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Camfrog Video Chat for iPad 2.2

A video chat room client for iPad

by Bob Thornton

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: iPad
Requirements:

 

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 04 January 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 4201
Developer: Camshare Inc
RSS News Feed: http://blog.camfrog.com/
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Camfrog Video Chat for iPad
Take part in video and audio chats with Camfrog Video Chat for iPad

The front facing camera found on the iPad 2 has been put to good use in FaceTime, and it is put to similar use in Camfrog Video Chat for iPad. The app is a combination of a chat room tool and video messaging service that can be used to converse with other Camfrog users all over the world – there is a client available for iPhone, Mac and Windows, so there is a huge potential user-base here.

From the offset the app is a little limited. Despite the talk of video chat rooms, you are limiting to conducting video chats with friends on a one to one basis; it is not possible for more than two people to be involved in a video call. However, it is possible to conduct text based and audio chats with other people in voice chat rooms that have been created. With an extensive user base and an easily searched directory, it’s always possible to find someone new to talk to.

All of this would be great if things went this smoothly. A fairly major problem is the fact that a large proportion of the chat rooms you will encounter require that you are using a web cam connected to a computer – the iPad’s camera will simply not do. There are apparently plans to roll out a server update in the future that will overcome this problem so it is worth keeping an eye on the app to see if anything changes further down the line.

Compared to the desktop versions of the app, Camfrog Video Chat for iPad feels a little limited. It is also a very old fashioned looking app and using it feels very much like taking a step back in time and working with an IRC client from the mid-90s. This is an app that has its place, but there are far better means of communication available which offer more features and fewer frustrations.

Verdict:

A limited chat client that is not really successful in bridging the gap between mobile and desktop users.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: