Videoconferencing apps

To expand on what I said earlier, while the Teams app works fine on iPhone, there is an issue on iPad Pro which sometimes stops the join meeting link from opening the Teams app if your default browser is Safari. Microsoft do admit to this if you search their online forums enough.

The work around is to let it open a Safari page that offers to download the web app, (but if you try to do that it fails and says the browser is incompatible.). So instead of accepting to download the web app, you copy the URL of the page in Safari and paste it into the Edge app. Apparently this works with Chrome too. Now you get a page that says “Got the app? Open it?” And if you accept that, it takes you into the Teams app.

Whether you need to do this seems to depend on how the Teams meeting has been set up. I have regular Teams meetings with four organisations, all of whom use Office365. Three of these don’t need the workaround but the fourth always does.

Anyway for hobby, casual, social things I agree with @Simon-in-Suffolk and would always go for Zoom personally.



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I’ve already dealt with the point Simon when commenting on the UNISON branch meeting. The content of the meeting is nothing to the point. It’s insecure software.

The consequences of that insecurity are exposure to third party material over which Zoom still has no control.

Out of interest why would you need to use Safari (I don’t by the way. I use DuckDuckGo on my iPad Pro)?

I use the Outlook app; go to the calendar request within that and click on “Join Teams Meeting”. Works every time.

Why not use Safari? It works fine for everything else. I do use other browsers from time to time, but I like Safari and I don’t want to change the default browser setting just because Microsoft and Apple can’t make their software work together properly for Teams sessions.

There are lots of other things wrong with the user interface on Teams. For example if you have a meeting of say six people, instead of being able to see six video tiles, you get yours and one other - the person who is speaking. And if the person with control is sharing their screen, those two video tiles won’t stay in the foreground.

Teams is just really badly thought out. It’s probably fine for a real business team which can adapt their way of working to fit the software Microsoft has foist upon them but it’s nonsensical to try to use Teams for a social meeting.



Interesting. Not sure I’d agree with the edit of my response to @Simon-in-Suffolk given that it was a summary of the Schneier article and his links. He’s not been sued yet but if people here are a greater authority on IT security then kudos to them.

Your points are interesting David. I think they’re more about personal preference. I certainly don’t have your experience on my Pro. The app puts 4 people on tiles and that more than suffices for any meeting I’ve been in. Is it perfect? No, but then what is? I’d I prefer the app ran chat alongside video as it does in the W10 app but it’s not a deal breaker.

You can drop the chat down on screen in the iphone version of Teams, but it makes it a pain to use if the chair of the meeting is using chat for people to “raise their hand” or to pose questions/points that they want to ask/make, if you are looking at a PowerPoint slide as the person speaking introduces it.

If there is no screen sharing then it’s true you do get four tiles on an iPhone/iPad. But most meetings I have are more than four people. In fact I can’t think of any off hand that were less than about 8. My wife’s social things are often a lot more than that.



@Alley_Cat My school announced that it’s Zoom licence is provided by CSC / NORDUnet that prevents Zoom from sending user data to f. eg. Facebook.

You might want to check if your family member’s school uses similar approach.

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Thanks for that info.

That was another concern - even if the user wasn’t logged in via Facebook or didn’t have an account, the Facebook API used somehow tracked and monitored user activity of non Facebook users.

Sounds like paranoia to me. What information is Facebook supposed to gain from the unknown logged in user?


Paranoia or not. Business around information gathering and exchange is getting bigger and bigger. Whoever has the most knowledge f. eg. people’s consume interests or behaviour tends to have upperhand in competition.

Houseparty is very good for the weekly quiz. Easy to use and doesn’t require a license or an app. Not as secure as Teams which I use for work.

“Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me!”

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Far from “paranoia” it’s a documented fact as per the Schmeier article and numerous others. Zoom adopted the Facepalm API to allow logins via Facepalm but then had to have it pointed out to them that not only was Facepalm gathering data from those logins it was also gathering data from Zoom users who weren’t using Facepalm credentials.

Better still, this was part of the Facepalm T&Cs which Zoom signed up to but, by their own admission, hadn’t bothered to read. An admission generally greeted with both astonishment and horror by the security industry. The fact that in the case of the UK this is a blatant DPA breach also passed them by.

Said breach has been fixed but, as has been observed, the damage has been done and the attitude persists.

Most of my meetings have between 6 and 32 staff involved and we simply don’t find it an issue. As I say, personal preference always plays a part.


Is there a way to effectvely play music to friends whilst chatting ? We can do it with zoom, but whether that’s playing on the hifi in the background and being picked up by the microphone, or sharing computer audio at the same time as sharing the screen, the quality is rubbish.

I can’t think of a good method out of the box for consumer, as the codecs for video conferencing are typically very lossy compressed and optimised for voice intelligibility rather than music…
On phone / mobile voice systems, if one is doing a quality job and you are providing music on hold or other early type media, then consideration is required for the complexity of the music for it to sound acceptable through the codecs… you can usually hear an amateur job in this regard as the ‘music’ will sound terrible.

Interesting thanks. Shame though. Maybe we can all listen to the same Radio Paradise station at the same time.

Earlier in this thread I said that Microsoft Teams didn’t always work properly on an iPad Pro if you tried to join from an invitation email.

Today I downloaded a new update for the IOS Teams app and I’m glad to say that this latest version does seem to work properly. So that’s good.



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I use Google Meet for video conferencing

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