Camfrog Video Chat video chat client first launched in 2003. The program allows users to chat with other users in a chat room and view each other’s webcam. The program is available on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, however it is also available on the Windows Mobile and Apple iOS platforms.
The program will install quickly, however users are advised to take the long scenic route as opposed to the quick installation if they wish to avoid installing and adopting a number of AVG products and settings. Immediately you are asked to register but users who already have accounts can bypass this screen and proceed to sign in.
Once installed, Camfrog’s interface may remind some users of Windows Live Messenger’s interface as they both resemble each other in arrangement of icons and artwork. Notwithstanding the similarity, Camfrog’s interface is very slick-looking. Users can update their status right in that main window. Also, lower down there are three tabs for Contacts, Rooms and Phone calls. To chat in Camfrog users can either enter the Main Camfrog Room, join one of the Video Chat Rooms or even create their own chat room. Alternately, users can add contacts using the Add to Contact List button at the bottom of the window.
Chats open in tabbed windows with the large left panel displaying the conversation and the right side panel the other members of that group. Users can click on another user’s name to start viewing their webcam. Alternately, right clicking on any user reveals a number of ways to interact with the individual. Camfrog displays an eye icon next to a member’s name if they are viewing your webcam. You can only view one webcam at a time in a tiny window unless you opt to upgrade to the paid version of the program. Apart from viewing their webcam, users can add them to their contact list or send them am instant message window.
In the IM chat window users can also send snapshots of themselves, send files or play Camfrog games. Users can listen to the conversation going on in the room or join in by clicking the Talk button when it isn’t in use and grayed out. When another user is chatting their name appears next to the speaker icon to the right of the Talk button. Users can also call actual phones with Camfrog however this requires that credit is added to the account.
Camfrog may be seen by some parents as a nightmare given the ease with which minors can share their webcam feed with anyone with an account. However, there are precautions in place to protect users. For one, users must accept Camfog’s video chatting rules. The program also comes with a number of password-protected parental controls which parents can take charge of. Among those, parents can choose to block certain features like video viewing or broadcasting. They can also stop their children from joining rooms that are not hosted by Camfrog. Chat rooms hosted by Camfrog are monitored by operators who will kick out users for a number of infringements including violating the ban on nudity or sharing graphic sexual content.
Camfrog is a program devoted almost entirely to video chatting. Sharing chat rooms with random people around the world can be somewhat entertaining. The program may remind some of the public chat rooms run by Skype before they were discontinued. Camfrog takes this idea and runs with it.
- + Free video chatting
- + Parental controls
- + Create your own room
- - Free version only allows one small-window webcam viewing at a time
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