How to Video Chat on Your Phone - ecoATM

One of the many benefits offered by smartphones is their capability for video calls. Video comes closer than anything else to mimicking in-person interactions, allowing people to both see and hear each other. For people unable to be with one another in person, whether distant family members or remote workers, video chat can be a great asset. But what if you don't know how to use it?

This uncertainty may be why more people don't take advantage of video chat. It can be hard to figure out which app you should use, and then how to use that app. If you're looking for a way around this problem, look no further. Here's a simple, step-by-step process for how to start and join video chat on your phone with four different platforms — FaceTime, Zoom, Google Duo and Google Meet.


FaceTime is the video call app run by Apple. Unlike the other apps on this list, FaceTime will only work on Apple devices such as iPhones. This limitation means that if you use FaceTime, you have to use an Apple device, and anyone you're calling has to have one as well. This method also requires you to have the FaceTime app available.

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1. Starting a Call 

Contrary to what many people seem to think, you can use FaceTime to call more than one person at a time. Regardless of whether you're planning a group chat or merely contacting one person, here's how to go about starting a video call.

  1.   Open the FaceTime app, and sign in if needed.

  2.   Hit the "+" button.

  3.   Type in the names, numbers or email addresses of anyone you want to call.

  4.   Tap each person's name when it appears to add them to the call.

  5.   When you've added everyone you want to call, tap "Video" to start the call.

2. Joining a Call 

When it comes to joining a call that someone else has already started, FaceTime makes the process easy. 

  1.   Tap the call notification sent to you by FaceTime.

  2.   Tap "Join."


Zoom is another commonly used video chat app. Since most people tend to use it on their computers, you might be unsure of how to use Zoom on your phone, or if you even can. Thankfully, it works for both iPhone and Android and functions the same way on each. In general, Zoom is used for group calls but can certainly work for just two people. Using it requires you to have the Zoom app installed on your device.

1. Hosting a Call 

Zoom calls require someone to be the host, who is usually required to start each call before anyone else can join. If you're the host, you can either schedule a call for a specific date and time or start one immediately. 

Scheduling a Call For Later

When you schedule a call for a later date, you create a block of text detailing the call's date and time, which includes the link to the meeting. You provide this text to anyone you want to join the call. Then, at the scheduled time, you start the call. 

  1.   Open the Zoom app and sign in.

  2.   Tap "Schedule."

  3.   Enter the name, date and time for the meeting, and tap "Done."

  4.   Add any invitees or alerts as desired, and then tap "Done."

  5.   At the scheduled time for the meeting, open the Zoom app, and sign in.

  6.   Tap "Upcoming."

  7.   Find the meeting you want to start, and tap "Start" next to it.

Starting a Call Now

Sometimes, you might not have a call planned in advance, but will want to contact someone through Zoom. Here's how you start a call immediately. 

  1.   Open the Zoom app and sign in.

  2.   Tap "New Meeting."

  3.   Tap "Invite."

  4.   Send the invitation through one of the options shown. You can either tap the "Copy URL" or "Copy Invitation" button and paste it into an email or text message, or you can tap one of the email service buttons.

2. Joining a Call 

For Zoom calls where you're not the host, the host will often provide you with the link to the meeting, which you can click on to go straight there. For times when you're not provided with a link, however, or where you lose track of it, you can still access the meeting through the app. 

  1.   Open the Zoom app.

  2.   Sign in and then hit "Join," or hit "Join a Meeting" to join without signing in.

  3.   Enter the meeting ID number found in the invitation, along with your display name if you aren't signed in.

  4.   Select whether you wish to connect to audio or video.

  5.   Tap "join" or "join meeting."

Like apps such as Gmail, it connects to your Google account, so if your account is synced to your device, using Google Duo on your phone is especially easy.

Google Duo

Google Duo is Google's video chat app made specifically for mobile. Like apps such as Gmail, it connects to your Google account, so if your account is synced to your device, using Google Duo on your phone is especially easy. Like FaceTime and Zoom, it allows you to call one person or multiple people at once. To use it, you must have the Google Duo app installed on your phone. 

1. Starting a Call 

For starting a call on Duo, the process differs slightly depending on whether you're calling one person or multiple people. 

Calling an Individual Person

To call just one person, follow these steps. 

  1.   Open the Google Duo app and swipe up.

  2.   Choose a name from your contacts.

  3.   Tap the video call button.

Calling a Group

To call multiple people at once, follow these steps. 

  1.   Open the Google Duo app and swipe up.

  2.   Tap "Create Group" to make a new group by choosing people from your contacts, or choose an existing group.

  3.   Tap "Start Video Call."

2. Joining a Call 

For joining a call that someone else has already started, the process is very simple. 

  1.   Open the Google Duo app and swipe up.

  2.   Choose a group. 

  3.   Tap "Join Video Call."

Google Meet

Google Meet is another video call app created by Google. At first glance, it can be hard to see why Google would have two separate video chat apps, but they work in slightly different ways. Essentially, Duo is better for personal conversations, while Meet is better suited to work meetings. Which one to get depends on what you plan to use it for. To use Google Meet on your phone, you'll need two apps — Google Meet and Google Calendar.

1. Starting a Call 

To start a call on Google Meet, you'll need to start in Google Calendar, then move over to Meet. 

  1.   Open the Google Calendar app.

  2.   Tap "+Event."

  3.   Add invitees as desired, and then tap "Done."

  4.   Tap "Save."

  5.   At the scheduled time for the meeting, open the Google Meet app.

  6.   Tap "New Meeting," or tap "Meeting Code" and enter the code for your event.

  7.   Tap "Join Meeting."

2. Joining a Call 

Three main options are available for joining a call in Google Meet. You can join through one of the two apps used to set up the call, or simply follow the link sent out to you in a text or email. 

Joining Through Google Calendar 

To join through Google Calendar, follow these steps. 

  1.   Open the Google Calendar app.

  2.   Choose the event.

  3.   Tap "Join Video Call."

Joining Through Google Meet

To join through Google Meet, follow these steps. 

  1.   Open the Google Meet app and swipe up.

  2.   Choose a meeting, or tap "Meeting Code" and enter the code for your event.

  3.   Tap "Join Meeting."

  4.   After tapping "Join Meeting," you may be prompted to tap "Ask To Join," and possibly to enter your name.

Joining Through a Meeting Link

To join through a meeting link, simply go through the two steps below. 

  1.   Find and tap the meeting link sent to you via text or email.

  2.   Follow the prompts to join the meeting.




Maintain an Up-To-Date Device 

One of the biggest obstacles you might encounter when trying to start or join a video call lies outside of the apps and in the device itself. If your phone is damaged, corrupted or old, it might not be capable of running video call software as well as a newer, more up-to-date device. And of course, even if you have a perfectly good phone, it may still be unable to host apps such as FaceTime if it's not the right make and model.

If you think this might be the case for you, no worries! ecoATM has your back. Just stop by one of our many kiosks around the country to sell your old phone. We'll provide you with instant cash for your device, and then we'll see that it gets safely and environmentally recycled. Find the kiosk nearest you, and bring over that old phone to get some money you can put toward buying a new one for all your video call needs! 

ecoATM is not affiliated with nor has it been authorized or sponsored by the manufacturers or service providers in this article.