For those looking for a Skype or Yahoo Messenger alternative, Camfrog Video Chat is an option to consider. While we found it easy to use, we ran into a few difficulties trying to join some of its chat rooms.
Camfrog's user interface is clean and simple, although it reminds us a bit too much of Apple's iChat application. Still, it isn't intimidating and has all the primary functions accessible so you won't waste valuable minutes reading the Help files. Just like in Skype or YM, you need to create a contact list first, but the application isn't limited to messaging; it also provides a place to meet people through its long list of video chat rooms. Unfortunately, Camfrog for Mac wasn't at its peak performance during our testing. We wanted to join several video chat rooms, but we got kicked out of some, as the application couldn't recognize our built-in iSight camera.
When compared with the Windows application, we found that Camfrog for Mac has certain limitations. For instance, we couldn't retrieve a contact's profile details by hovering the cursor over the video window. You can access the user's public information by locating him or her using the Locate User feature, which seems a bit Skype-ish.
Camfrog is a good free application for both personal and professional use (due to its videoconferencing feature), providing what you'd expect from the name: easy video chat.
Camfrog Video Chat allows you to join real streaming video chat rooms where you can hear, see, and chat with many people at a time. Instant message a user to get to know them before you Webcam chat, and add them to your contact list. This videoconferencing software also works behind most firewalls and routers. Camfrog Video Chat allows multi-user videoconferencing where you can join a room with up to 1000 users and just click a user name to begin seeing someone. Press the 'talk' button to talk to the entire room with audio. The video chat rooms are hosted by broadband users who are running the Camfrog Video Chat Room Server software so any user can set up their own multi-user video conference for other users to join. No Webcam is required to see people, but some rooms might not allow users without Webcams. Camfrog Video Chat is optimized for broadband users so it has fast video.
What's new in this version:
- MacOS X 10.9 compatibility.
- Newly improved video codec (h264 for you techies out there).
- New media streaming system (TCP support).
- Login speedup.
- New colored nicknames.
- Various bug fixes and stability enhancements.