Which video calling app is the best?
Video calls have become increasingly popular in recent years, whether for work, school or personal use. Not everyone has an iPhone and can’t FaceTime when they want to see a friend’s face, and services like Snapchat that allow video calls between all users aren’t super fleshed out.
Google Meet and Skype are two popular video calling choices that are well-established and reliable, but is one better than the other? Let’s look at these two services side by side!
Google Meet vs. Skype: ease of use
Both Google Meet and Skype are pretty easy to use, even for someone who isn’t tech-savvy. Each service is intuitive and practically takes your hand to the call once you click the link to open the video call.
The only reason Skype might have a slight advantage over Google Meet is that it doesn’t require you to create an account. Although you can join other people’s Google Meet calls without having a Google Account, you’ll need it to create your own meetings. All you need to join a Skype call is your host’s unique link. You can also create and host a free meeting through Skype’s Meet Now webpage.
Google Meet vs. Skype: Features
Basically, Google Meet and Skype are extremely similar services. Both allow you to make video calls with friends, family and colleagues. Any difference between the two is in the small details, like meeting length, international calling capability, and other unique features.
1. Duration of the meeting
The free version of Skype allows users to meet for up to 24 hours at a time. Google’s free version only allows 60 minutes per meeting. If you pay for a premium Google Workspace account, you can get up to 24 hours available per meeting.
For professional reasons, 60 minutes should be enough. But if you plan to use Skype or Google Meet for personal reasons, Skype might have the advantage here. Personal video chats can easily last over an hour.
2. Number of attendees
You can have a total of 100 people in a single Skype call with the free version. So if you are hosting a video call, you can invite up to 99 other people.
Google offers the same maximum of 100 participants for its free plan as Skype. However, Google Meet can have more participants with a paid Workspace plan, while Skype does not offer any paid plan for additional participants.
The Business Starter plan for $6 per month has the same 100 participant maximum as the free plan. With the Business Standard plan for $12 per month, you can have up to 150 participants; and with the Business Plus plan for $18 per month, you can have up to 500 attendees.
3. Apps and integrations
Skype and Google Meet offer many possibilities for integration. However, all of these integrations involve embedding Google Meet or Skype into another service, rather than the other way around. Zapier offers a ton of seamless Google Meet integrations, while Make offers plenty for Skype.
4. International meetings
With Google Meet, you can make free video calls with anyone in the world. However, if you want to call international dial-in numbers, you must purchase a Google Workspace plan and live in a country that supports Google Meet Global Dialing service.
The Business Starter plan for $6 per month supports the service, as well as all the more expensive plans above. This add-on does not charge a monthly subscription, but instead charges you per minute spent on a call.
Skype also allows participants from around the world to join a call for free. This is what makes Skype one of the best free Wi-Fi calling apps for almost any country. On the other hand, Skype charges you when you use premium features like voicemail, texting, or phone calls outside of Skype.
5. Visual effects
While there are other Chrome apps you can download for additional visual effects, there are also several built into Google Meet. Before you join a meeting, on the screen where you turn your camera and microphone on or off, there’s a Visual effects button in the lower right corner. Clicking it brings up a range of backgrounds and effects, including the option to blur your background if it’s messy and you just want to show your face.
Similarly, Skype lets you change your background during a meeting and add a fun mask to your face, like a panda or a puppy. Skype also offers something called Together Mode, which takes you and everyone else in the meeting and places your faces against a unique background, like an airplane or a festive birthday party scene.
Then users have long been able to use call reactions, where you throw an emoji at the screen instead of speaking, but now you can also use super reactions, which are more interactive emojis.
Google Meet vs Skype: Platform Compatibility
Google Meet works with all popular operating systems, including:
- The current and two previous major releases of Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS, Ubuntu, and other Debian-based Linux distributions.
- Android 5.0 and above as well as iOS 13 and above.
- Web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
Skype is available on all platforms that Google Meet is on, and more:
- Windows 7 or higher, Windows 10 Version 15 or higher, Windows 11 Version 15 or higher.
- macOS X 10.11 or higher.
- Linux versions Ubuntu 14.04+, Debian 8.0+, OpenSUSE 13.3+, Fedora Linux 24+.
- Android OS 4.04 or higher for smartphones and tablets.
- ChromeOS version M53 or higher.
- iOS 12.2 or higher for iPad and iPhone.
- Amazon Fire OS 7 or higher.
- Most web browsers including Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
- Xbox version 12.1815.210.107 for Xbox Series X/S or Xbox One.
Google Meet vs. Skype: Pricing
For personal use, most people can skate with Google Meet’s free plan. With a free Google account, you can create a video conference, invite up to 100 participants and meet for up to one hour per meeting. The only reason to take advantage of a paid plan is if you need longer meeting times, the ability to invite more participants, or special features, such as meeting recording, more Google Drive space or an international phone number.
Paid plans for Google Meet aren’t just about Google Meet; instead, you upgrade your Google Account, which gives you access to the entire suite of Google Workspace products, like Docs, Drive, and Sheets. Google’s Business Starter Plan costs $6 per month, and while it doesn’t increase the maximum number of participants, it does increase the meeting length from 60 minutes to 24 hours.
With the Business Standard plan for $12 per month, you can have up to 150 participants, meetings lasting up to 24 hours, and access special features like meeting recording, noise cancellation, and voicemail. breakout rooms. Then the Business Plus plan at $18 per month gives you all the features of the previous plans, plus a maximum of 500 participants.
Skype’s video services are completely free for all users, and you don’t even need to create an account with Skype to use the service. With a free link, you can set up a video call with up to 99 other participants for up to 24 hours per meeting. These meetings are even free for international participants.
The only time you would need to pay anything from Skype is if you want a mobile or landline number to access voicemail, send texts or make calls to a landline or a cell outside Skype.
Which video calling app is the best?
Google Meet and Skype are excellent choices for video calls, with a wide range of features and an intuitive interface. That said, Skype is probably the best option for personal calls between friends and family.
Google Meet is best suited for small and large businesses that have the funds to pay for a premium Google Workspace account and get additional features.