If you aren’t a fan of Google Hangouts, it’s probably because you haven’t tried it yet. It’s incredibly useful, and super easy. If you need help starting a Hangout, check out my post on How To Start A Google Hangout.
Here are some features you should know about:
- Archive – Each time you have a Hangout with somebody, their name goes to the top of your Hangout list in both Gmail and Google+. If you’d rather that their name wasn’t there, you can remove it through Archive. This won’t delete the conversation, it’ll just get it out of sight. You do this by going to Settings (top right corner of the Hangout Chat box) and clicking Archive.
In Video Chat:
- Chat – You don’t HAVE to only use video. By clicking the Text button, you can open a small chat box on the side of your Video Chat. Use this to type directions, ingredients, contact information, or anything else that might come up in the conversation. Make sure whoever you are talking to opens the text box too, or else you’re the only one that sees it.
- Screen Share – Very useful if you are working on a project with somebody and need to show your screen. I’ve also used this option to watch a movie with my niece and nephew while we were thousands of miles apart.
- Google Effects – Kids love this, but so do adults. Use effects to add hats or facial hair to yourself. There are also different backgrounds and sound effects. It’s so hard to get through a conversation and NOT use Google Effects.
- YouTube – I love this. Share YouTube videos with your friends.
There are also several other options if you click on those three little dots at the bottom. There is a Google Drive app that allows everyone in the Hangout to be editing an app at the same time, while also talking about it. There are games and productivity apps. Make sure you check those out to see if any of those tools are just what you need.
Google Hangouts isn’t messing around. Figure out what it is that you like the most.