For a Windows PC, Hangouts is the ultimate extension to instantly message contacts and start a video conference. Additionally, the fun emojis and an easy-to-use interface make Hangouts a great tool. The only drawback is that you can’t make audio calls. But there’s an option to switch off the camera, which serves the purpose without any hassles.
Instant messaging and video conferencing made easier!
The perfect app to chat with your contacts on a laptop.
Hangouts is packed with several traditional features of a good messaging service. Once you’ve logged in to a Google account, you can instantly start sending messages, emojis, and images to your contacts in private or group conversations.
Using video conferencing, you can add up to 10 people to a video call. It doesn’t really matter what device each one of them is using. Hangouts works across platforms and operating systems. It offers seamless integration for Google Drive and YouTube, while providing you with amazing visual and sound effects. Overall, it’s a fun way to make video calls and chat with contacts.
Easy to get started
In order to get started, you need to install the Voice and Video plugin. When you make the first call, a pop-up shows up on the screen and makes the installation easier. It gives you the ability to use video in Hangouts, iGoogle, Gmail, and other social networking platforms owned by Google.
While creating a ‘hangout’, you can choose which contacts, groups, or circles you want to invite for the chat. If the total number of people is less than 25, each person receives an invitation. Since each ‘hangout’ you create has a unique web address, invited people can easily join you for a chat or video call.
Though ‘hangouts’ are created by single users, every person joining the chat can invite others. At times, this can be annoying, taking away control from the creator. Moreover, you can’t kick anyone out of a session.
While Google Hangouts is targeted at individuals, it acts as a good alternative to Skype for hosting larger video chats. Most importantly, while Google doesn’t charge anything for the service, Skype can prove to be expensive in the long run.
YouTube integration makes it powerful
YouTube integration has been the most amazing addition to an already seamless communications tool. It allows you to watch videos with others in real-time. However, the videos aren’t synced properly, and some people watching the same videos could face lags and delays.
Once you click the YouTube button on the screen, a simple search can help you find any video on the platform. The default settings mute the microphone whenever a video is being played. It makes sure you don’t have to hear unnecessary echoes. When a video is being played, you need to click ‘push to talk’ button to be heard by others.
Hangouts lets you upload presentations and videos relevant to the video chat to YouTube. You can also easily share them with other participants. The best part is that you can see all participants even while watching a video. Their images are displayed below the video being played. It saves you the trouble of reshuffling your chat screens every now and then.
Hassle-free video chatting and instant messaging
While Skype has been leading the pack, Google Hangouts isn’t far behind. Though you could choose from plenty of communications tools, Hangouts wins the race with ease of use, clean interface, and YouTube integration. It won’t be surprising to see Hangouts overtake Skype as the most popular instant messaging and video conferencing service.
The chat feature is very easy-to-use and lets you get in touch with anyone instantly. Unfortunately, chat messages aren’t private, and everything is shared with everyone in the group. Google gives you the ability to turn off chat recordings. You can go ‘off the record’ whenever you don’t want Google to save your chats.
One of the most amazing communications tools, Hangouts offers exceptional user experience. Backed by Google, it comes with a wide range of features to enhance and simplify your messaging and video chats.
Where can you run this program?
Hangouts is available for Android, iOS and Google Chrome. It runs on Windows 7 and higher. For running it on a Windows desktop or laptop, you need to open the browser-based version or add it as an extension to Google Chrome.
Is there a better alternative?
While Hangouts is a great choice, you might be looking for a few alternatives. Skype, the leading name among communications tools, offers several features. However, you need to download and install the software, which makes cross-device usage tedious. Also, Hangouts works with Gmail, and you don’t need to remember additional passwords or usernames to log in. WhatsApp for Web is another good choice, but comes with limited features for usage on desktop or laptop, such as the lack of video calls.
If you’re looking for a different kind of interface, try Discord. With an attractive and clean interface, it doesn’t have any clutter. You can use Discord in a browser too! However, since the platform is closed-source, you can’t reproduce or inspect the source code. In the past, the company has been troubled by some serious privacy issues.
The instant messaging features of Hangouts go beyond the traditional format. They’re easy-to-use, and allow you to seamlessly hold group chats or private conversations. You can make the interaction fun by adding images, emojis, GIFs, and maps. Since Hangouts is available for multiple platforms, syncing your contact list is hassle-free. With integration for YouTube, Google+, and Gmail, Hangouts is one of the most promising tools.
Should you download it?
Yes, it’s an excellent choice! Hangouts makes conversations more lively with emojis, photos, and video conferencing for free. You can use the platform to connect with friends across devices and operating systems. It lets you ‘hangout’ with contacts, irrespective of the place, time, or other factors. All you need is a good internet connectivity!