First News’ guide to video-calling family!

COVID-19 is a lot more dangerous to older people than younger ones.

To keep older generations safe from the coronavirus, the Government has said that the over-70s should ‘self-isolate’ and avoid others for 12 weeks.

For many older people across the UK, maybe your grandparents or neighbours, this will be difficult and they could get very lonely.

As these rules are brought in, we’re calling on our readers and their families to help the older people in their lives keep loneliness away, by keeping in touch with them while the coronavirus is with us.

Below, we’ve included some guides for you to share with elderly people you know on how to set up various video-calling apps and software. And there are some other ways that you can help.

While tech may come easy to you, it can be hard for older people to get the hang of things.

So, with the help of a parent or carer, send this page to older people and help them stay connected even if you can’t see them in person.


  • You’ll need two smartphones with WhatsApp installed (free on Android and Apple devices), a strong internet connection and, ideally, a front-facing camera.
  • When setting up WhatsApp, you’ll be prompted to add your phone number. Type this in, and you’ll receive a verification text. Once this is done, you should be good to go! To video call, simply head to your list of contacts, tap on the name of the person you want to call, then tap the little video icon.


  •  You’ll need two Apple devices, and you’ll both need an Apple ID. While these are mostly set up when people get their Apple devices, you can make one at
  • If you’re using an iPhone, FaceTime will automatically have your phone number, meaning other Apple device users can FaceTime you. If you’re using an iPad or an iPod Touch, or want to register your email on your iPhone, head to: Settings > FaceTime > Use your Apple ID for FaceTime, then sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Once that’s done, you can head to the Phone app, tap the name of the contact you want to FaceTime, and then hit the little video icon.


  • Google Hangouts is available on both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and can be accessed on computer
  • You’ll both need a Google account. Any email address can be used – but make sure you write the password down somewhere safe! To set one up, head to
  • Once you’ve set up an account, you can make video calls, audio calls, and message, entirely for free. If using a computer, you may get a prompt asking if you give permission for Google Hangouts to use your microphone and camera. If you say yes, you will be able to hear and see your grandchildren!


  • Whereby is a free tool that can be used for video calling. It doesn’t need users to download or sign up to anything.
  • One person should either download the Whereby app or head to – where you’ll need to put in your email. Once that’s done, you’ll get a verification code.
  • After inputting the code, you’ll be asked to make a room. This is a link that can be sent to three other people. Once they’ve clicked on it, they’ll need to give permission for Whereby to use their microphone and camera. Once that’s agreed, you should be on video call!