In 1884, eight years after Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson had the world's first phone call, industrialist John Jacob Astor IV published his predictions for the 21st century. Along with ill-fated predictions of steel-covered roads and the discovery an anti-gravitational force, he also foresaw video calls. 'Telephones have been so improved that one person can speak in his natural voice with another in any part of the globe, the wire that enables him to hear also showing him the face of the speaker,' wrote Astor in his history of the future.
Wires aside, that prediction came true. Video calls came in starts and fits. The earliest came from AT&T's labs in 1927, with a room full of equipment. Public videophone booths were available by the 1970's, and in the early 1990's you could buy a video phone for around $1,000.
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Then, apps and wider bandwidth came, and video calls and conferencing became more ubiquitous–as long as you had a decent internet connection and a capable device, that is. Today, if you're shopping and want advice from a friend, a video call is only a couple taps away. If you need to interview or consult with a dozen people who live in another city, you can do so face-to-face without leaving your desk.
Sometimes, FaceTime is clearer and cheaper than a 'normal' phone call. And yet, team video calls can still be an exercise in frustration, with delayed video, glitchy graphics, and batteries drained in minutes. As a, Zapier relies on video conferencing to hold team meetings, share ideas, and check in on each other. We've tried a lot of video call apps—and have suffered through one too many terrible calls. And so, after trying nearly two dozen video conferencing apps, we've settled on the ones that consistently work well. Here are the best apps to make a video call whenever you want, including the brand new and our team's long-time favorites:,, and the new.
Tip: For co-located teams with several offices, dedicated video conferencing devices for full-room meetings might be a better option. For smaller or fully remote teams—or for anyone who just wants to jump on a video call from anywhere—these call apps are a much better option since they work anywhere you have an internet connection. A browser and internet connection are all you need for Appear.in calls Open your browser, go to, and click Start (or enter your own 'room' name, if you don't want an auto-assigned name). Now copy the link, share it with your colleagues, and up to 7 other people can join you in the call for free. There's a chat pane to share text and links, stickers to cover your face, and an option to share your screen if you install a browser plugin. “steam” is not optimized for your mac..