Videoconferencing on your tablet
With many of today’s tablets now offering front-facing cameras, it’s possible for you to use a tablet as a face-to-face videoconference tool.
In this article, we’ll explain what you’ll need to create a video chat and how to start one with a client or friend.
|You’ll need a front-facing camera, such as the 2MP (megapixel) camera on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (starts at $448.99), to videoconference face-to-face.|
Tools Of The Trade
You’ll need a tablet (top android tablets) that has a front-facing camera, which is a camera that is located on the same side of the tablet as the screen (so that it can capture images of you while you look at the screen).
You may be able to use the rear-facing camera; however, you wouldn’t be able to see the person you’re trying to video chat with. Next, you and the person you plan to video chat with will need to decide what videoconferencing application you will use. There are wide variety of apps for tablets that operate on the Android, iOS, and PC platforms, including Skype (free) and Fring (free). If you both own an Apple device—whether it is an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, MacBook Pro, or new iMac—you can chat using FaceTime (free). Similarly, Android tablet users can use Google Talk to videoconference with someone who’s installed Google Talk on his PC or Android-based tablet or smartphone. Besides using the same video chat program, the person you want to video chat with must also have a front-facing camera on his tablet or smartphone, or own a PC with a Web cam.
With Skype’s video chat service, you can videoconference with several people at once.
Some video chat apps, such as FaceTime, require you to be connected to Wi-Fi when running the application. Others will allow connection through a 3G or 4G cellular signal, but you’ll likely get better results with Wi-Fi, because a Wi-Fi connection will generally offer a stronger signal (makes for a more reliable connection) and faster downloads (better speed makes video appear less choppy) than mobile broadband.
Create A Video Chat
Both you and the person you want to chat with will need to create an account on the service that you’ve decided to use. Once you’ve created the accounts, email or text your username to the person you want to video chat with, and ask him for his username. After you sign in to the video chat app, go to the section of program where you can add contacts and enter the username that your friend provided you. A request will be sent to the person (to verify that he knows you), and when he accepts, you’ll be able to view your contact list and see when he comes online. Alternatively, you’ll receive a friend request that you can verify. Once you’re both online, click the button on the app, likely listed as “video call” or “video chat,” that will start your face-to-face conference.
With Google Talk, you can video chat with other Android tablet and smartphone users, as well as people with Google Talk installed on their PCs.
Videoconference Tablet Tips
If you’re using your tablet’s front-facing camera to remotely join a business meeting, you’ll want to ensure that you present a professional appearance, which may be difficult when you’re working on the road.
- Before you join the call, examine shot composition from your front-facing camera. In a properly framed shot, you should at least see your head and shoulders. You should also ensure that you’re clearly visible.
- You'll also want to check the video quality. Web cams in tablets aren’t always the best at adjusting to low light, so you may need to turn on a light or move to a location where more natural light is available. Also, avoid placing yourself in front of a window or other bright location because it may cause you to appear as a shadow in the video.
- Find a quiet area. If you're in a nosy location, such as an airport, the person on the other end may not be able to clearly hear you.