Best video conferencing option from Android to iPhone
June 4, 2020 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Due to Covid, our doula will not be able to accompany us in the delivery room. We are trying to figure out options for videoconferencing.

We have Android phones and she has an iPhone so we don't have Facetime and she doesn't have Hangouts. So far, we have tried using Skype on our phone while she used Skype on her computer but we were getting no audio from her end. We suggested that she also try using Skype on her phone next time, as the video and mic is already built in so there's nothing to fiddle with. She said she'd be okay to try that, but are there other videoconferencing apps that are better? We obviously do not want to be troubleshooting this while I'm in labor. Oh, and I know Zoom is popular as well but neither of us have a paid account. Is it worth it to buy for this one occasion?
posted by Forty-eight to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try Zoom for free and if it works for you (which it should, it's easy) then get a paid account, it's like $14 and only one of you needs a paid account.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:01 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

For Android to iPhone video conferencing, I've had problems with Hangouts and Skype. WhatsApp is no-frills and works.
posted by jcatus at 2:25 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Google Duo
posted by bluecore at 2:49 PM on June 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

IIRC Zoom doesn't impose the time limit if you only have two phones on the call, and it works fine on both Android and iPhone - better, IME, than Duo.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2020

WhatsApp or Jitsi
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:19 PM on June 4, 2020

Instagram also now has video chat.
posted by xo at 3:40 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

My advice would be to practice a couple and have a backup service so you can switch if for some reason your first choice platform has issues while you are in labour!
posted by freethefeet at 3:51 PM on June 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

WhatsApp should do it. I recommend one or more trial runs too!
posted by bleep at 4:35 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Discord has video chat. We have been using it for AD&D sessions. Though it is used a lot by the gaming community, it seems like something that could used just as well for any other videoconference purpose. Seemed to work fine and it is free, as near as I can tell, and supports a mix of client platforms.

Zoom also works well, though it costs money if you want security and any session longer than 40 minutes. I use it to keep in touch with my parents and brother. Someone would need to pay and host the meeting, though.

Test out either option with your doula, first, to work out any kinks in setup and starting a session.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:59 PM on June 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I use Hangouts on my iPhone every day. Works great.
posted by gryphonlover at 5:16 PM on June 4, 2020

We use Google Duo no problem in a mixed Android and iPhone family. Hangouts also works fine but Duo's slicker. Zoom is good too.

Having recently been through labor myself I'd suggest you plan for all possibilities and install and test all of them. That way if you need to make a change halfway through, you have the option (not so for the epidural...).
posted by epanalepsis at 5:32 PM on June 4, 2020

I've tried ALL the video conferencing tools in the last few months, and had already tried some of them even before then. The only one that is at all reliable and pleasant to use is Zoom. You absolutely do not need a paid account if there's only two parties on the call, unless you're concerned about law enforcement requesting your birth videos. Facetime is the closest runner up but really Zoom is the only one that Just Works, always. Trust me, you don't want to be dealing with the terrible, terrible way that Jitsi handles connections at a crucial and emotional time, or with the truly bizarre muting algorithms on, say, Skype. Just use Zoom.
posted by Acheman at 5:28 AM on June 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

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