Video Conferencing: Zoom.us Gets a Few More Things Right
We've all used (and reported on here) a number of video conferencing options over the years. Many do a very good job at their appointed task, but very few come close to ticking off all the boxes that make for a great teleconferencing experience.
Just to recap, here are some of the features that the ideal video conferencing tool should have:
* ease of use (start, or at least join, a conference without software or account login),
* many participants (e.g. more than four simultaneous users),
* high quality transmissions (HD would be nice),
* features (e.g. desktop sharing),
* mobility (apps for portable devices and use on cellular networks).
A new player called Zoom.us appears to get most of the above right. It allows for up to fifteen simultaneous high-resolution connections, works over most fast data connections, has apps for desktops and iOS (with Android coming soon), installs quickly on the host's machine and allows participants to join without logging in. One of the nicest features is that the "current speaker" zooms to full screen (after a few seconds in order to avoid too much screen-shifting).
Generally, this tool works really well and is free for now.