If you are one of those people who use Google+ for video chats, then you must have seen Hangouts grow from a simple messaging medium to a huge multi-platform chat service. If not, however, don’t worry, here’s a little fact guide to help you get started on knowing and using one of the largest growing communication platforms, one that just recently opened its dedicated website.
Google Hangouts =/= Google+ Hangouts
Contrary to our introduction earlier, Google Hangouts isn’t exactly the direct successor of Google+ Hangouts. While it does have video chat features, its most basic features are more akin to Google Talk, which was previously the company’s primary communication platform until the introduction of other platforms in the past years.
Google Hangouts = Google+ Hangouts
It sounds confusing, but don’t be. What’s meant by this is that even if Google Hangouts is no longer Google+ Hangouts, it still retains much of the features of its video chat system. As such, you can also chat with a maximum of 10 users online, simultaneously, when you want to use its video chat options.
Simple and elegant
Even during its first introduction, the layout of the Google Hangouts interface always featured very simple visuals, with lists and options, presenting a basic, uncomplicated background. Indeed, it was even introduced as the default instant messaging app for Android devices this way, and it subsequently replaced all Google-based communication platforms for the iOS partly due to its design and features.
Cloud-based chat histories
With the proliferation of cloud integration today, Google Hangouts now offers online chat history logging as a staple feature. It is not a unique feature not found on other chat apps, but the way it allows syncing makes the service far more convenient for users of multiple Android devices.
Phone messaging system integration
Google Hangouts can pretty much connect with your phone to provide you with text messaging notifications and other related stuff. In fact, Hangouts is the default SMS app on the Nexus 5. The feature can be toggled on or off on newer versions, however, if you want the app to be a separate messaging medium on your unit.
Google Hangouts has some fun features; some are meant to entertain, and some are simply there for the heck of it. The number of these features can sufficiently create another article, so we’ll spare all of the specific details. Here’s a hint at least: Konami code.
Now has its website
As hinted earlier, Google Hangouts at last now has its dedicated website, hangouts.google.com, which you can directly use. This is even better when you’re using Chrome, since you can automatically log into the service using the Google account that you are already logged into.
Three big buttons
Start a video call, do a phone call, or type a message. Everything that you’ll ever want to do with the website is neatly arranged and greatly simplified into these three large and clear buttons. Lists and message histories might take a while for some users to load, though, so don’t start spam-clicking the buttons just yet after the page initially appears.