Geek’s Blog

Communication apps for the family this Christmas

Hi Geeks! Believe it or not, it’s already time to talk about the holidays. Speaking of, how to talk to your family at Christmas? We’re kicking off the season with some of our favourite communication apps to bring the family together.

Kiwis have always been the type to fly the nest, which is why so many of us are spread out all over the country and the world.

Yet when Christmas is a time for family, it’s important to have a reliable app to come together. Even if you’re at opposite ends of the country – or on the other side of the world.

Here are our favourite communication apps to bring the family together this Christmas. Remember if you need help getting your computer set-up or Geeks can help with your computer issues.


Zoom became immensely popular during the pandemic.

The best thing about Zoom is how easy it is to use. You don’t need an account to use it and you can access Zoom via a web client if you are limited in what you can install or download.  One person can set it up, and everyone else can simply click the link to join the video conference without needing an account of their own. Our technicians can even help you get connected.

You can have up to 100 attendees on a single standard Zoom call. So, as long as your family doesn’t exceed 100, you’ll have plenty of room for everyone!

The biggest downside is that free accounts only get 40 minutes to chat. So you will either need to keep your catch-up brief, hang up and call again, or invest in a paid account.


Facetime is the in-built video calling app in Apple devices.

The biggest benefit of this app is its quality. FaceTime is well known for not lagging or having connection issues. It’s also free, allows for up to 32 people on a single call, and comes with all Apple devices.

While anyone with Android devices can join a FaceTime call, the downside of this app is that someone with an Apple product must initiate the call and invite the Android users. Therefore you’ll need someone who owns an Apple phone, laptop, or tablet to set up the call and send out the links to the rest of the family. If you do encounter computer issues along the way, we can fix your computer issues and get you up to speed.


Messenger is a well-known social app that allows you to send messages, call, and video call anyone on your Facebook and/or Instagram. You can even use it to reach out to people who you are not friends with, but they have to accept your invite first.

The benefit of Messenger is that many people already have accounts, and are already familiar with the software. That makes it easy to get a group video call going. However, if someone does not have Messenger, they will need to set up an account to join in.

You’ll be able to invite up to 50 people to the hangout, and the AR effects and stickers can add a lot of fun and festive flair to your chat.


WhatsApp is a communication app built for easy messages, calls, and video calls.

One of the biggest selling points of WhatsApp is its security. It comes with end-to-end encryption, which means that no one but you and the person you are messaging can read the messages. Even WhatsApp cannot access them.

Users will need to download the app either to their laptop, tablet, or smartphone and sign up. From there, it’s free and very easy to use with unlimited calls. You can also invite up to 256 people to a video call at once.

Unlike the other communications apps, WhatsApp relies on a phone number so is not the best option for computer/laptop-only users, but it can be set up using a landline number.

Google Meet

Google Meet is Google’s offering in the messaging and calling space.

It’s a free, popular and easy-to-use app that is in-built with all Gmail email accounts. The good news is that you do not need a gmail account to join one of these video calls, but you do need an invite from someone who does.

There’s a maximum of 100 people for video calls, and a time limit of just 60 minutes.

Make sure your devices are Christmas-gathering ready

Want to get an old tablet working for a Christmas family video call, or having issues with your broken laptop? Our friendly Geeks on Wheels can stop by to help with all your computer, tablet, and mobile phone troubles. Whether it’s computer repairs, computer upgrades, or simple computer help a geek can get you sorted!

Call us on 0800 4 A GEEK (0800 424 335) or book a Geek online now.