Have you ever wanted to have an online video call with a colleague or friend and want to use a larger screen than a mobile device for your conversation? Well, now you can use the Firefox Hello Video Chat to make an online video call with another person whether they’re in the next building, across town, or in another state.
The call doesn’t cost you anything; there’s nothing to download, and no account to setup. In browser version 35.0, Firefox new Hello feature was just released the week of January 15, 2015, but was introduced as a beta feature last fall and described as, Hello is a WebRTC-based chat service that allows you to start a conversation by sharing or emailing a link to your conversation partner at that time.
The person that you’re calling doesn’t have to be on Firefox; they can use Chrome or Opera browser to join the conversation. Unfortunately, as of January 2015, there is no WebRTC support for Internet Explorer and Safari browsers, so you will not be able to use those browsers.
Hello Video Calling
Make sure you have updated your Firefox browser to the latest 35.0 version. After updating, if you don’t see the Hello icon on your toolbar, you’ll need to click the “open menu” icon located at the top right of your browser window which will open the panel as shown below. Next, click the Customize link which will be at the bottom of the blue panel. Next, you see the expanded window to the left of the blue panel which contains the Hello icon as noted in the image below. Finally, drag and drop the Hello icon from the left panel into the icon section on the right side of screen (blue panel white area).
To start using your new online video calling feature, click the Hello button from the tool bar and then select the Start a conversation button. In the little box below, type the email address of the person you want to call.Within a matter of seconds, you’ll be on your online video call that also will include audio.
Also, if the person you’re calling is online and using Firefox, you can call that person directly. Another useful feature, is using the Import Contacts option to import your Google contacts into your Hello address book. Of course, you’ll need to sign-in to your Google account to grant permission.
What Hello Doesn’t Do
Hello can only carry on a conversation with one person at a time. If you’re looking for a video conference with more than two people, Hello is probably not the right choice for you.
Also, currently, there are no options to share screens, but Firefox has plans to add screen sharing and other collaboration features in future releases.
Hello seems to be an easy-to-use online video chat application. As more people become aware of its existence and the fact that it’s free, they will use it to connect with each other on the web, whether for work, fun, or family and friends who live far away.
What application are you or your small business using for online conferencing or video chat that’s easy to use? We would love to hear about it.