Fring launches 4-way video calls and we test it

Last night while recording TheSocialGeeks (head over and subscribe) we talked about the launch of Fring video calling for up to 4 users across device platforms.  Well when all was said and done we went ahead and tested.  Note Wayne Sutton, Jeff (isageek) Smith and Corvida as we hold our first Fring test.

We had two people on HTC EVO devices and two on iPhone.  There was no distinct difference once we were all connected. From talking about it, there was slight UI differences in adding connections.  What you are looking at above is the HTC EVO screenshot. Your own picture is always on the bottom left.

Wifi would be recommended but 3G was used for at least two of TheSocialGeeks.  Audio quality had a distinct echo if you did not wear headsets.  I believe it was Jeff that said it sounded like a bunch of high pitched buzzing bugs with the feedback.  Fring fires up the speaker and mic if no headset is connected so audio feedback was to be expected.  You can easily switch between the front facing and rear facing camera on your device with the second button above.

Now one thing I did not like was the automatic adding of friends based on my local phone book.  Just because they are local contacts does not mean I would want them as Fring contacts.  That should be an option.

Adding users not in the local contacts was simple and flawless if you knew their username. I did not have the chance to add someone that I didn’t know a username and only had a phone number for.  A SMS is then sent to that user inviting them to join Fring.

Keep in mind Fring supports other chat services like Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, AIM.  Voice calls are not supported on AIM and Yahoo, but the hooking of multiple social contacts and layering group video calls makes this a great application for that instant communication when everyone doesn’t have Facetime.

This app will move into the keep stack for a while to see how many people begin using it.