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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

7 Must-Have Video Technology Items to Help You Stay in Contact with Your Friends and Family

As the end of the year approaches, it's easy to become nostalgic and want to contact friends and family we haven't had the chance to connect with during the year. Sure you could call them, email them or even message via text or social media ... but those forms of technology don't offer the face to face connection we need. Video is dominating the internet and there video conferencing is a great way to stay in touch with family members and friends. There are a lot of apps and technology that can help you. Here is a list of my favorite ones.

1. Zoom. I love the ease of use of Zoom and the fact that it can support 1000 video participants' rocks. This amount of people is geared more for small businesses, but for the family it can come in handy if you have family members located in different locations and you all want to do a video chat at the same time.

2. Skype. One of the more popular video chat apps because of it's easy setup and ease of use. We've set up countless of our senior customers at Integral with this app which has allowed people to stay connected with family no matter where they are in the world.

3. Facetime. Apple's video conferencing app is popular, but it only works with people who have Apple devices. This was the preferred app that our family used to connect with my mother in law ... until she switched to a Google Android Phone.

4. Google Duo. This is Google's answer to Facetime ... the only downside, it's designed only for smartphones. There's no computer app for it. If you have younger family members this works great, but for older adults, you should probably stick with Skype

5. Facebook Messenger. You probably didn't realize you can make video calls with Facebook Messenger, but you can. For us within your Facebook desktop or smartphone app or you can just download the Facebook Messenger app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and make calls. It's easy to use and great to have if you have family members young and old that are already using Facebook.

6. Amazon Alexa Show. Our smart home started with an Echo Dot, but not long after we upgrade to an Alexa show which opened us up to a whole new world. Not do these devices act as a hub from your smart home devices, you can also use the video to view your smart doorbell and to make video calls to friends and family. Alexa also lets you make calls to people who have Skype.

7. Google Home Hub. Like Alexa, Google is an excellent smart home hub that allows you to make video calls to friends and family. If your family member doesn't have a Google Home Hub, have them connect with Google Duo.

Video technology can never replace face to face time with friends and family, but it's good to have an alternative when time and distance separates you from your loved ones. Take advantage of these cool tech products and make sure your relationships with those dear to you flourish in your life.

Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to If you prefer to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I want to make technology fun and exciting for you. 

If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. My team of friendly tech experts are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us a or phone at 888.256.0829. 

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