As a fully remote team, Zapier relies on video conferencing to hold team meetings, share ideas, and check in with each other. We've tried a lot of video call apps—and have suffered through one too many low-quality calls. And so, after considering nearly a dozen video conference apps, we've settled on the ones that consistently work well and offer standout features that set them apart from the pack. Here are the best video call apps for work.
Once you've chosen your video conferencing app, take it a step further—here are 4 ways to automate your video calls. This roundup also includes some ways you can use Zapier to connect your video conferencing app with your favorite tools so you can do things like automatically generate video conference links for new events on your calendar or send reminders about upcoming events. Zapier's automations are called Zaps, and you'll see several Zap templates—our pre-made Zap workflows—throughout this piece. To get started with a Zap template, just click on it, and we'll guide you through setting it up.
The 6 best video conferencing apps
Zoom for reliable, large video calls
Google Meet for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) users
GoToMeeting for professional features
join.me for a lightweight option
Webex for whiteboarding
Slack for calls from your team chat app
What makes a great video conferencing app?
High-quality video conferencing software has to do more than just show your face to the world. Whether you want to have a quick chat with your coworker or put an all-hands presentation on everyone's calendar, a good video conferencing solution makes it straightforward to create a meeting link or dial-in number, share it with others, and add more people to in-progress calls.
It should also offer features that let you turn facetime into collaboration time, such as screen sharing, annotation or whiteboarding, and live chat. These features are key to making your virtual meetings as productive as they would be in person, so we only included apps that support these functions.
And while it's a bit harder to define, a good video conferencing app should be reliable, meaning it should enable consistently clear calls that don't usually drop or get choppy. While some apps on this list are better for smaller groups of people, we've also included a few powerhouse tools that can reliably handle video calls for large groups.
Note: Some of these apps are offering special pricing due to the COVID-19 crisis and need for more remote meetings. Please visit each app's site to confirm current pricing.
The best video conferencing app for reliable, large video calls
Zoom (macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Web)
If you're looking for a video conferencing app, you've probably already heard of Zoom. It's one of the most popular group call apps—and for good reason. For the most part, Zoom just works.
Once you install the Zoom app (on your computer or on your phone), you can host free 1:1 video calls with no time limit and group calls with up to 100 people as long as you don't talk for more than 40 minutes. Paid plans let you chat with up to 1,000 people at once, plenty for almost every situation.
More importantly, Zoom is incredibly reliable. Even when your internet connection isn't the best, Zoom typically will keep your video going—though sometimes at a reduced quality level. You can record any call as a full-length video. Participants can also use text chat to talk with each other, either as a group or as individual private messages, during a call. And you can share your screen, choosing to either show your whole screen or just one of the apps you're running.
Zoom even lets you schedule calls in advance, chat anytime with any of your contacts, or connect to room conferencing hardware. All in all, it's a nearly perfect team video app. And for full transparency, it's the one we use most at Zapier.
Together, Zoom and Zapier can take the busywork out of meeting prep and follow-up. You can automatically add Zoom calls to your calendar or schedule video conferences when someone books an appointment:
See more ways to automate Zoom with Zoom's Zapier integrations.
Zoom Price: Free for up to 100 participants for 40-minute meetings; from $14.99/month per host Pro plan for user management, unlimited meeting length, and reporting.
If you decide to go with Zoom, take a look at our roundup of 10 tips and tricks for Zoom and 5 privacy settings to adjust for total Zoom security.
The best video conferencing app for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) users
Google Meet (iOS, Android, Web)
Editor's note: Google Meet was formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet. You can read more about the latest features in our Guide to Google video and chat: Google Meet vs. Google Hangouts vs. Google Chat.
Google Meet's best feature, perhaps, is its deep integration with Google's other apps. Whenever you create a meeting in Google Calendar, you'll get a Meet link that you and your meeting attendees can click to instantly join a call. And when you're in the middle of a call, you can find files from Google Drive and Apps and share them in chat, without leaving your call. You can even start a call directly from your Gmail inbox.
Google Meet includes live captioning, which is a huge plus for accessibility. The captions work fairly well in English, though it can't detect when other languages are spoken on a call. There's also a tab-sharing feature that's great for media sharing, with very little lag when used to stream a short video as a group.
Meet can struggle with large group calls, however. In our experience, it doesn't degrade calls as gracefully as some other apps (such as Zoom) if your internet connection is slow. But there is a workaround: you can opt to have up to 100,000 participants join via view-only mode. This mode doesn't display participants' video, so they'll only see and hear whomever is leading the call. Though it's not the same as a true video conference, since it limits their ability to chime in, it's a decent option if you just need one or two people to present to a large group—such as in a lecture-driven distance learning class.
If you're working from the same location, you can also use the Meet conference room devices for full-room video chats and the Jamboard touchscreen device for team collaboration. Together with Meet's deep integrations with the rest of Google Workspace, Meet just may turn into the best way to talk with your team.
With Zapier, you can connect Google Meet to the other apps you use most. For example, you can automatically schedule calls with leads, no matter where they reach you.
See more ways to automate Google Meet with Google Meet's Zapier integrations.
Google Meet is starting to look a lot more like its sister app, Google Hangouts. Here's our breakdown of the difference between Google Meet and Google Hangouts. Plus, find out how to streamline your Google Meet calls with these automation tips.
Google Meet Price: Free for up to 100 participants and up to 60 minutes; from $6/month as part of Google Workspace Basic for business teams.
The best video conferencing app for professional features
GoToMeeting (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web for participants)
GoToMeeting is part of LogMeIn's family of video conferencing apps that let you meet with your team or broadcast a webinar to thousands of viewers. With GoToMeeting, you'll schedule meetings online, then use GoToMeeting's app to join calls, share your screen, and present to audiences.
You can choose to schedule a recurring session or start a one-time call. And GoToMeeting also lets you create a custom link for your meeting—which is a great feature if you'll be inviting people outside your organization or running a publicly-available virtual event like a webinar.
GoToMeeting offers all the features you'd expect from a video conferencing tool aimed at professionals, including call recording, dial-in numbers (or an option to have GoToMeeting call your number so all you have to do is answer), and HD video for up to six participants. You can even monitor your audio levels from the app's toolbar, so you can see exactly how loud you're being during the call.
The downside is that the app can be a little confusing due to all the features and options available. For the most part, though, GoToMeeting is a reliable option that can be a good choice if you want a tool for team calls and webinars.
You can use Zapier to connect GoToMeeting with your other favorite apps and automate away some meeting-related work. Some common GoToMeeting automations include automatically creating meetings for new calendar events or when someone books an appointment in your scheduling app.
See more ways to automate GoToMeeting with GoToMeeting's Zapier integrations.
GoToMeeting Price: From $14/organizer/month for a Professional plan for up to 150 participants.
The best video conferencing app for a lightweight option
join.me (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Web)
Also a LogMeIn offering, join.me is a bit like GoToMeeting's sleeker, leaner cousin—perfect if you just need to host the occasional call.
Once you create an account, you can start a meeting from your browser or any of the desktop or mobile apps, and participants can join straight from their browser as well. Some Pro features, like screen sharing, are only available if you use the desktop app. But if you're just looking to host a quick video call—if you need to talk to a client who won't need to share their screen, for example, and you don't want to ask them to download any software—join.me is a solid option.
If you do choose to use the desktop app, you can screen share and annotate, just like in LogMeIn's signature tools. And on mobile, you can even both share your screen or specific documents on your phone, so you can collaborate as a team while on the go.
Zapier makes it easy to connect join.me to thousands of other apps. You can use our automated workflows to schedule a join.me meeting and automatically add attendees who registered in another app, start meetings when events in your scheduling app are about to begin, and even get SMS notifications for upcoming meetings.
See more ways to automate join.me with join.me's Zapier integrations.
join.me Price: From $10/user/month for a Lite plan with unlimited number and length of meetings and 5 participants per meeting.
The best video conferencing app for virtual whiteboarding
Cisco Webex Meetings (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows)
From one of the leading manufacturers of video conferencing hardware, Cisco Webex Meetings is designed around large-scale collaboration. It's notorious for having some usability issues, but it has all the features you'd expect from a video conferencing app, with especially crisp audio compared to some other options.
But the real standout feature is Webex's virtual whiteboard. Once you start a call, you can opt to share your screen as a blank white space—and then use a wide range of sketching tools, text, and geometric shapes to collaborate. You can even create separate whiteboard "pages" and view them one at a time or navigate through them as thumbnails. The best part is that everyone can use the whiteboard at the same time.
If you just want a normal video conference, you can do that, too. And if your team needs an easy way to stay in touch between meetings, Cisco's companion Webex Teams app adds team chat and one-click calls to your video collaboration.
By connecting Webex to your other apps with Zapier, it's easy to keep your meetings running smoothly. You can automatically add scheduled Webex meetings to your calendar, for example, or get a reminder in your favorite chat app when a meeting is about to start.
See more ways to automate Webex with Webex's Zapier integrations.
Webex Price: From $14.95/host/month for a Starter plan with up to 50 participants per meeting and 5GB of cloud storage.
The best video conferencing app for calls from your team chat app
Slack (macOS, Windows, Web)
Today, Slack is one of the most popular team chat apps, and it's taken chats beyond just text and images. Slack added 1-to-1 voice calls to its desktop and mobile apps in June 2016, following up six months later by adding video to those calls.
To call a colleague in Slack, just open a channel or direct message and click the phone icon—Slack will start the call in a new window and add a notification to the chat. Calls feel a bit more like a normal phone call with video added on (just tap the video icon to turn on video). Up to 15 people can join the call, but you can only make video calls from the desktop app, not mobile. You can also share your screen—and you and your teammates can annotate it—though there's no dedicated whiteboard option.
The limited video call settings (and the fact that video quality quickly drops with more than a couple of people on the call) make Slack calls best for quick conversations with just one or two other people.
If you're already using Microsoft Teams or another chat tool that includes video calls, don't download Slack just for the video conferencing. We chose Slack because of its ease of use, but it makes more sense to stick with the tool you already use (assuming you like it), so you don't have to bounce back and forth between apps.
You can use Zapier and Slack together to automate some common video conferencing-related tasks, like sending reminders before a meeting is about to begin. Here are a few ways to get started:
See more ways to automate Slack with Slack's Zapier integrations.
Slack Price: From $8/month Standard plan for video calls along with unlimited chat archive and priority support.
Originally published in January 2017 by Matthew Guay. Most recently updated in May 2020.