Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in PCMag and Digital Trends, and he’s served as Managing Editor of Gadget Review. Read more.
The days of scrambling around in Gmail with a bunch of different plugins for four different browsers is over, because Google has finally taken the veil off their brand new, browser-based Google Hangouts platform. The messaging app has proved wildly popular with the professional set, offering a quick and simple way to get in touch with all your email contacts in an instant. But now that Hangouts has its own browser window, there a few new tips, tricks, and settings you should know about before you dive in.
If you don’t have a Google account or have never used Hangouts before, the first screen you’ll see when you open up the Hangouts splash page should look a little something like this:
After you click through the prompts, you’ll be greeted by the following intro screen.
To get started chatting with someone via video, voice, or text, simply tap on one of the buttons above, and you’ll be asked to enter the contact information of the person or group of people you’re trying to reach.
Once you do, a side menu will pop up containing the contacts you can currently get a hold of from the left-hand menu. Here you can swap between your different contact lists by choosing any of the corresponding icons, or if you want to configure things to your specific needs, you can enter the settings menu by clicking the bar off to the left-hand side.
The settings menu will include privacy options such as the ability to show friends when you were last seen online, tell others when you’re involved in a video conference, or make an audible ring you receive a voice call.
And, of course, who could forget the all important “Convert text to emoji” option?
Learning the Layout
Like most other Google products these days, the layout of Hangouts is sleek, clean, and fairly simple to understand.
Case in point: if you want to make a voice call, clicking the icon that looks like a phone (highlighted below) is how you’re going to make it happen.
Any calls coming from or going to someone inside the United States and Canada will be covered free of charge by Google, while international calls follow a standard rate that you can fill up with your credit or debit card, much like Skype.
Direct messaging, on the other hand, is on the house, no matter where your chat ends up. To start a chat with a friend, click the “text box” icon, highlighted here.
All the chats you’re currently engaged in will be shot to the top of the list, and anyone who’s online at the time will be notated by a small green dot next to the name of the person you’re engaged with.
Any chats you have open will be automatically relegated to the bottom-right corner of your browser window, and each can either be maximized, minimized, or closed out altogether using the controls in the top panel of the chat box.
Lastly, if you just want to manage your contacts on their own, you can do so by clicking the “People” icon, shown here.
This menu will allow you the opportunity to sort through your contacts, and if you see any you don’t need or want to keep a better eye on, you can right click on their name (or press the “three dot” button) to pull up a secondary menu.
Here is where you can opt to either pin them to the top of your list so they don’t get lost again, or hide them altogether so none of their communications can distract you while you’re in a separate conference call.
Although it may still lack some of the polish or extra features you’d get from competing products like Skype, the migration of Hangouts from a Gmail add-on to its own, full-fledged web app has been a smart move by Google all around. The interface has been streamlined, calling friends and family is easier than ever, and all the same messaging frills you’ve come to know and love in the service are still there, front and center.
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Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in PCMag and Digital Trends, and he’s served as Managing Editor of Gadget Review.
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There are so many different ways to communicate with people these days, it can be hard to decide which is the best choice at hand.
Should you do a video call to liaise with your coworker who’s based in another city? Should you text your friend to confirm plans or just go ahead and call? Or should you get all your buddies on one video conference to make sure you’re all still on the same page for the weekend outing details?
Why choose a phone call, video call, or text message when you can do all three using Google Hangouts? Google Hangouts makes it easy to connect with people via talk, text, or video, and the app allows you to create groups that can be connected again and again.
It also stores your past chats so you can pick up the text conversation any time and can refer back to past messages as convenient.
Google Hangouts can even save you money, allowing you to make phone or video calls via Wi-Fi instead of cutting into your phone plan.
Here’s how to set it up and use it on your computer or mobile device.
How to set up and use Google Hangouts on a computer
1. Log into your Google account, then type: “hangouts.google.com” into the browser bar at the top of the screen.
2. Click through the intro screen until you land on your Hangouts homepage, which will have a list of any ongoing chats on the left and will offer you three options in the center of the page, “Video Call,” “Phone Call,” and “Message.”
3. Click the option you want, then type the phone number to call, or the contact you want to video chat or message into the search bar that pops up on the top left corner of the screen (if you are reaching out to someone who is not yet a contact, type in their email address).
4. If you want to message several people at once, instead of entering the contact to text, click “New group” and then enter a series of contact names, emails, or phone numbers.
How to set up and use Google Hangouts on mobile
1. Download the Google Hangouts app and open it on your phone.
2. Allow the app to access your Google account.
3. Tap the “+” symbol in the green circle at the bottom right corner of the screen.
4. Type in contact you wish to reach, or hit “New group” and enter multiple people.
5. Start a text chat, or hit the camera icon for a video call, or the phone icon for a phone call.
You can now use a dedicated Hangouts site for chatting with friends and hanging out.
Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
On Monday Google launched a new website devoted to all things Hangouts. Instead of forcing users to open one of many Google domains (Gmail, Google+, etc.) to access Hangout conversations, users can now simply point a Web browser at hangouts.google.com.
The website provides a similar experience to that of the Chrome Hangouts app, but instead of offering floating chat bubbles, any chats you bring out of page are the equivalent of smaller browser windows.
After logging in, you may be asked to approve the Hangouts plug-in for your browser. Not allowing the plug-in will result you in being unable to use Hangouts via the Web; so if you’re intent on using it, you’ll need to approve.
You can find a list of your conversations on the left side of the page. Clicking on one will open a smaller chat window on the lower-right side.
From here, you can type, send photos, stickers, emoji and all the normal content as you would using Hangouts in Gmail or on your smartphone. You can also drag and drop a photo to a conversation window for quick sending.
One feature worth pointing out is the ability to take conversation windows outside of the page. You can do so by clicking on the arrow at the top of the chat box that’s pointing up and to the right. Once the chat window is on its own, it’s free to roam around your various desktops and be placed anywhere you desire.
Clicking on the menu icon in the top-right corner will reveal a list of various options. Here you can view your contacts, a list of conversations or make phone calls. The latter option, along with the ability for a video Hangout, is available directly within the chat windows as well.
Also present is a link to each of the various Hangouts apps.
All in all, there’s not a lot to Hangouts’ dedicate site. It’s minimal and exactly what you’d expect if Hangouts were a standalone app, only on the web.
Google Hangouts is one of the most popular ways for teams to meet and speak online. Like most of the Google Suite, Hangouts is a web application, meaning there’s no program to download or run locally; everything is done through your browser, and Chrome obviously works best. However, you also can download the app from your app store and just as easily create a Google Hangout. On mobile, the interface is almost identical to the desktop version, save for the green plus sign to add a new conversation, located in the bottom right of the screen.
Here's how to get the app and set it up:
In Chrome, select the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
Mouse over More tools, then select Extensions.
Select the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Open Chrome Web Store towards the bottom.
Search for Google Hangouts in the Chrome Store. The first result will likely be the correct one.
Select the app and then Add to Chrome.
Chrome will ask you again to confirm you want to add Hangouts to your browser; select Add extension.
Select your new Google Hangouts icon in Chrome to launch it, then select Sign In.
Enter the login info for your Google account.
This is a one-time process. After this, the Hangouts extension will remember your account and sign you in automatically.
Once you’ve successfully signed in to your account, the extension will let you access your controls. There, you’ll find your previous text conversations, if any, and you’ll be able to start a new conversation or call. To start up a new Hangout, select New Conversation. On mobile, tap the green Plus (+).
Under the new conversation tab, you'll find a list of people you've added to Hangouts. You can also start typing the name, email address, or phone number of the person you want to start a conversation with.
To start a group conversation, select New group, then add the names, emails, or phone numbers of the people that you'd like to add to your group. Afterward, give your group a name, then select the checkmark to begin the hangout. Your new group will start up, and you can chat with all of the friends you invited to the chat.
To change to a video call:
- On your computer, select the video camera icon at the top of the Hangouts window.
- On mobile, tap New video call, then tap the names of people you'd like to add. You can also manually enter their contact info. When you're ready, tap the green camera to begin the call.
Google Hangouts preserves your conversations and groups, so you can keep coming back and adding to your chat. You can always start your video conversations back up, too.
The interface is almost identical to the one in Chrome, save for the green plus sign to add a new conversation, located in the bottom right of the screen.
“We are launching another way to use Hangouts today,” Google’s Jordanna Chord announced on Google Plus.
“From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day.”
Features of Google Hangouts Website
The new Hangouts website works in (almost) any browser, including Microsoft Edge. You no longer need to keep Gmail or Google+ open, install an extension, plugin or Chrome App.
Just open the Hangouts website, log-in with your Google account and you’ll be able to access your existing chats or start new ones.
The photographic backdrop cycles through images every couple of minutes, not unlike the Chromecast. The hamburger menu hides a small set of options, including links to all the other ways you can use the messaging service.
Overall layout and appearance aside, all of Hangouts’ features work as you’d expect. You can open multiple chat boxes at the same time, take part in group conversations, and make voice or video calls (note: these last two may not work in all browsers).
To get started just point your browser of choice at either ‘talkgadget.google.com‘ or ‘hangouts.google.com‘.
The timing of the newly decoupled Hangouts messenger couldn’t be better for me.
At the tail-end of last month I tweeted this ask:
May have missed it, but why is there no way to use Hangouts online, outside of Gmail or Google+? Something like messenger.fb should exist
— Joe Sneddon (@d0od) July 31, 2015
The answer is obvious: there was no way to use Hangouts inside the browser without opening Gmail (and seeing all the mails I should’ve replied to) or Google+ (and being distracted by cool things people share).
There are ways to use the messaging service outside of the browser, as many of my followers suggested.
‘The Hangouts Chrome App slows down my Chromebook’
And don’t get me wrong; I really like the Hangouts Chrome App, especially now it has a single-window mode option.
But using it slows down my Chromebook. When open it gifts my ancient, noisy Samsung Series 5 all the speed of a peanut running a marathon (as most ‘Native Client’ extensions and applications sadly do).
A true web client free of Gmail and Google+ (two resource intensive sites) was what I, and no doubt many others, wanted. Something like Facebook’s web-based ‘messenger’; a website, not a web app.
The online Google Hangouts experience doesn’t quite mimic the mobile apps but it does offer everything needed: all the features and functionality of Hangouts, inside my browser, free of other considerations.
(And on a slightly related note, is it telling that those I do speak to on Hangouts are also active Google+ users?)
Since being decoupled from Google+, ‘Google Photos’ has snowballed in popularity. Google will be hoping that the new Hangouts website gives its oft-forgotten messaging service a similar boost.
Home » Google Apps » There’s A New Way To Use Google Hangouts In Your Browser
To use Google Chat you need to activate it from your Gmail account; further, it needs to be activated separately on web and mobile. Here's how you can do it.
- Meghna DuttaMeghna Dutta –>
- Published: February 11, 2022 9:11 PM IST
Google integrated Chat with Gmail last year. While the option was initially available for Workspace users, it made its way to Gmail users on iOS, Android, and the web in May 2021. With the pandemic pulling many to switch for remote work, ‘real-time collaborative chat’ from Slack, Microsoft Teams made it convenient to communicate. Also Read – How to check live train status via Google Maps in five simple steps
To compete with rivals, Google brought the ability to easily access Chat directly from Gmail. However, to use it one needs to activate Google Chat for Gmail. The process is different on browser and mobile device. Here’s a simple guide on how to activate Gmail chat. Also Read – How to share multiple contacts on WhatsApp in simple steps
Activate Google Chat on mobile
-Tap the three-line icon at the top-left corner. Scroll down and select “Settings.” Also Read – Android 13 features revealed: Wallpaper effects, media controls and more
-Then select your account and navigate to “General”
-For Android toggle “Show the chat and spaces tabs.” If you’re using an iOS device, turn the “Show the chat and spaces tab” on.
-Following this you will see Chat and Spaces icons at the bottom of the screen.
Activate Google Chat on web browser
-Open your Gmail account and head to Settings
-Then select “See all settings”
– After that select “Chat and Meet” in the top menu
– You will be given the choice of selecting “Google Chat,” “Classic Hangouts,” and “Off”
– You will then see a sidebar for your chats and rooms on the right side of your Gmail inbox.
To begin a chat on mobile just tap the Chat icon and then on the “New chat” popup in the lower-right corner, type in the name of a person here. You can create a space as well. For web, click on the plus sign in the corners of the Chat or Spaces boxes. You’ll see a drop-down menu, much like mobile you need to type a name into the top field to chat with a person following which you will be taken into a small pop-up box.
Google Chat is an intelligent and secure communication and collaboration tool, built for teams. From ad-hoc messaging to topic-based workstream collaboration, Chat makes it easy to get work done where the conversation is happening.
• Group collaboration that allows Google Workspace content creation and sharing (Docs, Sheets, Slides), without having to worry about granting permissions
• Side by side editors, one click meetings, scheduling, document creation, and shared files, tasks, and events make it easy to get work done
• Google search functionality, with options to filter for conversations and content that you’ve shared
• Ready for Enterprise, with the full benefits of Google Workspace security and access controls including Data Loss Prevention, Compliance, Admin Settings, Vault Retention, Holds, Search, and Export
Google Chat, part of Google Workspace, is now available to anyone with a Gmail address, for free! Use Chat to collaborate seamlessly either one-on-one, or in topic-based group conversations. Get things done and create content easily with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and keep everyone up to date with shared files and tasks. Easily find past conversations or files with Google’s powerful search, and let bots and smart suggestions help you connect with meeting participants and get more done, faster.
You will now also see that Chat rooms are now called spaces
Ratings and Reviews
It isn’t that bad!
Ok, setting aside the lack of audio/video call features, I actually prefer Google chat over Google hangouts for several reasons. (1) there’s dark mode, (2) the interface is smooth, (3) you can react to messages with emojis, (4) I can actually see everyone’s profile pictures.
Is it ripping off discord a bit? Yeah, but I don’t mind. The only downside for me is that you can’t switch between accounts easily, or see all your contacts (unless you have an open chat with them). But overall it works fine, and it feels much better than hangouts.
Hangouts has been going downhill for a while (like mentioned earlier, I can barely see anyone’s profile pics + no dark mode). And the calls in hangouts never had good connectivity. I know this wasn’t a “me” problem because my friends also had similar issues. So overall, I definitely recommend Google Chat as a replacement for Hangouts, especially if you mostly text!
Disappointing after Hangouts
Google Chat added the ability to have rooms where specific topic threads can be created. That’s really nice and a feature we were hoping for coming from Hangouts. Unfortunately, that’s about where the improvements end. Google Chat is at its best on the mobile app, but if you’re using it regularly, across mobile and in the desktop chrome extension, you’ll quickly see the questionable choices made by the developers. I used Hangouts and now use Chat in a professional environment, for more casual short form comms, and it’s clear after 6 weeks of heavy use that Chat wasn’t designed for anything more than light usage. It’s completely unwieldy with more than 20 active conversations. The alphabetical sorting of conversations means hunting down the person you were just talking to. The conversations are spaced relatively far apart and take up way too much screen real estate. The color scheme is blindingly bright. Et cetera.
If you’re only using the phone app and only for chatting with a limited number of friends socially, which is clearly the use case they have decided to laser focus on, you’ll be fine with it. If you’re on the mobile app only, ok. If you’re hoping to do more with it, you should look elsewhere for a more thoughtfully designed, and scalable, communication method.
The least user friendly invention since the square wheel
1. It separates one-on-one conversations and group chat rooms into two different sections, so you’re constantly switching back and forth to check on everything.
2. All wording is on one side of the screen, unlike a normal texting chat design (like discord) — while some might be used to this it can get seriously confusing, and there’s no way to personalize it to make it easier to read. Not only that, all wording is formatted in rows, not in text bubbles. This can make comments and messages blur together and get confusing if you aren’t used to that kind of messaging.
In summary, hangouts is far more manageable and user friendly, and personally I think that chats should have merged with hangouts so that we could get the best of both worlds, instead if all of us being shoved into this circus of a site. Honestly, the only good thing I could find about chats that was nice was the dark mode (something google hangouts doesn’t have.) This is a big switch for a lot of hangouts users, and I wish that they would make it more manageable so that we could personalize it better. I’m sure in time I’ll get used to it, but I do think that this transition could have panned out better.
Developer Response ,
Hi there. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. We're sorry to hear that. We'll pass this along to the team so they can review and make the Chat app even better. We ask that you submit a feedback within the Chat app by clicking the Menu button then 'Help & feedback' and tap 'Send Feedback'. Thank you!
Data Linked to You
The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Basque, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu
This article deals with audio and video issues on computers. Note that Google Hangouts still have some issues with Firefox browsers; for best results, use a Chrome browser.
In this article:
Checking the connections before the meeting
Make sure all your devices are securely connected, and turned on. Some microphones have mute buttons, including some headsets. Make sure your microphone is not muted. You can test your own sound before anyone else enters the meeting.
- Click the Video Call link (from the calendar invite or from the app itself) to start the meeting, but do not click “Enter the Meeting.”
- Click the More Options icon near the lower right corner of the video display.
- Click Settings; a box with settings for your camera, microphone, and speakers will appear.
- Make sure that the microphone and speaker settings display the speaker and microphone option that you will be using for the meeting.
- If you are using headphones or another microphone device, you can click the gray triangle next to the device options and find the device that you will be using for the call.
- Click Test next to the speaker icon. You should hear a sound, typically a phone ringing.
If you do not hear any sound, proceed with the troubleshooting steps below.
Checking the video call settings
- In the Video Call window, move your mouse until you see the control icons at the bottom of the screen.
- Click More Options, then select Settings.
- Choose specific options for the camera, microphone, and headset or speakers) – not “Default device.”
- If you are using a USB headset with microphone, you should see an option such as “USB Headset” for microphone and speakers.
- If your only options are “Default device,” close out of the Hangout and completely out of the browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc), check that your devices are connected properly, and then restart the browser and re-enter the hangout.
Checking audio settings in Windows
Changing any of these settings may require you to restart your browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc).
The details here can vary with different versions of Windows, so if your computer doesn’t say exactly the same thing, look for something similar.
- Right-click the volume control (speaker icon) on the lower right in your taskbar. This opens the Sound dialog box.
- On the Playback tab:
- select the appropriate device (here I’m using my Logitech USB headset)
- click Set Default at the bottom. You should get a green check mark on the device once you’ve set it as default.
- Repeat step 2 on the Recording tab.
- Click OK.
- Re-enter your video call.
Note: you may need to reset this every time you plug in your headset.
Checking audio settings on a Mac
- Click the Apple in the upper left of your computer.
- If you are already in the call, you may have to move your cursor to the top area of the screen to get the Apple to appear.
- Click System Preferences.
- Choose Sound.
- On the Input tab:
- Select the correct microphone. This example is using a Logitech USB Headset.
- NOTE: Only USB microphones will work with a Macintosh computer. Microphones on earbuds or headsets that connect to the stereo mini port will not work.
- Check that the Input volume is set correctly (it should not be all the way to the left).
- On the Output tab:
- Select the correct headset or speaker.
- Close out of System Preferences and re-enter your video call.
This official feed from the Google Workspace team provides essential information about new features and improvements for Google Workspace customers.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Migrate your users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat, now available in Gmail
You can now migrate all of your users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat with the “Chat preferred” setting in the Admin console. If you enable this setting, Google Chat will become the default chat application for your organization, replacing all of your classic Hangouts apps and appearing in Gmail on the web. This highly-anticipated integration will allow your users to communicate seamlessly, without the disruption of switching tabs.
The Chat preferred setting was previously only available to a small group of customers via the Chat Accelerated Transition Program.
If you enable Chat preferred for your organization:
- The new Chat experience will replace the classic Hangouts experience in Gmail.
- All classic Hangouts applications, except hangouts.google.com, will be disabled, and users will be directed to go to chat.google.com or download the Chat mobile app.
- The classic Hangouts bot will notify users of unread Classic group messages.
Why you’d use it
The Chat preferred setting allows you to migrate all of your users at once for the most effective and seamless transition. If some people use classic Hangouts and others use Chat, it can lead to missed messages and become burdensome for admins. And if you have a remote or distributed workforce, unifying your users onto a single chat network can help everyone communicate successfully.
You’ll also get access to exciting Chat features within Gmail in your browser. These include:
- 1:1 and group direct messages
- Full-screen rooms
- Bot integrations
- Forward to inbox
- Emoji reactions
- Message edit and delete
Admins: The Chat preferred setting is OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level. Visit the Help Center to learn more about migrating your users to Chat with Chat preferred.
|Chat preferred setting enabled in the Admin console|
To enable Chat preferred and migrate your users away from classic Hangouts, you must have Google Chat turned on for your domain. We strongly recommend that admins keep both Chat and classic Hangouts enabled to maximize the Chat network.
At the moment, enabling Chat preferred will migrate all users in your domain at once. We recommend this to minimize fragmentation within your organization. If you’d like to migrate at the organizational unit (OU) level, that option will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to the G Suite Updates blog for more information. You can also visit the Help Center to learn more about our overall upgrade timeline from classic Hangouts to Chat.
End users: Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to turn Chat in Gmail on or off for your account.
04 Jun Using the new Google Hangouts app in Chrome
Using the new Google Hangouts app in Chrome: Download the new Google Hangouts app to make it easier to manage your Google Hangouts chats, including how to group people and other settings.
To get started, visit the Google Chrome webstore via the following link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps. Search for Hangouts, and you want to select the top option shown here. Select +Add to Chrome.
You will be prompted to confirm adding the Google Hangouts app – just click Add.
The Hangouts app will now open in a new window, as you can see below. To start a new conversation or group conversation, just click the green + button.
Type people’s names, or select from a drop down list of who you want to start a conversation with. I’m going to put a group together, to show you how you can name the group for easy access in the future when you want to talk to the same people.
Once you’ve selected all your participants, click Message. When the message window opens, you can then click on the expanding menu via the three dots on the right hand side. Scroll down and select Options.
You will see that for this particular group, you can edit the notifications and history settings, and you can also name the Hangout. I’m going to rename this Hangout to Tech Team, and click save.
You can now see my new Google Hangouts conversation for Tech team below.
You can also edit additional settings via the fly out menu on the left hand side next to your profile picture.
Don’t forget, for more handy tips for running Google Hangouts, you can also visit https://test.webrtc.org/ which will troubleshoot any problems with your microphone, camera and connectivity.
For more handy tips and tricks when using Google Apps, visit our Google Apps Tip blog weekly for new updates!
Google Chat is available to everyone today. (Photo: Florence Ion/Gizmodo)
Google is officially making its Workspace suite of apps available to all users with a Google account instead of limiting it to folks who use apps through their employers. Nearly 3 billion users with Google accounts now have access to the company’s new versions of Gmail, Docs, and Chat. The change for those who have been using Google Hangouts to chat could either be a cure-all for Google’s messaging woes or yet another Google shift that will only serve to confuse the hell out of everyone.
If you’re still using Hangouts in Gmail, you can manually switch over to Google Chat by heading into the Gmail settings on your browser, click on “See all settings,” and then navigate to the “Chats and Meets” tab. Once there, you’ll see an option to switch from the existing Hangouts app to the new Google Chat experience. Gmail will refresh and pop up a dialogue window for onboarding to the new service as you save your changes. Click on Get Started, and Google will show you where it’s placed shortcuts for Chat, Meet, and the new Rooms.
You can manually turn on Google Chat from the Gmail settings. (Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)
Google Chat has a very Google look. It brings more emoji reactions, improved message threading, user roles for larger chat rooms and communities, and moderation tools — all of which are features in chat apps like Discord and Slack. There’s also a Spaces feature, effectively a collaboration tool available within any Room in Chat, which looks to be super handy for folks with large families or tight-knit friend groups. Spaces include shared tasks and files, and you can multitask between Docs and Chat right from within Gmail.
You could use Spaces, or Rooms, to plan a family reunion. (Image: Google)
The Chat app and its related features aren’t the only things you can try out as part of this new push for folks to integrate into Workspace. You can also check out the new smart chips in Google Docs by typing the “@” symbol and a name or command. This announcement also ushers in the arrival of Google Workspace Individual, intended for small business owners and freelancers. A subscription offers access to smart booking services, a professional video meeting suite, and personalised email marketing tools. There’s even a way to route emails from your website to a specific Gmail account. Plans start at $US10 ($13) a month.
The sheer act of ticking off Hangouts and switching over to Chat feels like the conclusion to an arduous slog: we’ve been waiting and waiting some more, preparing for the eventual end. Of course, the saga won’t be final until Google actually kills Hangouts and forces the switch to Chat.
And what a saga it’s been.Google’s chat platform has cycled through too many names in the last five years — it’s the tech giant equivalent of a soap opera identity crisis. First, Google killed Gtalk and rebranded the messaging services as Hangouts. Then, Hangouts was separated out into Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. When Google refreshed its work-friendly features, Hangouts Meet became simply Meet, and Hangouts Chat stayed in the same box it’s always been in Gmail, leading many to believe (myself included) that we could continue on with business as usual. And this is after I lived through the Great Messaging Crisis of 2018 when Google killed Allo and left Android users exasperated about having to migrate over to a new app again.
The irony of all these changes is that Google was actually trying to make its messaging apps less confusing for users and smooth the transition with a moderate pace of change. But the result is more confusion across the board. People just want to use the same messaging functionality they’ve always had — changing names and features for the sake of it is needlessly complex.
Google already has a ton of competition in this realm, from Slack to Microsoft Teams, and the only leverage it has is its number of users. And many of those users may seamlessly make the switch from Hangouts to Chat. But Google, there’s got to be a better way.
Google’s strategy around its messaging apps is nothing if not messy right now (hello Hangouts, Meet, Chat, Duo and Co.), but it looks like things will get a bit easier come next year. We already knew that Hangouts’ time was coming to an end and as Google announced today, the company will allow all current Hangouts users to migrate to Chat — which was originally meant to only be its Slack-like messaging service for business users — in the first half of 2021.
One interesting wrinkle here: Chat will now also become free to use for consumers. Currently, you have to be a paying G Suite/Workspace user to access the service (though somehow it’s enabled on my free personal account).
While Chat isn’t an exact 1-to-1 replacement of Hangouts, it actually offers a bunch of additional features for group chats and collaboration around files and tasks, as well as new security tools. Chat, together with Rooms and Meet, will also be integrated deeply into the Gmail app as part of Google’s Workspace migration.
Image Credits: Google
Google says it will automatically migrate all Hangouts conversations, contacts and history to Chat, but it’s not providing details about this yet. Final timing, Google says, may still shift. It’s not clear, though, when Google will force everyone to migrate and shut down the Hangouts servers for good.
There are a few more details here: If you use Hangouts with Google Fi, Hangouts support will go away “early next year.” Traditionally, Fi users were able to make calls and manage their text messages from Hangouts. That experience will migrate to Google’s Messages app.
If you’re a Google Voice user, there’s a similar transition happening. For voice calls and text messages, Hangouts users will now be directed to the Voice app, and early next year, your Voice support will be removed from Hangouts.
And for all users in the U.S. and Europe, the ability to call phones from Hangouts will disappear at the beginning of next year — and group video calls in Hangouts will transition to Meet in November.
Yeah — that all sounds complicated, but it’s a problem of Google’s own making. A few years ago, the idea was to move Hangouts users to its Allo and Duo apps and business users to Chat and Meet (or whatever they were called back then). Allo flopped (and few people use Duo), leaving Google with the unenviable task of keeping the aging Hangouts platform around for the foreseeable future and making the overall transition harder and more complicated, to the point where I’m not sure that consumers really understand what’s happening.
Google Meet is a video and conference calling application for desktop, laptop, and smartphone devices. Up to 25 simultaneous participants can participate in a Google Meet session.
Sessions may be accessed through Google Calendar, Google Chrome, a meeting code, or the Google Meet app.
Documents may be presented during a Meet session, or an entire screen may be shared. Sessions may also be recorded and accessed later through Google Drive.
Note that Google Meet does not support dial-in via telephone.
Google Meet is available on the following platforms:
- Google Chrome web browser
- Android (phone only)
- iOS devices
- Chromebox for Meetings
How to Set Up a Google Meet Session
All new calendar events you create include a meeting link.
- Go to your Google Calendar and create an event.
- In the Guests field, add guests from inside or outside your organization.
- Click Save.
- Click Send to add the meeting link and notify guests.
Note: Guests can forward the meeting link to other people. If someone tries to join who was not invited to the Calendar event, a meeting participant from your organization must accept their request.
Google Chrome Web Browser
- Open Google Chrome and browse to https://meet.google.com/.
- Click Start a new meeting.
- Click Start meeting.
- Click Copy info to copy the meeting link details, and share it with people you want to invite.
Note: You can send the meeting link to people outside of your organization, but someone from within your organization needs to give them access to the video meeting.
How to Join a Google Meet Session
- Select Calendar from within Google Drive.
- Click the event you want to join.
- Click the video meeting link.
- In the window that opens, click Join meeting.
- Click the meeting link sent to you in an email or other message.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to join the meeting.
The unique code is at the end of the meeting link, such as abc-defg-hjk. (The ‘-’ characters are optional.)
- Open Google Chrome and browse to https://meet.google.com/.
- Click Use a meeting code.
- Enter the meeting code and choose an option:
- If you’re signed in to your Google Workspace account (or myBoiseState), click Join.
- If you’re not signed in to a Google Workspace account (or myBoiseState), enter your name and click Ask to join meeting.
More information about Google Meet, including using the iOS and Android apps, is available on Google’s website.
Google Hangouts became the best place to connect with your near and dear ones on Gmail. Recently Google separated Hangouts as a standalone website with beautiful backgrounds and easy interface. This allowed us to stay away from getting distracted by email. We can do video call, phone call (charges may apply).
To chat with someone, either we need to open Gmail or sign in to Google Hangouts website. If we get any message in chat, we may get desktop notification, but there is no way that we can reply right there only. Instead of shifting windows, wouldn’t it be nice to have a portable messenger in our desktop so that we can access it from there only without switching through tabs again and again?
Other desktop messaging apps may not allow you to do such thing but Google Hangouts does it smoothly. It is very easy to get a floating button of Hangouts so that you can use the app from any window. No matter whether you are surfing websites, watching YouTube videos, streaming movies, or doing anything else, you can certainly enable transparent mode on Google Hangouts and use reply to your messages from there.
What is transparent mode on Google Hangouts?
Although the name says transparent, it doesn’t change the opacity of Hangouts interface. Instead, the transparent mode allows you to obtain a floating button so that you can click on it and unveil the whole interface on your screen. As this is a floating button, you can find it everywhere across windows and apps.
Let’s assume that you are watching a video and you receive a message. Generally, you need to switch from the video streaming tab to the Google Hangouts window to check and reply to the message. The whole process may ruin an interesting and important scene of your video. Let’s pretend that you are writing an article in Google Docs or so and someone sends you a message. At such moment, you need to leave the writing page and open Google Hangouts to check your message. All these things can wreck the momentum of your writing.
If you are facing the same problem and use Chrome as a primary browser, I do have a solution for you. For that, you need to install the Google Hangouts App for Chrome. Please note that this is not the regular Chrome extension. This is an app, which works on your desktop and relies on Google Chrome. You can get it from the web store here
After App got installed into your browser, sign in using your Gmail account to start using the app. It may try to synchronize your Google account with Google Chrome. You can manage the synchronization from settings panel.
Enable Transparent Mode On Google Hangouts On Chrome
Instead of going to the app again and again, you can make the hangouts stick at one side of your desktop like a dock. To enable this feature, open Menu icon besides your name on the app, scroll down to see the option ‘Enable Transparent UI.’
Then you would see the app getting displayed at sidebar in your PC, and notifying you whenever you receive a new chat message from various friends. You can even start a new conversation right there only.
How To Check Messages From Transparent Mode?
If you have enabled the transparent mode on Google Hangouts but you cannot find the floating bubble on your desktop, here is what you do. It should help you check the messages as well.
At first, expand the system tray and click the Google Chrome icon. From the list, select Google Hangouts.
Now you should find the floating icon of Google Hangouts. If you want to check new messages or reply to someone, you can click the respective icon, find the message, and perform the task accordingly.
How To Quit Transparent Mode On Google Hangouts?
If you think the transparent mode is not offering any value to you and you want to quit this UI, you can follow these following steps.
- At first, click the floating Google Hangouts icon to expand the interface.
- After that, click the menu button that looks like three-horizontal lines.
- Here you should find an option called ‘Disable transparent UI.’ You need to click this button.
- Then, you should find the normal user interface of Google Hangouts.
If you often spend time writing articles, watching videos or something like that; and you do not want to switch from one tab to another to just check messages on Google Hangouts, you should give the transparent UI a try. The only drawback of this method is you must have Google Chrome browser installed on your computer. If you use Firefox or Microsoft Edge, this is not possible to get transparent mode on Google Hangouts.
You can also send hand drawn images on Hangouts. You can learn how to do that here.
Google is killing off its old Electron-based Chat app and pushing users towards the Progressive Web App (PWA) version.
Liam Tung is a full-time freelance technology journalist who writes for several Australian publications.
Google is killing off its existing Google Chat app this month and making it a Chrome-based Progressive Web App (PWA) that behaves like a native desktop app.
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Google issued the alert to its customers using Workspace, the office productivity suite previously known as G Suite.
“If you or your users are still using the old version of desktop Google Chat, you should upgrade to the new desktop Chat app before March 30 to minimize any potential disruption,” Google notes on its Workspace updates blog.
PWAs are a handy way of distributing desktop apps on Windows 10 devices through Google’s Chrome browser.
Microsoft started pushing Office apps like Word and Excel to Windows 10 users as PWAs last year as the company was developing its Chromium-based Edge browser.
“Today, Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application support officially ends, and it will no longer receive future security updates,” Microsoft’s Edge team said.
Google has been warning Chrome users since February that they need to install the PWA version of Chat for a native desktop experience. Alternatively, Chat users can just use Chrome at the website chat.google.com, or use Chat within Gmail, if the Workspace admin has allowed it.
Users need to be on Chrome 73 or later. Google’s latest version of Chrome from the stable channel is version 89. Chrome 90 should be released this week and Google recently cut its update cycle from six weeks to four weeks.
Google has been moving Google Hangouts users over to Google Chat and is making Chat a free service untethered from paying Google Workspace subscriptions.
The new Chat app is available in Gmail and as a standalone app. The Chat app is carrying across many of the features familiar to Hangouts.
Google Chat is now a standalone app, available on desktop devices with the Chrome browser.
By Cult of Android • 5:06 pm, August 17, 2015
Yet another way to access Google Hangouts. Photo: Jordanna Chord/Google
Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, got a whole new standalone web app on Monday afternoon.
“We are launching another way to use Hangouts today,” writes Google’s Jordanna Chord on Google Plus. “From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day.”
Now you’ll be able to keep in touch with all your Hangouts-using buddies in any web broswer, including Safari, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus (or the Chrome app).
The current iteration of Hangouts took over from Google Talk, Google+ Messenger (previously known as Huddle), and the original Hangouts, which was created only for video chat. All you need to use the new Hangouts is a Google account, which you’ll have if you use either Gmail (and who doesn’t?), Google Plus, or any other of Google’s dozen-odd services like Adsense or Analytics.
All you need to do to use Hangouts in Safari is to navigate to either hangouts.google.com or talkgadget.google.com and log in with your Google account. If you’ve used Hangouts before, you’ll see a list of your most recent conversations to the left, and three buttons to the right that let you choose a Video Call, Phone Call, or Message.
It’s all very simple and slick, and it keeps you from having to run either Gmail in a separate tab or run Chrome to run the Chrome app for Hangouts, which requires that Chrome run in the background, which itself has a tendency to hog your CPU.
You’ll get all of Hangouts functionality right in your preferred web browser, which is pretty great.
Hangouts web app doesn’t seem to work in Safari on my iPhone, however, but perhaps that’s coming soon.
Google has rolled out an updated version of its Hangouts browser extension – Google Hangouts. The notable difference between the earlier version and the most recent one is that the latter runs even when the Chrome browser is closed, in a separate window. The updated app borrows most of the features from its earlier iteration. For instance, It allows controls like hiding and resizing the chat windows over your screen, minimizing it, etc.
Google Meet, earlier called Google Hangouts, is a very useful web app. To access Google Hangouts, all you have to do is install the browser extension and then click on a little floating green icon that you see anywhere on your desktop screen.
Google Meet/Hangouts extension for Chrome
Once you click the icon, you’ll notice a list of all of your Google friends who are currently online. When you click on a person’s name, their picture will instantly move upwards, above the green icon. Thereon, you can either chose to navigate through active conversations or start Group Chats, New video chats and text friends. You can even make phone calls to your friends. Steps outlined below will walk you through the process.
Start a Group Chat
Start a Hangout conversation by launching Chrome browser and opening the extension or app. Navigate to the Bookmarks bar, click ‘Apps’.
Then, from the upper left corner, chose ‘New conversation’.
For all individuals in your group, enter their personal information like name, phone number, or email address. When you find the person you want chat with, check the box against his name.
Type your message, then press the return key on your keyboard.
Once you have finished creating a group, invite people using a link, add more people, or remove people.
Start a Video call
Before proceeding any further, check that your computer meets the system requirements and give Hangouts access to your camera and mic.
After checking, again navigate to the Bookmarks bar and click Apps. Alternatively, you can go to the following address chrome://apps in the address bar.
Click the Hangouts app Hangouts.
At the top left, click New conversation.
Type a name or email address. When you find the person you want, click their name.
In the Hangout window that opens, click Video call Video call.
When you’re done with your video call, click End call to end the call.
First, make sure that your computer meets the system requirements (Broadband connection to the Internet, USB web camera and a quad-core processor) Other devices, like virtual cameras, may not work with Hangouts
Next, give Hangouts access to your microphone. To do so, open Google Hangouts
Click the Call tab.
Type a phone number or name in the search box.
If you’re placing an international call, select the country code by clicking the flag drop-down menu or by typing it into the search box.
You can send a text message if you have a Google Voice account and have turned on text messages in Hangouts. To send a text message,
Launch the app. Next, navigate to Bookmarks bar and chose Apps. Hit the ‘New conversation’ link.
Type a name or email address. When you find the person, click their name to open the Hangout window. In the window that opens, click SMS.
Type your message and press the return key on your keyboard.
The only place where Google Hangouts app for Windows 10 desktop stops short I it requires a user to be signed into Chrome in order to allow the app to work. If you’re not signed in, you’ll be prompted to sign in when you attempt to load up the app.
Pros of the app, the app works outside your browser so you continue to receive all your messages as long as you have it running. Moreover, it syncs your chats across Hangouts on all your devices.
How do I use Google Hangouts in Windows 11/10?
There are mainly two ways to use Google Hangouts in Windows 11 and Windows 10. First, you can visit the hangouts.gogole.com website and sign in to your Google account. Second, you can use the Google Hangouts extension in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. If you do not use it frequently, you can just visit the website and check your messages.
Why is my Google Hangouts extension not working?
There could be several reasons why the Google Hangouts extension is not working on your computer. You need to update the browser first and check out the internet connection. If there are some issues with the installed extension or browser settings, you might encounter the same issue while using the Google Hangouts extension.
It is available for your Chrome browser at the Google Store.
Date: November 10, 2019 Tags: Google
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A post-graduate in Biotechnology, Hemant switched gears to writing about Microsoft technologies and has been a contributor to TheWindowsClub since then. When he is not working, you can usually find him out traveling to different places or indulging himself in binge-watching.
Want to learn more about Google but not sure where to begin?
- Visit our email page for step-by-step instructions on how to access your university Gmail account.
- Check out Gmail FAQs and Google Calendar FAQs for answers to a variety of Gmail and Google Calendar questions.
- See the technology training page for trainings on a variety of Google G Suite topics.
Below are links to information on key areas such as creating an email, organizing your email, and replying. These are geared to assisting you to understand and more.
In order for Gmail to open email links (such as “mail to:” or “email class” from Web4) you must first select Gmail as your email handler in your Chrome browser. Follow the instructions below to complete this process.
Below are links to information showing the easiest ways to navigate your Google Calendar especially with common tasks such as sharing calendars, creating and responding to events and customizing your calendar view.
On your computer, follow these steps to open Google Calendar:
- Go to google.com and login if you haven’t already
- Click the menu icon (nine squares in a 3×3 grid) in the right-hand corner
- Click the calendar icon
- Note: You can’t share calendars from the Google Calendar phone app
On the left, expand the My calendars section
Hover over the calendar you want to share then click on the menu icon, which is three vertical dots
Select Settings and sharing
How to Share Your Calendar With Specific People
Click Share with specific people
Click Add people.
Add the person or Google group email address. Use the dropdown menu to grant them the appropriate permissions. Choosing See all event details allows them to see details for your calendar events (not just busy/free times).
Choosing Make changes to events allows them to make appointments for you.
Click Send to email the people you’ve shared your calendar with, letting them know you’ve given them access to your calendar.
Note: After you’ve shared your calendar with someone, that person needs to Subscribe to it on the Settings page of their calendar.
How to Make Your Calendar Publicly Viewable
BE CAREFUL with Access permissions! Misconfiguring these settings can unintentionally make the contents of your calendar publicly viewable.
To broadly share your calendar, configure the settings under Access permissions. Select the appropriate check boxes and dropdown menu options based on:
- Who you want to share your calendar with, and
- How much information you want them to see
In the example below, everyone at Fitchburg State University can see free/busy times on the calendar, but they can’t see any event details.
Hangouts is the one messaging platform from Google that has amassed enough popularity to warrant its existence when you compare it to things like the late Allo app, for example, but despite this, the company is still killing it off. It’s been a long and slowly drawn out process, but finally, Google is beginning to automatically sign out free Hangouts users and is presenting them with a message which has them switch to Google Chat instead.
Google actually laid out its plans to migrate regular Hangouts users to Chat earlier this year, and we’re finally in that phase where it’s planned to take action on this. If you’re a non-Workspace user who still has Hangouts installed, opening the app will show you the pop up seen below (discovered by 9to5Google), and right above your chats, you’ll have a banner message that says the following:
Hangouts is being replaced by Google Chat
Your conversations from the last year are already in Chat, and older conversations will be available later.
Clicking on ‘Learn more’ will take you straight over to Google Support where you can learn more about the switch while clicking’ Go to Chat’ or ‘Switch to Chat in Gmail’ will reload the page with Chat as the primary software. As a reminder, you can use Chat in Gmail or standalone by visiting https://chat.google.com in your browser! To clarify, these sign-outs are primarily occurring in these early stages on iOS, but they should soon be across all platforms.
Will you miss Google Hangouts, or are you glad that the company has made Chat available for free to everyone as a replacement? I’m personally very happy to never be forced to hear that horrid Hangouts message ping sound anymore. Chat feels professional and polished, and it seems to build on the success of Hangouts instead of ditching it for something entirely new as Google has done in the past. I believe it’s learned its lesson, and is ready to offer something that it can continue to grow and develop in a way that everyone enjoys over the years to come.
Hangouts is a software application that has been developed and distributed by Google. Originally, it was introduced as a side feature of Google+ but it was later made into a standalone product. Google has been developing this application mainly for enterprise communication. Hangouts now consist of two primary types, Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat.
Google Hangouts Logo
In this article, we will discuss the method to completely disable the application on your device. As this app is available and integrated into almost all the major operating systems, we will be listing the methods for different operating systems. Make sure to follow the method for the device that you use and to follow it accurately to avoid any conflict.
How to Disable Google Hangouts on PC, Mac, Chrome, Android, and iOS?
Google Hangouts can be a useful application for many people but for most, it is an unnecessary addition to their operating systems. The app comes preinstalled on many operating systems which makes it all the more annoying when it consumes resources in the background.
Remove Google Hangouts on PC and Mac
The steps to remove Google Hangouts are very similar to PC and Mac. Since they both involve a very similar approach we have compiled these in a single list.
- Launch your browser and open a new tab.
- Navigate to this link and sign in to your Gmail Account.
- On the left side, click on the down arrow in front of your name. Clicking on the “Arrow Down” button in front of the name.
- Scroll down and click on the “Sign out of Hangouts” option. Clicking on the “Sign out of Hangouts” button
- Click on the “Settings” cog on the right side and click on the “Settings” option. Clicking on the “Settings” cog and selecting “Settings” button
- Select the “Chat” tab and check the “Chat Off” option. Clicking on the Chat Tab and selecting the “Chat Off” button
- Click on the “Save Changes” button.
- This will remove Google Hangouts from your computer.
Remove Google Hangouts from Chrome
Google Hangouts also has an extension that can be installed on Chrome. Therefore, we will also inform you of the method to remove the app from Chrome. For that:
- Open Chrome and launch a new tab.
- Click on the “Three Dots” in the top right corner.
- Click on the “More Tools” option and select the “Extensions” button. Clicking on More Tools and selecting “Extensions”
- Click on the “Toggle” to turn off the extension. Clicking on the toggle to turn off the extension
Remove Google Hangouts from Android
Google Hangouts comes pre-installed on most Android mobiles and can be pretty annoying when it starts consuming background resources. Therefore, in this step, we will be demonstrating the steps to remove it from Android permanently. For that:
- Drag down the notifications panel and click on the “Settings” cog. Dragging down the notifications panel and tapping on the “Settings” option
- Click on “Apps” and then select “Applications”.Clicking on the “Apps” option
- Scroll down and click on “Google Hangouts”.
- Click on the “Force Stop” button and select the “Disable” option.
- Approve any prompts that might display that the app might misbehave.
- This will disable the application permanently on Android.
Remove Google Hangouts from iOS
iOS doesn’t pre-install Google Hangouts but it can be downloaded from the App Store. Therefore, in this step, we will be showing you the method to permanently get rid of Google Hangouts from iOS. For that:
- Locate the Google Hangouts app.
- Press and hold on the “Hangouts” application.
- Tap the “X” button on the screen to remove it from the phone and confirm the prompt. Clicking on the Prompt to confirm it
- The Google Hangouts application has now permanently been removed from iOS.
When clicking that URL it’ll spin up a Chrome window or tab with that URL. However, Chrome is not my favorite browser on this PC. I want to make Hangouts open links in my favorite browser by default.
I’ve tried gone breadth-first through the settings of a contact, as well as the Hangouts general settings, but haven’t found an option for this. I’ve searched with Google but found no relevant results, and I’ve searched WebApps.SE finding zero relevant results as well.
Workarounds I’ve found are all suboptimal. Using Hangouts from your another browser (via Gmail) makes links open in that browser, but Hangouts in your browser is not a nice experience. Obviously there’s copy-pasting the URL into your favorite browser, but that also requires several tedious manual actions.
My setup is Windows 8.1 with latest updates. I have installed Chrome (latest), Firefox (latest), and IE 11. The latter is set as my favorite browser. The Hangouts app is one I’ve installed quite some time ago at first seems like a separate app, because it’s a separate set of windows, and because of how it’s shown in the taskbar:
However I can’t seem to find the application in the “Programs and Features” settings screen of Windows. It does show up as an extension for Google Chrome, which does kind of suggest that what I want is not possible.
In this post, I will share a few Tips and Tricks to use Google Hangouts in Gmail. We’ll also discuss a couple of how to guides (i) how to use Google Hangouts on Android and/or iPhone, (ii) google hangouts conference call (iii) google hangouts extension (iv) google hangouts widget and (v) google hangouts screen sharing.
Initially, this post was focused on a tick to know about the people Who is Online from Android Device or iPhone Device from your Gmail Chat Box aka GTalk. In earlier 2017, Google has suspended the GTalk service completely and replaced GTalk with Hangouts. After that tricks were mentioned in this tutorial becomes irrelevant.
However, I have updated this post instead of deleting it with some features and functionality you can use directly from your Gmail Inbox, from your Android/iPhone or from your chrome browser.
Nowadays, Hangouts comes as default chat service with Gmail account. This chatting tool carries most of the good features of GTalk like, you can chat with people directly from your inbox. Now, you can also experience the Video and Audio Call feature from Google Hangouts.
Hangouts is loaded with few additional features like
- Send messages to a chat contact while he or she is offline,
- Set your status from Gmail or from your device,
- Do a video call with your contact,
- Do a Group Call Hangouts
- Use Google Hangouts Conference Call Service (with G Suite).
- Use Google Hangouts Screen Sharing
Here I am sharing some new cool features and options available with Google Hangouts.
Table of Contents
Tips and Tricks to use Google Hangouts
#1. Use Google Hangouts in Gmail
Status options come with Hangouts by default
- You can show when you were last active,
- From which device you are currently active E.g. Mobile, Tablet or Desktop
- You can also show that you are on a video or voice call from your device.
Settings to manage Hangouts notifications
- Mute or turn off the notifications for a period of time E.g. 1 hour, 2 hour or 12 hours.
- Turn ON or OFF sounds for incoming messages or
- ON/OFF the Ring on incoming phone calls
Here is a default screenshot of Google Hangouts options in Gmail.
#2. How to use Google Hangouts in Android and iPhone
Apart from the features which can be accessed via Gmail, there are few certain things you can do with Hangouts on Android.
- You can Snooze your notifications.
- To make a Video Call via the android app, just tap on the plus button once, an option to make a New video call will appear.
- Invite people to join you
- You can also block a person directly from Hangout settings.
- And see your hidden contacts if any.
#3. How to use Hangouts Conference Call Service – Google Hangouts Group Call
You can use Hangouts Conference Call Service, which is available with G Suite package as Hangouts Meet.
However, if you don’t have a G Suite package, you can use and Google Hangouts Group Call for video chat with your friends.
You can make a Hangouts Group Call via the Gmail/Android app/iPhone app or using the google hangouts extension for chrome.
just tap on the plus button once, an option to make a New video call will appear.
Steps to make Hangouts Group Call
- Open Hangouts in Gmail/on Android or on iPhone
- Start a new group with one or multiple people in your contact by selecting their names.
- And than Start your Google Hangouts Group Call,
- Add more people to this group whenever you like.
- You can also use Google Hangouts Screen Sharing option to share your device screen with the group call members.
#4. Google Hangouts Extension for Chrome
There is a Chrome Extension for Hangouts available for free on Chrome store. You can install this extension and use Hangouts as a native app of Google Chrome.
This native app created by Google Hangouts Extension is quite awesome and comes with all the features, which are available in the Android app.
Nowadays most of us are using Gmail and Hangouts on mobile devices. And many times we wonder whether a friend is online on a computer or he or she is online from a mobile device.
You can easily find this out from the Hangout Box. If somebody is online from a personal computer, it will show colored bullet points or video cam icon as shown previously in Google Chat.
From here you can download Hangouts Official App for Android and iPhone
Hope you find these Tips and Tricks to use Hangouts helpful. Do let us know if you know about any other trick/feature I have not mentioned.
If you have any query regarding this guide please post your query in the comment section below.