28 September 2016
Duration: 2:52
Video calls on an Android tablet are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.

Video calls on an Android tablet are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. Much better than a phone call and it's free.

A picture of your friend appears on your tablet and a picture of you appears on theirs. It's just like talking face to face. There are a number of video call programs such as Skype and Tango. You can download these apps for free from the Google Play store. Since video calls use the internet, your tablet needs to be connected to a WiFi or mobile network and have a video call app already installed. The person you're calling needs to be using the same video call app as you for the link to work.

Android tablets usually have two cameras: a big one on the back and a really tiny one on the front. It's commonly found on the right at the top of the tablet when you hold it sideways, above the display. This is the camera used for video calling. You can accidentally cover it with your thumb if you hold the tablet lengthwise. You should be aware of that.

When you've downloaded a video call app such as Skype, your tablet will ring whenever someone calls you. To take the call just tap the answer button. You place a call by simply tapping on a contact's name. Your video call app will ask you if you want to make a voice call or make a call with video. Of course, choose call with video.

You'll hear your friend's tablet ringing and when they answer your call there will be a short delay while the video connection is established. In the bottom corner of the display you can see a little inset video of yourself. This is exactly what the other person sees. You can hold your tablet in a horizontal or vertical position and the camera will automatically adjust, but make sure you don't cover it with your thumb.

Now, chat to your friend. There shouldn't be much delay and there are no buttons to press. Just speak normally.

Sometimes a call might get a little bit choppy or even drop out. You can either wait for the signal to return or end the call and then call straight back. This often fixes the problem.

Video calls are free, but the call will use some of your internet data allowance. Once you get the hang of making calls, tell all your friends to get an account on the same video call app as you. You can even call people who only have a PC or a laptop. Then you can all chat whenever you like and it's for free.