Developed by Google on May 15 2013, Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform, to say the least. Judging by the info presented by the company, this piece of software replaces three services right off the bat: Google Talk, Google+, Google Videos. Here we present you with Google Hangouts review.
App background info:
- Developer: Google.
- Release date: May 15 2013.
- Ready for Android and iOS platforms.
- App applies XMPP protocol.
- Google Hangouts supports exchanging of text, video and audio files.
- Make video calls using internet traffic.
- Conferences are available in chats and video calls.
- You cannot delete users from chats, but you can delete entire chats and create new ones.
- A Google account is required to access the application.
- The app syncs with cloud services, storing correspondence regardless of the app version you’re using.
- Supports SMS and MMS.
- Register a Google Hangouts account using only your cell number.
- The messaging app lets you send evites to friends to use the app. It is absolutely free of charge and is only carried out upon agreement from the gadget owner.
- Push notifications that can be disabled in the settings menu.
- Has the “Do Not Disturb” function that disables all notifications for a period of up to 72 hours.
- Hangouts has personal profiles giving you the freedom to set and change your avatar, change your personal details.
- The app supports statuses.
- The messaging service has privacy settings.
- Developers have created the ‘Improve Hangouts’ function. By flagging this option in the settings menu, the user allows Hangouts to send anonymous data on the app’s use.
- The app is equipped with the option to archive chats.
- The app’s system for making and receiving calls is rather complex. Users must install Google Voice to be able to receive calls. Outgoing calls can be made without any additional software. Calls to a specific set of numbers, selected by a company, are commercial. The fee, however, does not exceed 1 cent per minute.
- The application has caller ID.
- Supports the use of stickers and emoji.
- The transfer of .gif animation is supported.
- Initially, the product was designed to fit PCs and browsers. Later on, Android and iOS versions were released.
- No ads.
- Contacts may be exported from your device’s directory as well as from such services as Google+ and Google Talk.
- The app lets you edit the photos that you want to send. There are filters that can be applied to the image.
- Quick camera access.
The project was initially called Babel. Well, at least on paper. However, during Google I/O developer conference on May 15, 2013 the app was unveiled as Google Hangouts.
Prior to launching the full app Google was operating three apps, which were later united into a single app – Google Hangouts.
The service came under criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for ‘withdrawing from open standards’, as well as for closed protocols and weak user data protection.
Users pulled the product apart for no network statuses. They didn’t have to wait for long – statuses were included in the next update.
On September 26, 2013 an error was found that caused messages to be sent to the wrong people. This error has since been eliminated.
In conclusion, let’s stress the fact that Hangouts provides one of the best video call qualities. Perhaps, it isn’t seen as a purely texting app by many, due to the presence of more convenient options, but it is, however, actively used in teaching. Many universities and schools use it because of HQ video calls. Currently, practically every educational establishment provides distance education. And guess what software helps carry out the process? Hangouts. Hangouts together with Skype is leading the pack in this regard. Professors no longer need to travel to remote university branches. All you need is a microphone, a projector and a lecture hall.
Some stats, if you’re interested. Not long ago Google and Facebook reported that their developments are losing young users and fast. Kids nowadays are turning to downright simple texting apps and photo apps.