Some of you may have already got your head around this subject already, but for those of you who are a little shy of technology, we have looked into the various ways in which you can communicate during lockdown and stay in touch with those you love and care about.
So of course we have all had to adapt during this pandemic. From social distancing to self-isolation, it has been tough on us all and we have had to find other ways to communicate with our loved ones. One of the most simple of these communication tools is an old favourite and that’s called Skype.
Using Skype to Stay In Touch
Skype can be found by either using a search engine browser, by downloading an app to your phone or onto your computer. Depending on which device you want to use, you can either go to skype.com or you go to an online app store on your phone and download the Skype App. You then set up your login details using an email address and by setting a password. Using the details you have now set-up you can then login and start using it.
Skype is fairly easy to use in terms of understanding what bits to click to communicate the way you want. You can send simple messages and links to each other, you can call each other using your device’s built in microphone, or you can video call each other.
All you need to know is the username of the person you want to call. Type it in to the search box on the right of the screen and then click to the telephone or video symbol which will start the call.
Skype has been around for a while now. This means that Microsoft have had a chance to build in a huge number of useful features. From blurring the background (in case you haven’t had a chance to tidy up before the call) to recording your call so you can review it again afterwards. You can even share your screen making it easy for you to show your caller the subject you are looking at on your screen.
You can even host meetings on Skype. You set up a meeting by giving it a name and then Skype will generate a unique link that only the people who you send the link to can access.
Using Google Meet
The next communication option we looked at is called Google Meet. It is a fairly new feature that was added to the mainstream earlier this year. Provided you have a Google account it is free to everyone. You will be able to find it in the lower left side of your Gmail account, or it can also be found in the Google Suite grid which is the 3 x 3 grid of spots at the top left of your Google Chrome browser when you are logged in.
Google Meet is replacing the pre-existing Google Hang-outs which started happening in October 2019.
Google Meet hasn’t been around as long as Skype but Google have put the work in to make it a useful communication tool. You can host or join meetings. You can switch views so that your screen either jumps to the active speaker or you can see all the other attendees at once. You can even mute your screen and add real time subtitles if you need to be quiet but don’t have earphones.
It really is a doddle and is certainly worth a look.
Using Zoom to Stay in Touch
The last of the communication options we are looking at in this instalment is Zoom. Zoom has taken the online meeting world by storm during this pandemic.
It has a number of options in terms of pricing but of course we are primarily looking the free version.
It allows you to set up meetings of up to 100 people at any one time. However, it does limit the time you can have a meeting down to just 40 minutes in the free version.
Zoom, like Google Meet has a huge number of useful features. You have the same view options and you can mute your microphone during a call until you are ready to speak. You can also join anywhere on any device and you can even add backgrounds to your screen to mask your real background to make your meeting look extra cool.
Zoom is a fantastic tool for online meetings and is definitely worth consideration if you want to communicate during lockdown to stay in touch with those you love, easily and securely online.
We hope this has been of help to those who hadn’t got to grips with the world of online meetings yet.
Good luck and stay safe.