamnnerd at 1:22 PM on June 30, 2011

Facetime doesn't always work. Last night and this morning both, my partner and I could ring each other up, but the connection refused to complete. Even after reboot, and it didn't mater who initiated the call.
posted by Goofyy at 10:06 PM on July 4, 2011

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