You’re taking sides in a technological debate every time you make a video call: it’s all about pocket vs. power.
On one side stands the convenience and convergence of the smartphone, on the other the processing power and large screen of the desktop. If you’re suddenly struck by the urge to make a video call, the device you use is going to depend on your whereabouts. If you have time to plan a call, though, which would you choose?
Be it for business or pleasure, there’s a case to be made for both options. If you want to make the most of the visual aspects of a video call, however, there’s only one winner.
Mobile may be having a moment, but for the real experience, desktop to desktop video conferencing is still the best way to communicate.
Mobile Video Calling Is About Convenience
There’s no great secret behind the rise of smartphones. They are the most powerful accessories ever made, capable of linking you instantly with every business, service, and human with access to internet, while also supplying you with movies, music, and directions to your nearest supermarket. And video calling is now firmly entrenched in the mobile social scene. All the major messaging and networking apps have video call functionality, from WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger and the new services on Instagram and Snapchat.
The business world is also flush with mobile video connections. Platforms including Skype for Business and Zoom are smartphone compatible and make things even easier on us by working across iOS and Android operating systems. It no longer matters if you’re running late for a meeting—you can just log in from your phone and make your apologies in person from the comfort of your train or Uber.
The steady improvement of smartphone cameras has made HD video calling possible as well, giving a professional edge to our otherwise unprofessional surroundings. That’s a good thing, too, because the size of a smartphone screen is terminally linked with the size of our pockets. Which brings us to the point where all this convenience starts to better resemble compromise—especially once you experience video calling on the (relatively) big screen.
10 TIPS FOR LOOKING GREAT ON VIDEO
By taking a few simple steps – and making sure you have a high-quality, HD webcam – you can always be ready for any video meeting or impromptu video collaboration. We’ve put together this list of tips to help you look and sound sharp whenever you’re in front of the camera.
Desktop to Desktop Video Conferencing: Everything Is Bigger
There’s a new term being used to describe the screen-race currently underway in the mobile market—phablet. It refers to smartphones that are growing in screen size so that they resemble tablets like the iPad. To qualify, a phone must have a screen of at least 5.5 inches. That’s still around half the size of a fifth-generation iPad. And, of course, it’s dwarfed by the average desktop screen size, which comfortably tops 20 inches…and continues to grow.
Size isn’t everything, but it certainly helps when it comes to video calls. By simple math, the average video chat window on a desktop is going to be nearly four times larger than that of a mobile. It becomes even more of an advantage if you’re on a group video call, where the screen is divided into 4, 8, 12, or even 20 chat windows.
So, video calling is clearer on a desktop, but that’s not all. Things get even more lopsided once you go beneath the surface and start considering all the computing power that a desktop is hiding.
Why We’re All About Desktop Video Calling
While the Federal Communications Commission seems to think the smartphone is all the computer power the average American needs, there’s really no comparison between mobile and desktop when it comes to raw digital oomph. With price taken into account, a PC or laptop is going to outperform a smartphone in storage, processing power, and RAM every time. It’s a simple matter of space—there isn’t enough room inside your phone to house and cool all those parts.
And with that PC power comes all kinds of video calling advantages:
Webcams: While it’s entirely possible that one day webcam manufacturers will make external smartphone webcams to enhance the one already on your phone, the concept of carrying one around in case you need it runs against the concept of smartphone convenience. On a desktop, however, you’re free to enjoy extra features such as auto-framing, background replacement, and additional lighting.
Better Video Conferencing Software: Take a look through VC Daily’s video platform app reviews and you’ll see there’s often a difference between what video calling vendors offer for smartphone versus what they make available for desktop. Sometimes, “smartphone compatible” merely means a mobile caller can only join a conference and hosting and accessing features like screen sharing or translation are off-limits.
Multitasking on Video Calls: Smartphone video calling apps are slowly catching on to the idea that users might want to access the internet and other digital resources while on a video call—and by slowly I mean only Kik and Instagram have really explored the possibilities, and they tend to keep you in-app. On a desktop, however, you can minimize your call screen and roam around the internet freely. You can even turn on screen sharing and take your fellow video callers along for the ride, something that’s awkward on a tiny phone screen.
Extra Storage Means Extra Memories to Share: We’ve never met anyone who hasn’t been prompted at least once to delete or move images on their phone to free up storage space. On a PC, with 10 or even 20 times as much storage as mobile, you’re unlikely to be inhibited when it comes to the number of images, movies, and songs you can share across a video call.
There are certainly times when you have no choice but to use your smartphone to make or receive a video call—your PC is never going to fit in your pocket or operate more than a few feet from a power source. However, if you have a choice, the choice is easy to make—desktop video conferencing gives the best video calling experience, hands down (or should we say, hands-free?).
Image from Shutterstock