An instant messaging and video chat app
ooVoo is a messaging app that allows users to send free text messages and make voice and video calls. Its main selling point is the fact it can support up to 12 people in a video chat at a time, as well as that it operates cross-platform, allowing people to connect no matter their device.
A cross-platform communication app
ooVoo is a new choice for people looking for video chatting apps and wanting to avoid popular options such as Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, and Hangouts. Today, it features over 80 million users. Its ability to organize video calls of up to 12 people has it rising the ranks with each day.
Once you launch ooVoo for the first time, it will ask you to create a username and a password. You'll also get the chance to add friends or send invites to contacts from your other messaging apps.
After that, choose a profile photo, and you're good to go. You can run this app on iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Windows Phones.
ooVoo features a modern design of bold orange and slim rectangle motifs. The layout is quite user-friendly with actions in large circles.
However, the pieces themselves aren't as intuitive as the user might expect, and some even lack labels, which all leads to the somewhat steep learning curve for a new user.
One of its unique features, the Top 5 wheel, serves as a video call speed-dial. You tap it, and the profiles of your chosen friends show up, allowing you to establish a new chat in seconds. However, if the friend doesn't have a profile picture, you don't know who you're calling.
As regards texting, ooVoo allows you to send messages, pictures, and short video clips. On mobile devices, the clips can be only up to 21 seconds long, and the desktop version has no limit. Unfortunately, there are no custom emojis or stickers.
Starting a new conversation is as simple as tapping on a type of interaction you want and then choosing the recipient(s).
There are no push notifications for text messages, but when it comes to calling, a custom screen pops up when you receive a call, allowing you to accept, decline, or send a message.
The primary special feature lauded at ooVoo is the photo editing. The app comes with Instagram-like filters that apply to both sent and live photos and videos.
The app can handle high-quality cameras, up to 2 megapixels, depending on your connection. Apart from the photo editing tools, you can add effects on your video during calls.
Voice calls are as quick as your network and feature crisp audio. Video does come with a second-long lag, though, and commonly glitchy images, although the audio keeps going. Unfortunately, sometimes, the entire call crashes after such lags.
You can also make calls to non-members, but this feature requires a purchase of credits on the website.
Another new function is the short video message you can add to your profile's user screen. That way, anybody who visits you sees the video instead of a profile picture.
Is ooVoo safe?
The security of data on ooVoo is quite dubious. All videos and images sent through the app get stored on their servers. While this means that you can revisit your content, it also implies that it's visible to other users.
You can visit the Privacy settings to determine who can and cannot view your profile and find you. However, since there's no public information about the encryption they use, it's not the safest app out there.
If security is what you seek, Riot.im is a great alternative with end-to-end encryption. Moreover, Jitsi also features full encryption protocols and allows for audio and video chatting, and Wire is famous for being the most secure collaboration platform out there.
An interesting choice
All in all, since ooVoo is a newcomer to the market of video conferencing, and some of its software features are challenging the well-established competition. The cross-platform calls and the multi-party feature are exciting additions that set it apart, but with its frequent server crashes and privacy concerns, it still has a long way to go to becoming mainstream.