10 screen-sharing apps offer easy collaboration

These 10 apps let you video chat, message, share screens and collaborate in real time with your co-workers.

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10 collaboration apps worth a look

There’s no shortage of collaboration tools that let you screen-share with your colleagues, clients and customers, but it’s easy to get bogged down by all the specs and price points. Finding the right collaboration tool to fit your needs requires a little research into features, security, pricing models and reliability.

These 10 collaboration apps offer some unique benefits, including screen-sharing, video chat and more. There’s an app to fit any business need and any budget.

teamviewer12
TeamViewer 12

The original TeamViewer is a great application for screen-sharing, but TeamViewer12 brings secure, encrypted screen-sharing and remote support with a higher frame-rate. It’s targeted more at businesses that need to offer remote support, but it’s also a great option if you need to regularly screen-share with others to collaborate on large projects. One of the biggest features in TeamViewer12 is the high frame rate connection; that means, you can edit videos or other similar tasks via remote sessions with frame rates of up to 60 fps.

You’ll also get faster file transfer speeds, mobile-to-mobile remote connections and a simple interface for clients to use. Unlike other programs that charge a monthly or annual fee for the service, you purchase TeamViewer12 licenses for a one-time fee. For the business level, you can get a single-user license for $849, while the “premium” level offers multi-user floating licenses for a one-time fee of $1,689; corporate users can buy a license for $2,799, which allows for three concurrent users.

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Slack

Slack has quickly become the collaboration tool of choice for businesses, offering enough collaboration features in one app to keep everyone happy. While at first it might just look like another messaging app, Slack brings more to the table than multiple chat rooms. You can share files, conduct video or audio calls, collaborate on documents and more. It’s also highly intuitive, and with a low learning curve, you won’t have to worry about employees avoiding an over-complicated app. And your workers will love its integration with many of the productivity apps they use every day. You can use Slack for free, with a few, reasonable limitations. Limitations include, archiving for up to 10,000 messages -- instead of unlimited -- and a limit of two people on any given call. Free accounts still have access to the iOS, Android, Mac and Windows apps, as well as the ability to send files up to 5GB.

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Huddle

Businesses that work with confidential data might not have as much leeway when it comes to selecting collaboration software. Huddle is a collaboration tool specifically aimed at government agencies and enterprise businesses that need to ensure privacy in day-to-day communications. Huddle works across mobile devices and integrates with Microsoft Office and Google for Work; users can also customize the layout to create a cohesive experience.

It’s free for external users, so that means you can communicate with clients and customers and they won’t need to pay for Huddle on their end. However, a Huddle account doesn’t come cheap for businesses; the most basic package starts at $20 per user per month, but you can opt for a free trial to make sure it’s the right tool before committing.

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Microsoft Teams

In the past, one of the easiest way to screen-share on Windows was to use Microsoft Remote Assistance or Skype, but now there’s Microsoft Teams. This Slack competitor aims to become a collaboration mainstay for businesses. You can message other users, conduct screen-share sessions, video chat and quickly share files or other content. It’s a great option for businesses that are entrenched in the Microsoft ecosystem, since it naturally integrates with Windows 10 apps and the Microsoft Office Suite.

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Glip

Glip is a tool that wants to bring your chats, tasks, calendars, notes, video chats and files into one simplified app. These features are baked into the app, but you can also connect with popular apps you already use. You can manage email alerts, calendar notifications, messages and more from a variety of third party services including Hangouts, DropBox, GitHub and more. It syncs with Outlook, iCal, and Gmail, and allows for collaborative document editing, push notifications and file-sharing along with a promise of “twenty-four seven, bank-level security.” The best feature of Glip, however, might be the price; you can have unlimited people on a free account with unlimited posts, storage, app integrations, guest users and 500 minutes of video chat. From there, accounts go up to $5 or $10 per person, per month and include customer support and more video chat minutes.

ScreenMeet
Credit: IDG
ScreenMeet

ScreenMeet approaches screen-sharing in a different way than most apps -- it’s targeted at mobile users who need to project a smartphone to a larger display. It’s designed for sales teams to quickly share presentations and demos with as little hassle as possible, allowing for up to 50 viewers per meeting. All you do is start a ScreenMeet session, share the custom URL and then anyone can instantly view your display without a meeting ID, login, software, or password.

Meetings are HIPAA and FINRA compliant, screen data is encrypted and you can opt to use passwords or “knock-to-join” for another layer of security. It works across tablets, desktops and smartphones, and you can sign up with a work email to get a free trial with five free meetings. Paid subscriptions start at $15 per month or $150 per year for mobile access, while a plan with desktop access is $25 per month or $249 per year.

ScreenShare
Credit: IDG
ScreenShare

ScreenShare is aimed at anyone who wants to screen share between two mobile devices. You need to install the app on both devices, so it’s not ideal if you’re working with outside clients. However, for personal or inter-office use, it’s an easy solution -- it’s completely free and ad-free. The company states that the app is free “in order to serve as a reference implementation for Spring Design and its company’s patents with multi-screens applications.”

It’s a little more complex than other apps, and reviews are mixed -- but it will allow you to share files, stream browser content and videos from one device to another. If anything, it’s worth checking out to see if it will suit your needs since it’s free to use without ads.

BlueJeans
Credit: IDG
BlueJeans

BlueJeans promises to connect you with up to 100 colleagues across multiple platforms for quick, easy collaboration. With enterprise accounts, you can even hold interactive meetings with thousands of participants. It’s also compatible with Slack, so if you’re already using the popular collaboration tool, you’ll get seamless integration.

What makes this cloud-based collaboration tool unique is that it lets you to stream multi-party, interactive broadcasts over Facebook Live, allowing you to connect directly with customers. You can try Blue Jeans for free, but pricing starts at $9.95 per month for a personal account, while enterprise accounts depend on the size of your business and the features you need.

Appear.in
Credit: IDG
Appear.in

Appear.in lets you quickly create a room right on the home page -- you can choose “room name” and if it’s taken you’ll be prompted to choose something else. Or, if you already know the name of your chat, you’ll be able to instantly start video chatting. Once you create a link, just share it and start chatting instantly -- you can screen share, join from any device and set the room to private. If anyone “knocks” while you’re in a private chat, you can check to see who it is through the video function before you let them enter.

It’s free to use, while premium accounts start at $12 per room and allow for up to 12 people per room. With premium accounts, you can also screen share and video chat at the same time. That way, participants can see you while you present. It also includes more security features and other functionality for businesses that rely on video conferencing and screen sharing. It’s a great choice for quick collaboration between remote teams, without the added hassle of downloading software.

Screenleap
Credit: IDG
Screenleap

Screenleap is another easy-to-use platform that allows you to screen share almost instantly. On the homepage, you select “share your screen now” to instantly start sharing your screen with any device that has a browser, including smartphones and tablets. It does require a download, but it’s quick and painless -- and you only have to do it once. Once you start sharing your screen, you’ll see a link and PIN that you can send to participants to join.

The only person who needs to download the app is the person who will be sharing their screen. Viewers will not need to download any apps or create an account. All they need is a web browser, the link you provide and the PIN number to enter. A free account gives you one-two hours a day and eight viewers per meeting. From there, you choose from different account levels, including Basic, Pro and Company.