Battle of the Free Voice Chat Services
Why I Prefer Twitch App for VOIP
Seems biased already, right? Probably is, but I want to detail a few of the finer points of why I prefer the Twitch App. Lots of people ask if the Twitch App is any good, or why I use the Twitch App. Seems like a good opportunity to explore this particular question. This isn’t to say that Discord is bad, as I think they offer a great service. I just think the Twitch App edges it out, especially over the long term.
Starting with what both have in common is a good place to start. First and foremost, they are both free. I can’t tell you how many YEARS of voice chat service I paid for. Ventrilo and Mumble, specifically. You paid per-slot, even if you weren’t using all the slots. Guild size went up, you needed more. People get bored of content, you needed less. This leads me to the next point in that the service is unlimited. You can create as many channels, and have as many people on a server as you want. No admins to contact or settings to update. Next up is the existence of phone apps for both Android and iOS. Great way to stay in touch with your guild and/or friends when you’re on the go. Finally, both services offer browser and desktop app connections. Even if you just want to get a PuG into the server to listen, it’s literally as easy as clicking a link. Voice chat has come a LONG way.
The one feature that I see Discord does better is its partnership. Content creators and communities can get some special cosmetics, both in-app and IRL. While it does take considerable effort to become a partner, the rewards are definitely worthwhile. Also worth mentioning is that Discord syncs up with certain games. Not sure to what end, but i’d still consider it a plus if I got a game badge or could look at my stats or something via the Discord app.
Twitch App Advantages
I think the biggest tipping point is the Twitch integration. All your Twitch friends and messages are also handled through the Twitch App. It makes for a great community building feature, and community is what Twitch is built on. To that end, you can also watch Twitch streams on the Twitch App, as well as follow along with chat. A final ‘community’ feature is the Twitch bot that sits in my stream channel. While this isn’t used for anything yet, the rampant use of other bots in Twitch channels signals this probably has a lot of potential. Another awesome feature that I just learned about is the Twitch Launcher is now integrated to the Twitch App. All these free games I’m getting through Amazon Prime aren’t going through Steam, they’re going through the Twitch Launcher, and now the Twitch App. So it essentially saves me from downloading another app! I think lots of people can appreciate that, having to keep track of multiple voice chat services alone, much less whatever other duplicitous programs they have to keep up with. Finally worth a small mention is the Curse mod updating. If you play World of Warcraft, Wildstar, or any game that updates mods through the old Curse network, the Twitch App handles that too.
Twitch App: The Multitool Of Apps
While Discord seems more focused on being a voice chat service, the Twitch App kinda spreads its wings to become a little more utilitarian. It makes life easier for me, and keeps a million programs from running in the background sewing chaos and causing conflicts. Again, I think Discord is a great service. If you aren’t a Twitch user in general, and you don’t have Amazon Prime or plan on playing any of Amazon’s games, Discord may be a better choice for you.