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386 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 228580 12-Jan-2018 20:18
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Ok as I have mentioned in this Topic Skype new version 8 what a S**T load of rubbish

 

Further research and I have discovered that Microsoft will this year sometime lock everyone out of older versions prior to this horrible new version 8 forcing you to upgrade to the new version and into the Microsoft Account world which you will need to operate all the new present and coming features in this new version of Skype.

 

So what is a good cross platform alternative?

 

My world wide scattered family and friends are 50/50 split between macOS and Windows OS equipment.

 

I have heard good things about WhatsApp.

 

Peoples thoughts please.

 

 





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  Reply # 1937846 12-Jan-2018 20:30
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After using Skype since the 90s I was bitterly disappointed when it refused to connect for our traditional family call on Christmas Day.  My son works for Microsoft in Redmond as a software engineer so he knows what he's doing and no way could we get it to work, even for a voice call.  I am running a Surface 3 with Windows 10 and the exact same setup worked perfectly last Christmas.

So we tried FB Messenger in video calling mode and it worked pretty well.  Audio was flawless but video sometimes reduced to 1/4 of the screen because of poor upstream bandwidth at his end (ADSL connection in rural Texas).  However, it never disconnected for the entire 90 min call whereas Skype has usually done so several times in recent years.

AFAIK, FB Messenger is cross platform, certainly in the Mac / iOS / Windows / Android worlds so maybe it's good enough?

We will never use Skype again after this experience so it's been uninstalled from all PCs and laptops in our household.






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  Reply # 1937847 12-Jan-2018 20:31
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Google Hangouts

 

Runs in Chrome browser (or android and iOS apps) so available on anything.

 

I use it weekly, android to windows 10. We gave up on skype about 5 years ago.

 

 


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  Reply # 1937856 12-Jan-2018 20:52
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Give anything good to Microsoft and they'll find a way to ruin it, sooner or later.  It seems to be the Microsoft way.





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  Reply # 1937860 12-Jan-2018 20:54
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blakamin:

 

Google Hangouts

 

Runs in Chrome browser (or android and iOS apps) so available on anything.

 

I use it weekly, android to windows 10. We gave up on skype about 5 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Google are too invasive for me. I tolerate their products where I need to, other wise I try and avoid any of their offerings.





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  Reply # 1937861 12-Jan-2018 20:55
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Zoom.  But you haven't really said what you want to do.  Video?  Audio? Instant Messaging?  All or some?  


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  Reply # 1937865 12-Jan-2018 21:01
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I've been trying tellybean, seems ok.  Works on my Android TV using my phone as a wireless camera.  They've been trying to take back the Smart TV video calling since MS removed Skype.


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  Reply # 1937878 12-Jan-2018 21:14
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Hangouts works ok. UI could be better for some its minimal. All you need is a Gmail account and a browser for windows.

App for Android, iOS. Mac,

Linux supported with Chrome / Chromium and other browsers.

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  Reply # 1937879 12-Jan-2018 21:18
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Whatsapp works well, but it's mobile only, not computers or TVs.





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  Reply # 1937880 12-Jan-2018 21:19
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Technofreak:

 

Google are too invasive for me. I tolerate their products where I need to, other wise I try and avoid any of their offerings.

 

 

I'd rather google than FB.

 

 

 

I don't care about google... I know I'm just a number. I've used gmail exclusively since they began.

 

I have 2 google homes and 5 minis. I've used android since 2007. They probably remember more about me than I do.

 

 

 

 

 

In saying all that, all you need to do to use hangouts is use hangouts.


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  Reply # 1937881 12-Jan-2018 21:22
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I had a similar experience with Skype the other night. I have an account which is non Microsoft and it simply refused to log me in. It offered to let me use Skype in a web browser, which did log me in, but I was so annoyed by then I just logged out again. Sadly, I agree with the sentiment of Microsoft ruining great products.


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  Reply # 1937885 12-Jan-2018 21:31
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blakamin:

 

I'd rather google than FB.

 

 

 

 

That I can understand





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1937911 13-Jan-2018 00:34
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blakamin: Google Hangouts ...

 

Or you might want to try Google Duo then as well. Hangouts Meet (another video option) seems to be busines accoutnsonly & I've never had a rock solid video feed. Viber is quite popular in certain circle. For wisdom of the crowd stuff like this, try https://alternativeto.net/software/skype/

 

 

 

I'm guessing you will want to use this more than just once a year for Christmas, but if it's for a PC connection standing in the living room, there are also options like join.me and GotoMeeting. Even the free TeamViewer has a built in conference option with video & audio. It also has chat. Quite a lot of functionality packed into a remote support tool.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1938474 14-Jan-2018 09:45
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grant_k:So we tried FB Messenger in video calling mode and it worked pretty well.  Audio was flawless but video sometimes reduced to 1/4 of the screen because of poor upstream bandwidth at his end (ADSL connection in rural Texas).  However, it never disconnected for the entire 90 min call whereas Skype has usually done so several times in recent years.

AFAIK, FB Messenger is cross platform, certainly in the Mac / iOS / Windows / Android worlds so maybe it's good enough?

 

I do not belong to any of that type of social media and a lot of my family do not either

 

timmmay:Whatsapp works well, but it's mobile only, not computers or TVs.

 

Whatsapp does work on Windows & macOS desktops/laptops and here it is in the Apple app store It also appears you can use it via most browsers.

 

But the big thing is you must first have it installed and signed in on a mobile phone.

 

I/we will stick with Skype for now till we are forced to change. Maybe by then Microsoft will have got their act together with the entire UI and Skype experience. I see that they are pushing the Skype via browser but I beleive you need to install a plug-in. I wonder how that goes with the new Quantum Firefox with their tighter security and the need for Webextensions? Also would you still be able to sign-in using your Skype account or would you need a Microsoft account (yuk)?





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Panasonic Blu-ray PVR DMR-BWT835 + Panasonic Viera TH-L50E6Z, Chromecast Ultra


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  Reply # 1938542 14-Jan-2018 11:42
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timmmay:

 

Whatsapp works well, but it's mobile only, not computers or TVs.

 

 

Whatsapp has a desktop app for Mac.  


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  Reply # 1938617 14-Jan-2018 15:17
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gehenna:

 

timmmay: Whatsapp works well, but it's mobile only, not computers or TVs. 

 

Whatsapp has a desktop app for Mac.  

 

True, but it also has a browser based page. Most smart TV's have some sort of web browser built in.


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