Google Hangouts is an easy to use conversation application for chatting, calling as well as free group video calling. Ever since it replaced the Google chat, the Google Hangouts has been widely used for messaging, voice, video and screen-sharing. It has been very popular due to the array of features it provides while being totally free of cost and absolutely ad free. So lets open hangouts and start calling your loved ones.
Google Hangouts can be used in any device like:-
Windows PC or Laptop – either through a browser or a desktop app
To download Hangouts on your computer you have to install the browser plugin (add-on) from https://www.google.com/tools/dlpage/hangoutplugin
This can be used in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
Android smartphone or tablet through an apk available in PlayStore:
To download Hangouts on your Android device, search for “Hangouts” in Google PlayStore or visit this link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.talk&hl=en
iPhone or iPad by downloading the app from iTunes.
To download Hangouts on your iPhone or iPad, all you have to do is look for “Hangouts” in iTunes or download it from this link https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/hangouts/id643496868?mt=8
You can follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the successful download of Hangouts on to your device. Multi-platform support enables you to sync your chats from device to device and keep the conversation on wherever you go across Android, iOS, and the web platforms. We will look in detail about the various features of Google Hangouts that you would find useful:-
Open Hangouts Video Call:-
You can initiate a Hangout video call from your computer by these simple steps:-
- Open Hangouts at hangouts.google.com or in Gmail. You can also open up Hangout Desktop App.
- Select a person from the Hangouts contacts list or search for their name or email address. When you find the person you want, click their name.
- The chat window opens up, in that window click on the video icon that is at top left corner below the contact name.
- Hangouts video call window opens up.In case you have not yet installed the plug-in, you will see the option to install it. Once you install the plugin Google Hangouts window opens up with the options for Hangouts Video call, phone call and messaging. If the plug-in was already installed the Hangouts Video call window opens up immediately.
- Video call is initiated and you can converse with your friend nonstop. You can also add more members to this hangout call by going to top left first icon.
Hangouts free group video calling
Along with the option for free hangouts video call free group video calling is also offered. The only requirement to use this free group video calling facility is that everyone in the group must be using Hangouts. You can’t use Google chat or any other messaging App to avail this facility. Below are the steps for starting your free group video calling through Hangouts.
- Open the Hangouts desktop app or Gmail. On a computer you can open Hangouts from hangouts.google.com or log into Gmail to avail Hangouts.
- Find out the people by clicking on the search option and searching using their name, phone number or email address and select the check box in front of their name.
- Once you selected all the participants click on the “Video Call” option and a new Hangouts Video call window opens up.
Hangouts Screen Sharing
The hangouts screen sharing is an excellent tool to share your desktop screen with an individual situated in a remote location. All users present in the group can see your system screen, This comes very handy while presenting some ideas, discussing on some common topics with the remotely located colleagues.
To do this, just follow these steps:
- Start a video call with the person or group, you want to do hangouts screen share and click on the “Three dots” present on the left side of hangout screen.
- Select the option “Share Screen” (a green system with arrow symbol) and select the window which you want to share. You will see option to share entire screen or only some tools like chrome, file explorer or only slides etc.
- Now select the tool/windows you want to share accordingly and click on Share selected window button.Now people can see your shared screen in their hangout window.
- The people with whom you are on a hangouts screen sharing can see your screen real time so make sure you close any windows with sensitive information. Close hangouts screen share window once you are finished with hangouts screen sharing.
Hangout chats with in call
You can also chat with the joined people on this call only, you don’t have to leave this hangout window for writing something or to provide some URL to every colleague.
In the left side of hangout window, the first option is the chat option (blue icon), clicking on the icon will open a chat panel in the right side, every member present in this call can chat and share the URL with in this call.
There are more options present in the hangouts video call window, like Mute yourself, block camera, add more users, Leave call etc, which are self explanatory.
EDITED- The UI of the hangout is updated, So don’t get confused. Every option is same, only places has been shifted from up to down and left to right etc.
Hangout Desktop App
This is a relatively new feature provided by Google to consolidate all your chats to one window. You can position the Hangouts Desktop App anywhere in your desktop and can also pin to task-bar. This app auto minimises the chat window when you are not active. Hangouts desktop app runs in the background and notifies you when a new message is received. The option to share emoji s, photos, video-files, and the feature to do a free group video calling makes the Hangout Desktop app more interesting and fun-filled. Now let’s discuss about that easy procedure to avail this App from Chrome web store.
- Go to Chrome web store and search for Hangout Desktop app or just Hangouts.
- Click on the button “Add to Chrome” and then click on the option add app. The Google Hangouts gets installed and it automatically pins the Hangouts Desktop App to taskbar.