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Alternatives to Skype
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Jul 6, 2013, 04:57 AM
 
You have disappointed me for the last time, Skype. The quality of the connection is often horrible and the »let's hang up and I'll call you again.« has become common. So I was wondering what alternatives are out there, especially for phone calls to regular phones. FaceTime usually works much better, but I also need to send stuff by chat. Screen sharing would also be a big plus.

Any recommendations?
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Jul 6, 2013, 03:54 PM
 
I assume you are talking cross-platform, not only Mac ?

-t
     
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Jul 7, 2013, 11:04 AM
 
Yeah, that'd be best, although I could live with an app that works on OS X and iOS which is reliable, allows me to mix chats and video/voice chats, and can also do calls to »real« phones. FaceTime works, but as far as I can tell you can't mix video calls with chats (useful for exchanging links and text snippets).

I'd rather not deal with Google, but if it's the best solution out there, I'll bite the bullet.
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Jul 9, 2013, 06:02 PM
 
There just isn't any one app that will let you do everything you're requiring apart from Skype that I'm aware of. I mostly use Messages for chatting (it supports AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo directly, and several other services through its Jabber support), screen sharing and sending files. I can opt for audio calling (but not to real phones) and of course FaceTime and SMS, so this meets all my needs except for calling real phones (which is a paid service no matter what you use, as far as I can see). Some of Messages' services (like Screen Sharing) only work with Macs or iOS devices, but that hasn't been a problem for me ... the number of people I know with Android devices is incredibly tiny, and they use them just as what I'll call "organizer phones" rather than true Internet devices.

For calling real phones, there are alternatives such as Vonage and ISTR one called Sidecar, but as the paid "call real phones" function in Skype has generally worked well for me (I find its mostly on video conferencing where they suck), I've kept that service from them. I don't know if Google Talk can call real phones, as like you I want to reduce rather than increase my involvement with Google.
Charles Martin
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Jul 9, 2013, 10:40 PM
 
Damn, I was hoping to find something which would take Skype's place.
I usually use Messages/FaceTime as a fallback option, but I was hoping to replace Skype with a single app. Looks like life is not so easy. I really hate Skype's UI, but I could tolerate it if it worked reliably.

I guess I'll continue using FaceTime alongside Skype then.
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