Staying in touch via videophoning while on holiday


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Staying in touch via videophoning while on holiday

Today's videophoning solutions are robust enough to support communication on the go, almost regardless of your location or device. Whether you're travelling abroad or have permanently relocated overseas, modern videotelephony has provided us with an easy and affordable way to stay in touch with the people we care about.

Modern videotelephony has provided us with an easy and affordable way to stay in touch with the people we care about.

Videophoning while travelling

Cost is understandably one of the first things that come to mind when keeping in touch from overseas. Mobile videophoning solutions may incur significant costs, mostly due to international roaming charges, if used over a 3G or 4G network connection instead of WiFi.

Thankfully, many developed nations now have the necessary infrastructure to support high-speed Internet connections and WiFi networks. Across Europe, the US and parts of Asia, you'll be able to access WiFi networks almost everywhere - in hotels and hostels, cafes, libraries, public spaces, airports and more - some of them may even be free to use. If you're travelling to a more remote part of the world, you could also purchase a data pack from your network carrier, or purchase a local data SIM card in your destination country.

App-based solutions for mobile telephony

It's also worth taking into consideration what device you will use. Lugging around a PC or laptop to make video calls when you've got spare time between meetings or tours might not be practical. App-based solutions for mobile devices, like Skype for iOS/Android or FaceTime for iOS devices, could be a better alternative.

Today's videophoning solutions are all robust enough to support communication no matter your location or device.

You might be surprised to know that videotelephony turned 50 in April this year. Although videophoning has only recently become a popular method of communication, half a century ago AT&T's Bell Labs was laying the foundations for modern videotelephony as we know it today.

Launched in 2003 by the developers of the file-sharing program Kazaa, Skype has become one of the world's most popular videotelephony solutions with nearly 300 million usersi. While smartphones made by manufacturers like Kyocera and Sony Ericsson had supported video calls since the late 1990sii, the 2010 release of Apple's FaceTime software for the iPhone 4 saw mobile videophoning become truly widespreadiii.

Apple has since extended the FaceTime service to its range of iPads, Macs and iPods, increasing the variety of devices on which users can make video calls. Google has also released a similar solution for Android devices and PCs with Google Hangoutsiv.


iSwider, M, 27 June 2014, 'Microsoft highlights 299M Skype users, 1.5B Halo games played', viewed 23 June 2014,
http://www.techradar.com/au/news/software/operating-systems/xbox-live-upgrade-includes-300-000-servers-600-times-more-than-its-debut-1161749

iEdwards, B, 'History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime', viewed 23 June 2014,
http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/slideshow/350404/history_video_calls_from_fantasy_flops_facetime_/?image=5

iFriedman, L, 20 October 2010, 'Apple introduces FaceTime for Mac', viewed 23 June 2014,
http://www.macworld.com/article/1155031/facetime_mac.html

iGoogle 2014, 'Hangouts', viewed 23 June 2014,
https://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/