Who remembers Microsoft NetMeeting? While some of you may, it almost makes me feel old just to think about it. Microsoft NetMeeting was probably the first messaging and VOIP software that I came to use, and use reliably. Before the likes of MSN Messenger (which went on to become Windows Live Messenger, and is now all bundled into SKYPE) and Yahoo Messenger, we had Microsoft NetMeeting. It was a handy way to talk to people, directly through knowing somebody’s IP address. Simple, clever, yet somehow extremely nerdy.
Times have moved on. This isn’t 1999 still (when I first used NetMeeting, though it was about earlier), and our needs have moved on to. From being a student who just fancied technology, I have turned to one who has to use it everyday in my daily life. There are meetings to be held, presentations to give, and of course lots and lots of information and files have to be exchanged. Now a lot of solutions give you most of these aspects, but not many will give you everything.
This is where LogMeIn’s join.me comes in. While we’ll be covering LogMeIn in detail in the near future as well, let’s focus on join.me:
In their own words:
join.me is a ridiculously simple way to collaborate, train, help, or just show off.
What does this mean? It means that you finally have a software that lets you share your screen, give presentations, help others by taking over their mouse, allow other people to give presentations on your machine, or just give people your mouse control, and vice versa. You can also record these presentations, which can be downloaded later, both with and without audio. Hence, if you’re the kind of company who gives web seminars, or online presentations, or has a lot of video conferences among peers, this is the software for you.
The software comes in two versions, free and pro. For most users, and even business users, the free version should be good enough. What is even better is that most people don’t even need to install any software for this. You can just access the shared screen and information through a browser. You can also view the shared screen via both Apple and Android systems, so whether you’re on the move, or at your desk, you can always access the information as long as you have an internet connection.
The Free account gives you:
- up to 10 meeting participants
- screen sharing
- internet calling
- share control
- send files
- viewer: iPad/iPhone or Android
While the Pro account offers all the goodies in free, plus:
- up to 250 meeting participants
- unified audio & int’l conference lines
- presenter swap
- pro desktop app
- personal link & background
- meeting scheduler
- meeting lock
- user management & reporting
- window sharing
- presenter: iPad
During our review, we had access to the pro account, though initially we tried it using the free version.
Here is a small video join.me have prepared to show you how easy it is to use the service:
How to use it:
It all starts with you starting the app, or heading to the website.
With the app, the following tab appears on top:
Now if you’re not Pro, the ‘oxgadgets’ bit in the link above would actually be a 9 digit number.
From here, you can give this code/or link to people, and they can join in. As simple as that. Just point them to https://join.me/ and they can see the following screen:
They can enter your code/link and off they go.
They can also do the same if they have the app installed on their Apple or Android device.
Alternatively, you can start a meeting from the website directly too. No downloads required!
Once somebody enters your code, a little message comes up asking if you’d like to give them access. Say yes, and there you are.
You can share your screen, and you can actually start an audio conference with them as well to give a presentation. During your screen share, you can also share files, or annotate/highlight items. What’s more, you can also give the mouse access to somebody else, allowing them to take over. In the pro account, you can also add other people who can give presentations, and only you need to be pro, not them.
You cannot share the screen from within the app, but you can share files with other people in the app. You can also take mouse control, which is handy.
Ease of use:
This is probably the simplest software I have ever used when it comes to screen sharing and presentations. I have tried a fair few, and just getting a connection/audio going is always a pain. The fact that this delivers, delivers well, and needs no ‘expertise’ from the users says a lot. Screen sharing has always been a complicated thing that has required some IT support in most companies, but join.me has taken away the middle man.
Where do I get it?
Just head to https://join.me/ for all you need to know.
If you haven’t guessed already, I am pretty much sold on this. The fact that you can use this for free is a tremendous plus, and yes, if you’re a business with higher needs, you can always go pro.