Online meeting apps are tools for your computer or phone that let you have meetings with people even if they are far away. These apps are used for having discussions, sharing information, and working together even when you can’t be in the same place. They are super important in today's world because they help teams from different places to come together and work as if they're in the same room.
According to Zipdo, a number of people, around 47%, think that online meetings are more valuable than meeting face-to-face. Almost 9 out of 10 employees say that using these apps for meetings helps to avoid misunderstandings when the team is far away. Also, 73% of companies are investing in these technologies for virtual meetings.
These apps are great for making teams feel connected, improving how they work together, and reducing any confusion that might happen when you can't meet in person. They help ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Read on to find the best online meeting apps to help make teamwork smoother and more efficient.
Why Online Meeting Apps Are Important
Online meeting apps have become increasingly important in recent years due to the rise of remote work and the need for virtual communication. Here are some reasons why they are essential:
1. Increased Flexibility
Online meeting apps are super flexible because they allow people to work from anywhere, like at home, in a cafe, or even while traveling. These apps are handy for different sectors like businesses, schools, and healthcare.
For example, imagine a team working on a project. With online meeting apps, they can have a video conference call even if they're in different cities. This flexibility saves time and money as they don't need to travel. According to a study by Research Gate, in the future, many companies will choose hybrid work patterns because of the flexibility it offer, making these apps super important. It means these virtual meeting tools are set to stay successful now and in the future.
Online meeting software saves money by reducing the need for travel. For instance, a company can have important meetings without spending on plane tickets or hotel stays. Using these apps means people from different places can meet up without the extra costs of traveling. This makes it cost-effective for companies as they don't need to budget for travel expenses each time they need to talk.
3. Improved Collaboration
Online meeting apps boost collaboration by offering helpful features like screen sharing, file sharing, and virtual whiteboards. Let's say a team is working on a project. With these apps, they can share their screens to show what they're working on, share essential files instantly, and even draw or write ideas on a virtual whiteboard. This helps everyone work together better, even in different places. Such features make teamwork smoother and more effective.
4. Recording Feature
The best online meeting apps often have a recording feature, which can be super helpful. Imagine in school, a teacher uses an online meeting app for classes. With the recording feature, the teacher can record the lesson. This is really useful for students who miss the class. They can watch the recording later to catch up on what they missed.
5. Increased Accessibility
Online meeting apps are super accessible. You can use these platforms on computers, smartphones, and tablets. For example, if you're using your computer for a meeting and suddenly need to move, you can easily switch to your phone or tablet without missing anything. This accessibility makes it convenient for people to join meetings wherever they are.
Top 5 Best Online Meeting Apps
There are many platforms where you can meet online and collaborate. Below are the top 5 from all we have tested and researched online.
Zoom is a widely used online meeting app that serves as a virtual space for people from different locations. It helps people to engage in discussions, collaborate, and share ideas. This helps foster an inclusive environment for remote communication and work.
Zoom Meeting Features
- Creating and scheduling meetings. Easily organize and plan meetings at preferred times.
- Participating in meetings. Join discussions and collaborate via video, voice, or chat options.
- Hosting meetings. Lead meetings and share documents or visuals using screen-sharing features.
- Participant engagement features. Encourage active participation through various tools such as reactions and breakout rooms.
- Viewing captions in another language. Access captions in different languages for enhanced understanding.
Zoom Meeting Pros
- HD video and audio. Offers high-quality visuals and clear sound for a superior meeting experience.
- Built-in collaboration features. Provides tools for easy collaboration, including whiteboards and document sharing.
- End-to-end encryption. Ensures meetings remain private and secure through encryption.
- Recording and transcripts. Allows for meeting recordings and access to written transcripts for reference.
Zoom Meeting Cons
- Lack of comment control. Limited ability to manage comments during meetings, potentially causing distractions.
- App download required. Necessitates downloading the app before immediate meeting access.
Zoom Meeting Pricing
- Basic plan. Free option with a 40-minute meeting limit and accommodation for up to 100 attendees.
- Pro plan. Priced at $149.90/year/user, it offers longer meetings (up to 30 hours) with 100 attendees.
- Business plan. Priced at $199.90/year/user, providing up to 30 hours and accommodating 300 attendees.
- Business plus & enterprise plans. Contact Zoom for detailed pricing information. Both offer 30 hours per meeting, with attendee limits varying.
Who Is Zoom Meeting the Ideal Option For?
Zoom serves a diverse user base, catering to people, small businesses, and large enterprises. Its specialty lies in reliable, large-scale video calls. They offer top-notch audio and video quality while ensuring a user-friendly interface for discussions and collaborations across different sectors.
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is another excellent online meeting tool catering to various sectors, offering a comprehensive platform for remote communication, file sharing, and collaborative work. It is a virtual space where individuals and teams can connect, communicate, and collaborate effectively.
Microsoft Teams Features
- Teams and channels. Allows the creation of distinct teams and channels for organized discussions and collaboration.
- Conversations within channels and teams. Smooth communication within designated channels and teams for focused discussions.
- Document storage in SharePoint. Securely store and share files via SharePoint for easy access and collaborative editing.
- Video calling and screen sharing. Conduct video calls and share screens to enable more interactive discussions.
- Chat function. Provides a chat feature for instant communication and updates.
Microsoft Teams Pros
- No additional cost for those already using Microsoft 365. Included within Microsoft 365 subscriptions, ensuring cost-effectiveness.
- Easy file search. Enables easy and efficient file search, fostering smoother workflow.
- Helpful bots. Offers support from bots for tasks like repetitive and everyday tasks and assistance during meetings.
Microsoft Teams Cons
- Unnecessary storage consumption. May lead to excess storage usage due to unnecessary or redundant files.
- Lack of notifications. Some users may face issues with notifications, potentially causing missed alerts.
Microsoft Teams Pricing
- Microsoft teams plan. Free plan providing group calling for up to 60 minutes and accommodating 100 participants, along with unlimited chat for friends and family.
- Microsoft 365 personal plan. Priced at $5.99/month, it offers features from the teams plan plus tailored for one person, with a group calling for up to 30 hours and 300 participants.
- Microsoft 365 family plan. Similar to the teams' plan but available for up to six people, providing group calling for up to 30 hours and 300 participants.
- Microsoft teams essentials plan. Priced at $4.00 per user/month, it offers unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours with a 300 participant limit per meeting.
- Microsoft 365 business basic plan. Priced at $6.00 user/month, inclusive of features from the essentials plan and additional attributes like live captions in meetings across 30 languages.
- Microsoft 365 business-standard. Priced at $12.50 per user/month, includes features from the business basic plan and adds desktop versions of Microsoft 365 apps with premium features.
Who Is Microsoft Teams the Ideal Option For?
Microsoft Teams is a versatile tool suitable for home use, businesses, enterprises, and educational settings. It excels in providing an integrated platform for effective communication, fostering collaboration among different user groups in diverse sectors.
3. Google Meet
Google Meet is a user-friendly video conferencing tool ideal for small organizations and individuals seeking an integrated solution within Google Drive. It offers various features to facilitate virtual meetings and foster accessible communication and collaboration.
Google Meet Features
- In-meeting chat. Enables instant messaging during meetings for real-time communication.
- Live closed captions in a video call. Provides live captions enhancing accessibility for participants.
- Virtual backgrounds/visual effects. Users can customize their environment during calls.
- Meeting scheduling or instant meetings. Facilitates easy scheduling or immediate setup for on-the-go meetings.
- Engaging with larger groups. Accommodates up to 1000 people in a single meeting for expanded interactions.
Google Meet Pros
- Better integration with Google Workspace. Seamlessly integrates with other Google Workspace tools for enhanced productivity.
- Superior audio and video quality. Provides high-quality audio and video for a better meeting experience.
- Advanced security features. Ensures robust security measures for meeting privacy and confidentiality.
- Better accessibility features. Offers improved accessibility options for a more inclusive meeting environment.
Google Meet Cons
- Screen sharing restrictions. Some limitations on screen sharing functionality during meetings, like the ability for free users to disable screen sharing by using a third-party tool like Safe Doc, users needing to enable screen recording permission from Google Chrome, etc.
- Blank presentation problems. Occasional issues may arise with blank or faulty presentations.
- Limited features. A few feature limitations compared to other platforms may affect user experience. These limitations include participant limits, time limits, etc.
Google Meet Pricing
- Business starter plan. Priced at $6 per user/month with a one-year commitment, offering secure business email and 100 participant video meetings.
- Business standard Plan. Priced at $12 per user/month with a one-year commitment, it offers secure business email, 150 participant video meetings, and recording features.
- Business plus plan. Priced at $18 per user/month with a one-year commitment, including secure business email, eDiscovery, retention, 500 participant video meetings, and recording, with attendance tracking.
- Enterprise plan. Requires contacting sales for pricing. Secure business email, eDiscovery, retention, S/MIME encryption, 1000 participant video meetings, recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, and in-domain live streaming.
Who Is Google Meet the Ideal Option For?
Google Meet is most suitable for small organizations and individuals looking for a user-friendly video conferencing solution that seamlessly integrates with Google Drive. It provides an accessible and integrated platform for effective communication and collaboration within a smaller user base.
4. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex conference calls are an ideal platform for a broad spectrum of users, including small businesses, large enterprises, and individuals. Recognized for its strength across various use cases, from conferences and live webinars to IT support and multimedia presentations, Webex offers a versatile and reliable solution.
Cisco Webex Features
- Free video calls and screen sharing. Allows for free video calls and effortless screen sharing during meetings.
- Reliable webinar delivery. Ensures reliable and smooth webinar delivery for larger audiences.
- Easy online presentation. Facilitates effortless online presentations for dynamic discussions.
- Collaboration with your team. Enables seamless collaboration among team members.
Cisco Webex Pros
- Simple user interface. Webex boasts a user-friendly and straightforward interface for easy navigation.
- Desktop and document sharing. Users can effortlessly share their desktops and documents during meetings.
- Quick change of presenters and whiteboards. Swiftly change presenters and create whiteboards for interactive sessions.
Cisco Webex Cons
- Default browser choice is Internet Explorer. The platform primarily defaults to Internet Explorer, which may limit user preferences.
Cisco Webex Pricing
- Webex free plan. $0, offering a free account with no end date, 40-minute meeting length, no wait time between meetings, and up to 100 attendees.
- Webex meet plan. Priced at $14.50, providing everything in the free plan with extended meeting length of up to 24 hours and accommodating up to 200 attendees.
- Webex suite plan (meet + call). Priced at $25, including features from the meet plan and additional business phone number services, allowing calls to any telephone number.
- Webex enterprise. Requires contacting for pricing, encompassing features from the suite plan and accommodating up to 1,000 attendees.
Who Is Cisco Webex the Ideal Option For?
Cisco Webex is optimal for a wide range of users due to its adaptability and strength across various use cases. Especially recognized for its robustness in enterprise applications, it serves as a proficient platform for conferences, live webinars, IT support, and multimedia presentations, integrating slides and videos seamlessly for effective communication and collaboration.
Skype presents a versatile platform ideal for various users, ranging from small businesses to large enterprises. It offers a free plan that's widely popular, particularly among freelancers, providing an easy-to-use interface for seamless online communication and collaboration.
- Blur background. Users can blur their background for a more focused video call.
- Incoming video control. Option to toggle incoming video on or off during calls.
- Subtitles control. Users can switch subtitles on or off for better comprehension.
- Adding people to call. Capability to include more participants during a call.
- Call recording. Allows the recording of calls for future reference.
- Screen sharing. Enables users to share their screens during the call.
- Attractive and straightforward UI. Offers an interface that's visually appealing and easy to navigate.
- Audio and video Skype-to-Skype calls. Free audio and video calls are available in the free version.
- Calling mobile phones. Ability to make calls to mobile phones.
- Intrusive ads for free users. Free users might find the ads somewhat disruptive during their experience.
Group video calling. National calls are free, accommodating up to 100 participants, and accessible across various devices. International calls are paid for; you must buy a Skype Credit by searching the country or region and selecting the subscription of your choice. This subscription is different for countries or regions.
Who Is Skype the Ideal Option For?
Skype caters to a broad user base, which smakes it suitable for small businesses and large enterprises, and particularly popular among freelancers due to its free plan. Its user-friendly interface and varied functionalities allow for effective online communication and collaboration, presenting an excellent choice for individuals and businesses seeking a cost-effective and straightforward solution.
How To Choose the Right Online Meeting App for Your Needs?
Choosing a video conferencing app that is the best for you can be a daunting task. This is because of the number of options available in the market. Here are some tips to help you select the right one for your needs:
1. Identify Your Needs
First, figure out what you truly need. Consider how many people might join your meeting and how long it might last. For instance, if you need to meet with many people, tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams that allow for a larger number of participants could work. If you want features like recording or screen sharing, Skype or Webex offer these abilities.
Don’t forget your budget, too – some tools, like Skype, provide free services for a certain number of participants and meeting duration, which can be helpful if you're tight on budget. Understanding these needs will guide you to the right tool.
2. Consider the Features
Check for the things that matter most to you. Think about what features you really need, like sharing your screen or having good-quality video and audio. If you want to record your meetings, tools such as Skype or Webex have this capability.
For collaborative work, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet could be the right choice because they offer features for team projects. Make sure the app you choose has the features that are important for making your meetings successful and productive.
3. Check Compatibility
Make sure the app works on your devices, like your computer, tablet, or phone. Check if it runs on your operating system, such as Windows or iOS. Tools like Skype and Zoom usually work on many devices and systems.
Also, see if it connects with other tools you already use, like Google Docs or Dropbox. This way, it becomes easier to work and share things during your meetings. Ensuring compatibility helps you have a smooth experience with the app and your existing tools.
4. Look For User-Friendliness
To know if an app is user-friendly, see if it's easy to figure out without much trouble. Check if it has a simple layout and clear instructions. Look for an app that doesn't need extra explanations to use.
Also, see if it's easy to move around in the app – finding options and starting a meeting should be straightforward. A user-friendly app saves time because you won't waste it figuring out how things work. So, keep an eye out for an app that feels easy to use, as it'll help your meetings run smoother and quicker.
5. Read Reviews
To know if an app is good for you, read what others say about it. Look at reviews and ratings online – websites like Capterra, G2, or the app stores (like Google Play Store or Apple App Store) can help.
Users share if the app is reliable, easy to use, and how good their support is. Reading these reviews gives you an idea of what it's really like to use the app. So, checking these places will help you make a good choice and find an app that people like and find helpful.
Future of Online Meeting Apps
The online meeting apps market, according to V Link Info, was worth $7.01 billion in 2022 and is predicted to expand to $7.84 billion in 2023. Projections indicate substantial growth, expected to reach $22.26 billion by 2032, showing an annual growth rate of 11.9%.
This growth emphasizes the increasing significance of online meeting apps in the coming years. It reflects the growing reliance on virtual communication for various purposes. The statistics indicate a dynamic future, signifying the increasing reliance on these tools for effective remote communication, collaboration, and connection in the evolving global landscape.