What is Amazon Chime?

Amazon Chime is a new communication service by Amazon that supports video conferencing, calls, chat, and the sharing of content.

The product is available for devices running Windows and Mac OS X, and for the mobile operating systems Android and iOS, and as an online version that you can use device-independent.

Data is automatically synced regardless of device that you are using to access Amazon Chime.

Amazon users may sign in to the application using their account, or separate their Amazon shopping account from Amazon Chime if they prefer to do so.

It is furthermore possible to join meetings without an account by entering the meeting ID in the Amazon Chime application.

amazon chime

Amazon Chime is on AWS. Amazon notes that content — messages, voice, video and other data — is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption.

Amazon Chime Features

As far as features are concerned, there are plenty available right now:

  • Online Meetings — Create or join online meetings from any supported device or the online version. The interface highlights the participants, and anyone has options to mute noise. Meetings can be locked so that only authenticated users may join.
  • Video Conferencing — You may join video conferences with up to 16 people on the desktop, and up to 8 people on mobile devices. High quality audio and high definition video is supported.
  • Chat — Message people inside and outside your organization. Chime displays notifications when you receive new chat messages, and you may chat with individuals or with groups. The chat history is searchable, and synced across devices automatically.
  • Chat Rooms — You may create chat rooms in Amazon Chime to bring people together. This may be a chat room for a project group for instance. File sharing is supported, and the chat history is searchable and available on all devices as well.
  • File Sharing — You may use Chime to attach files to meetings, chats, or chat rooms.
  • Microsoft Active Directory — Chime supports Microsoft Active Directory to authenticate users. This means that employees may sign in using company usernames and passwords, and that policies for user credentials apply to Amazon Chime as well.
  • Administration — Chime offers an administration console that reveals usage reports, allows admins to add or remove users from subscriptions, and run support related tasks such as assigning meeting Pins.

Chime apps are supported on the following operating systems officially:

  • Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10
  • Apple Mac OS X, version 10.10 and above
  • Apple iOS, version 8.0 and above
  • Android, version 5.0 and above

Check out the getting started help page for information on making your first steps in Chime.

Amazon Chime Pricing

Amazon Chime offers three different plans. The Basic plan is free, while Plus and Pro are both subscription based.

Edition Basic Plus Pro
Calls & meetings
1:1 Video calls X X X
1:1 Voice calls X X X
Outlook plugin X X X
Screen sharing X X
Remote Desktop Control X X
Schedule and host meetings (attendees are always free) X
Record meetings X
Personalized meeting URLs X
Conference room video systems X
Join meetings using a standard phone line*
Maximum attendees 2 2 100
Chat
1:1 Chat  X  X  X
Chat rooms  X  X  X
IT Administration
User management  X  X
Usage reports  X  X
Active Directory integration  X  X
Message history 30 days Up to 1GB/user Up to 1GB/user

The free plan is limited to one on one chats, voice calls and video calls, and the message history is only kept for a maximum of 30 days.

Amazon Chime Plus is available for $2.50 per month per user. It adds screen sharing and remote desktop control to Chime, IT administrative features, and up to 1 Gigabyte of storage for a user’s message history.

Amazon Chime Pro can be tried for free for 30 days. Chime users may then subscribe to Plus or Pro plans, or use the free Basic plan instead.

Closing Words

Is Amazon Chime a Skype competitor? It surely looks like it is. There is a free version that should be sufficient for many home use scenarios, and two subscription versions for corporations who require more functionality.

Now You: What is your initial opinion of Amazon Chime?

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