Conference calls

There are a few product categories which see constant new entrants, but never gets solved. Note taking apps is a good example. Same goes for calendar or email apps. Today, I wanted to talk about conference calls. Another category with constant new entrants. Yesterday, I had a atrocious conference call on Google Hangouts. The sound and video was slow even though we were on a fast enough internet connections on both sides of the call. Also my webcam was only outputting a black image. My webcam works fine on Skype and FaceTime.

I always wondering how much productivity we loose on fixing conference call issues. It must be enormous – besides that it is simply annoying.

For a while now, I routinely dialin by phone. I try to avoid using my computer for anything else than sharing my screen. This strategy works pretty well for me. The connection is always reliable and I’ve never issues with my side of the connection.

Unfortunately, Google Hangouts does not support phone dialin so I was stuck (and got promptly reminded why I always dialing in by phone). Personally, I use UberConference. They provide me with my own personal conference phone number which is easier to share than a phone number with a pin plus there is no annoying menu system to get through. I can share my screen right from the browser. It just works.

I routinely encounter Skype for Business and Zoom in my calls. Skype for business never works for me – probably because I’m not on Windows – but they do provide a solid dialin number. Zoom is more reliable and works on most platforms. Google Hangouts still feels immature. I don’t understand why companies consider use that.