Regardless of the industry in which they operate, Apple professionals often find themselves in need of a reliable collaboration tool that can be used to host online meetings. Several cost-effective and reliable options exist — GoToMeeting Pro, JoinMe Pro, and WebEx Premium 8 are three examples — but Apple users should review the fine print to ensure the service they select meets their specific needs.
GoToMeeting, JoinMe, and WebEx — three leading services — all offer many of the same features. All three provide users in different locations with the ability to share the presenter's screen, call in to the online meeting using internet (VoIP) calling, record meeting sessions, and generate online meeting reports listing attentiveness and participation activity. All three platforms work with Macs and the Safari browser, and all three offer free iOS apps for use on iPhones and iPads.
However, some subtle but important differences exist. While GoToMeeting and WebEx offer video conferencing, JoinMe does not. And, while JoinMe and WebEx offer file sharing, the feature isn't automatically integrated within GoToMeeting.
Pricing differences and participant maximums exist, as well. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the highlights of each of these three leading online meeting resources.
In addition to application sharing, meeting recording, and reporting features, GoToMeeting Pro offers group and private chat capabilities, keyboard and mouse sharing, and high-definition video conferencing. At $39 (USD) per month / per organizer when paid annually, GoToMeeting initially appears more expensive than some of its competitors, but the service is reliable and easy to learn. While lacking an integrated file transfer feature, GoToMeeting Pro supports a maximum of 25 participants and boasts an average iOS app rating of 4.5 within Apple's App Store.
JoinMe, LogMeIn's candidate in the online meeting space, offers unlimited audio, recording, one-click scheduling, presenter swap capability, screen sharing, and file transfer. At $15 (USD) per user / per month paid annually, JoinMe Pro supports up to 250 participants but does not offer video conferencing. The corresponding iOS app possesses an average iOS app rating of 4.
WebEx Premium 8
Cisco's entrant is a serious contender, as is expected from any product bearing the Cisco moniker. WebEx Premium 8 offers virtual online meeting attendees video conferencing, application sharing, VoIP/internet inbound calling, whiteboard functionality, recording, and remote support. The Meeting Spaces feature, included with any WebEx Meetings plan, also offers secure file sharing. At $19 (USD) per host / per month paid annually, the service is competitively priced and supports up to 8 participants. The WebEx iOS app, meanwhile, boasts a 4.5 rating within Apple's App Store and the most reviews of the three apps, yet another element suggesting that it's the rightful leader of this pack.
What online meeting service for Mac and iOS do you prefer? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.