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Do you know why they say "Be there or be square"?
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Because you're not around. (Sorry)

But this was a great way to introduce today's tech-tool: Around. One of the most diverse and engaging video communication platforms around (sorry). And I'll tell you why; but first, a message from our sponsor: me.

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Application Label
Around ⭕
Around's circular camera frames

Around is a relatively new platform for video communication that was designed to be less intrusive, less clunky. Think about it: what all do you really need when you're video calling someone? 

Faces, and.. your screen. That's pretty much it. You don't need the actual application's window to take up all the space (hint hint: Zoom). On Zoom for Mac, you can't even see faces while using your laptop unless you make Zoom full-screen. Very annoying.

Do you remember that video of the man being interviewed by BBC, from his home, whose super-wife had to rescue him by taking care of those meddling kids?  

    GIF of BBC video meeting

    Imagine being on an important video call and this happens. Imagine that video call is also being broadcasted on one of the leading news channels in the world. That could be you

    Around brings a concept that you might have seen recently: AI-based camera framing. No need to worry about what your room looks like, if you have a dirty pile of laundry next to you, or if someone else is there. Around's camera-frame tracks your face's position, so that it moves while you move.

    For those who have been with me since day #1 (quite literally), I spoke of Krisp, an application you can use to mute all background noise while on a call, whether it's on your end or another participant's. Around brings that same feature built-in the app. Sirens, dogs barking, washing machines; this application mutes all of that noise so that the other participants don't get distracted by it.

    Using Around while sharing or using your screen

    Connecting to Around meetings is as simple as other video communication apps-- you simply share a link to your personal meeting room (just like with Zoom). You don't even need an account to join a meeting!

    Around's user interface was designed to not be obtrusive. No unnecessary taking-up-of-space, no messages popping up; maximum privacy and audio/video focus is all you need.

    Features: This application runs on Mac, Linux, Windows, and eventually even on the web. You can get up to 30 people sessions (and no time limit). And, of course, it was designed for you to share files, notes, presentations, and your screen, like a pro. And now... drum roll...

    It's free to use! (For now, anyway) 

    Though Around was announced early this year, there has been an eternal wait-list for it. So by all means, you can go to their website and enter your email to join the "wait-list" (which, again, is free). But for reference, it took 5+ months for me to get access to this app. Nonetheless... I have some good news for you.

    3 access codes for Around early access

    Given the fact that I'm part of Around's early access batch, I was given 3 access codes for 3 people to skip the waiting list and download this app immediately. But since there's many of you and only 3 of me (well, you know what I mean), if you're interested in winning one of the 3 access codes, here are the rules.

    Have 3 people subscribe to The Tech-Letter. I bet you didn't see that one coming. So for example: if John Doe gets 3 new people to subscribe, I will give John Doe one of the 3 access codes. Of course, John, if you're reading this, have the 3 new people let me know that you referred them, or you tell me which 3 new people have subscribed thanks to you.

    The first 3 people to get 3 new subscribers will get to use Around immediately! Of course... if you want, you can simply join the actual waiting list for eventual access. There's no time limit on this; but if by next week there are still access codes remaining, I'll keep you guys updated.

    P.S. To subscribe, simply visit The Tech-Letter or send them this survey!

    Price? Free (for now)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Format? Mac, Linux, Windows ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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