👋🏻 Party it up — from your phone

👋🏻 Party it up — from your phone
The main screen of the Houseparty app.Photo by Jordan Brandt

  During the past week, a new app has taken over the East student body. Houseparty, which is free on Google Play and the App Store, is a FaceTime competitor that lets friends group video chat. Houseparty is not the first of it’s kind, however. ooVoo and Skype are two apps that have been doing this for

 

Notification telling me that my friend Kierstin is in the house. These can be turned off as of the latest update. Photo by Jordan Brandt.

Notification telling me that my friend Kierstin is in the house. These can be turned off as of the latest update. Photo by Jordan Brandt.

During the past week, a new app has taken over the East student body. Houseparty, which is free on Google Play and the App Store, is a FaceTime competitor that lets friends group video chat.

Houseparty is not the first of it’s kind, however. ooVoo and Skype are two apps that have been doing this for awhile. An advantage Houseparty has over it’s competitors is it’s simplicity. When you open the app, you’re presented with the camera facing yourself and your friends list. The app has a clean design. You can send 👋🏻 to let your friends know that you want to talk to them, even when they’re not on the app. Your friends will be notified, like seen on the right. Your friends all show up on the screen while you’re video chatting. You can see yourself on the bottom of the screen, to make sure you’re looking A1. When you’re feeling sneaky or mean, you can lock your room so no one else can get into it.

One “feature” of the app that annoyed people was constant notifications. Whenever someone opened the Houseparty app, your friends were notified. As of a December 11th update, you now have the ability to turn off notifications for certain people.

The app has a few negative parts about it. For starters, depending on your internet connection, people will show up pixelated or won’t show up at all. An odd bug is that your camera will automatically go black during a group call, and you can’t fix it until you totally close out of the app and open it again. I’ve also noticed poor battery life when I’m in a Houseparty call, but this could be a part of the known battery problem with iPhones.

Overall, Houseparty is a great foray into the group video chat world. It’s fast, free, and simple. I’d recommend it to any of my friends.

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