By Stephen Schenck | April 5, 2011 4:12 PM
With more and more smartphones shipping with forward-facing cameras, and 4G connections bringing more bandwidth than ever, the time seems ripe for video calls to blow up in a big way. Fring’s been busy adding video capabilities to its VoIP apps for Android and iOS, optimizing its program to allow video calls without killing your phone’s battery, and adding dynamic compression options to keep up with the varying quality of your mobile data connection. Now the company wants to combine video calls with conference calling, introducing a beta version of Fring with multi-party video call support.
If you’ve got three other friends you’re looking to connect with all at once, the Fring beta will let you initiate a video session and then invite each user to join in, one by one, until the four of you are all connected to each others’ live feeds. The group video calls are supported on both the Android and iOS versions of Fring, but in order to be included in the beta testing, you’ll have to submit a registration request.
The functionality looks really cool, but the sign-up process to get involved with the beta is a bit onerous. Apparently worried that users would sign up and then not have enough friends to make good use of group calls, Fring is requiring you to submit info about the smartphones of three of your friends, including details like their UDID or IMEI that aren’t exactly the sort of things you’d share with your buddies. We hope that doesn’t discourage too many testers, because we’d really like to see group video calling leave beta soon.