What does Appear.in do well? Appear.in, now called Whereby, is another simple video conferencing app, similar to Google Hangouts in its ease to get a video chat up and running in seconds. It offers Google sign-in and after logging in, a room can be created in seconds, just by establishing the room name as a URL. This makes sharing the room with others quick and easy. By default you are allowed up to 4 people in a room. Features include screen sharing, and a record feature, that can record your session and can be distributed after.
What does Appear.in not do well? Unfortunately, the free version is limited. More advanced features have no moved to the PRO plan. You are only allowed 1 room. 4 is also the max amount of people able to join the room. After that, the PRO plan is required. The annual/monthly plan is also a little pricey for educators. With other free options like Google Hangouts, $9/month or $100 annually is a little overpriced. Many educational apps hover around the $50-75/year range.
What do you wish you had known about Appear.in before using? I didn't know Appear.in was changing to Whereby until it happened, and with that came the changes to the free plan. The program works well, but if you are planning for more than 4 people, it's limited. The 1 room max is a big change.
Have you used a competitor to Appear.in? If so, how does it compare? Overall, I have used other video conference tools such as Google Hangouts, GotoMeeting, and BigBlueButton Conferencing. This is on par with those. However, BigBlueButton and Google Hangouts have free versions that offer a little more.