Tech Tip: Have a Group Chat on an iPad

By on Oct 12, 2017

Q. How do you make a three-way video call on an iPad? Does FaceTime allow this?

A. FaceTime — Apple’s built-in audio- and video-chat app for its iOS devices and Mac computers — currently does not support calling more than one person at a time. While FaceTime group calls are possibly in the works, you still need to use a third-party app like Houseparty or Fam (which works within the Messages app and iMessage service) for video calls with three people. Visit the App Store for more alternatives.

Other apps you may already use could also work for group calls. For example, if everyone in the group has a Gmail or Google account, you can use the Google Hangouts app for video chats with up to 10 people on the screen. Unlike FaceTime, which works only on Apple gear, Google Hangouts allows you to have group video conversations with people using Android devices and computer web browsers along with Apple hardware.

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The Google Hangouts app for iPad is one program that can make audio and video calls to groups of people.

Credit
The New York Times

Skype is another app that many people have used for years to make voice and video calls. The service is owned by Microsoft and has become part of the Office 365 suite, but new users can still download the app and make free group video calls with up to 25 people — as long as the calls are from Skype to Skype users.

Facebook announced late last year that it was adding a group video chat function to its Facebook Messenger app. If all the members of your calling party use Facebook Messenger on their iOS or Android devices, you can have a video conversation with up to six of them at once.

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