The Harbinger Online

Oovoo: The new FaceTime

I sat in bed, FaceTiming one of my friends, helping her with Algebra 2 homework. Trying to recall what I had learned last year about functions, I worked through the problems with her.

At the same time, my phone buzzed for what felt like every other second with questions from all different people about the same problems– differences between different functions, how to graph them and more.

I was stressed out. I wanted to be able to FaceTime with everyone who needed help. The communication between all of us would be so much easier and quicker.

That was when I remembered hearing about an app like FaceTime, but with more than just one person, Oovoo. It is a free app designed for video and voice chat with up to 12 people.

Oovoo’s first appeal to me was its simplicity. It seemed as though anyone could glide through making an account. There were pop-ups throughout the signup process that had clear instructions which outline the app.

A list of contacts in the user’s phone with an Oovoo pops up. Under the contact profile, there was either a green circle, meaning that person was available at the time, or a green phone icon with a “Last seen …” next to it. That saved me the time of texting people to see who was available.

I chose one contact to begin with and decided between video chat, voice chat or direct message with them. Once on video or voice chat, I was able to add as many contacts as I wanted to the conversation. After exceeding four, the names will start popping up on the bottom and those contacts won’t be seen by anyone, but they can still hear the conversation. If someone does want to join the video, a quick swipe will swap two contacts.

My favorite part of Oovoo was the effect button. Once on a chat, there was an icon at the bottom of my screen that would alter my image. There’s “Monster” which transformed my face to a glowing green and my eyes red, and “Indie,” which is more of a grayscale. And there’s also just about everything in between.

When everyone in my chat used all different effects, it made for quite a colorful, fun screen and added some excitement to typical boring math homework.

After I downloaded Oovoo, I texted all my friends who wanted help with math to download it. I was able to talk to all of them at once and only had to explain what a parabolic function was twice instead of tens of times. I didn’t have to worry about only one-on-one FaceTime.
Overall, I didn’t find have any complaints about Oovoo. I found it a fun and efficient way to voice or video chat with multiple people, and help them with math homework, if necessary.

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