Google has revealed that Hangouts is on the boulevard, even if it has not been known when the service will be retired. The work with Hangouts will be smooth, and users can migrate to Chat and Meet, tools currently available only for the business segment. The well-known free Google Hangouts service has been reworked several times, but the Mountain View company still needs to convince users to use it on a large scale.
Hangouts allow you to organize an online video conference in seconds using a link that can be shared with the various participants. Access this page and indicate whether you want to make a simple or video call. The next step is to invite participants who will receive a link to join the video conference.
Alternatively, click Copy Link to Share and paste the URL provided ( CTRL+V ) into an email.
Hangouts creates meeting rooms for each video conference set up: each “room” is publicly accessible by anyone with a Google account and, above all, knows the URL to connect.
Hangouts can be used without installing applications on desktop and notebook PCs and mobile devices: paste the link into the browser address bar and log in with your Google user account.
On Android mobile devices, you can use Chrome, touch the icon showing three dots in the column, tick the Desktop site box, and then paste the Hangouts link.
Alternatively, you can use the Hangouts app for Android or iOS. By clicking on Share (top right), it is possible to send to the participants in the video call what is shown on their device (full screen or currently open window). The feature that allows you to establish peer-to-peer calls when there are only two participants in the conversation is interesting (see this page ).
Hangouts Are On The Boulevard: Why?
Google has already withdrawn Hangouts for wearable devices based on Wear OS, and between the end of 2019 and 2020, the Mountain View company planned the abandonment of the service, which users never used en masse. Very difficult, even for a company like Google, to gain important market shares to the detriment above all of WhatsApp, a company controlled by Facebook which boasts over 1.5 billion, monthly active users.
Although other applications boast better features than WhatsApp, getting users to switch from one platform to another is complicated. Thus, if, for example, Google Duo has achieved remarkable success (not at the levels of Google Photos), Hangouts has historically remained at a standstill.
Google Has No Plans To Set Aside Support For Messaging And Video Conferencing: Messages, Duo, Chat, And Meet
The technology behind Hangouts has been used to develop applications such as Duo, Chat, and Meet. While Duo is an application for making calls and video calls “1-to-1″ or with the participation of two interlocutors, Chat and Meet are professional-level solutions up to now made available only to holders of a G Suite account.
Visiting this page with a normal (non-paying) Google account, the message appears: ” Your account only allows you to participate in meetings. ” You will then be able to participate in video conferences organized by G Suite users, but you need help to create your own. When Hangouts is definitively withdrawn, service users – according to what is anticipated – can migrate to Chat and Meet: services hitherto the prerogative of paying users only; therefore, they will become universally accessible and usable.
Therefore, Google intends to relaunch messaging and online video conferencing not by completely trashing Hangouts but by reorganizing its offer. One problem that has slowed down the affirmation of Hangouts and its derivative applications is the confusion that has reigned supreme over Google’s offer: too many services, apps, and poor interoperability. One of Google’s Hangouts project managers confirmed that Hangouts users would be migrated to Chat and Meet: the former is now the messaging platform, while the latter is the one for video conferencing aimed at a professional audience.
The diagram in the figure was approved and summarizes the future of Google’s messaging and videoconferencing services. For private users who don’t have particular needs, the Messages app will become the reference for instant messaging (at least from Google’s point of view), while Duo will be the app in which we will continue to invest a lot (and which allows you to make “1-to-1” calls).
On the other hand, those who work in a team, regardless of whether they are a business user, will be able to use Chat for messaging and Meet for video conferencing. In general, it seems that Google has focused on differentiation based on the type of interaction: “1-to-1” ( Messages and Duo ); “working groups” ( Chat and Meet ).
The Messages app (until now used to manage SMS and the now defunct MMS) has recently been the subject of multiple interventions. It could soon become a new reference point for instant messaging: Sending messages and SMS from a PC via mobile phone. Chat was instead designed to speed up the workflow within companies of any size, including professional studios.
With Chat, it is possible to manage conversations within your work activity, upload documents and files from Drive, collaborate on drafting documents with the various components of the Google office suite, participate in online Meet with Meet, and use powerful search features to retrieve previously shared files or texts. Chat supports 28 languages , and each “room” where conversations occur has up to 8,000 participants.
The application can integrate with dozens of other third-party applications and services: leveraging bots, Chat supports ProsperWorks, Salesforce, and Streak among CRMs; Jira, MeisterTask, Trello, and Wrike for project and task managers; Egnyte for file sharing; Statsbot for stats and many other platforms. Thanks to Vault, Chat is proposed as a secure solution for data management and storage, and thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms, it is possible to optimize some operations.
Meet optimizes collaboration in the workgroup with the possibility of managing a real virtual “conference room.” Teams using Skype for Business or SIP and H.323 standards-based meeting systems (such as Polycom and Cisco) can easily join a Meet meeting using the Pexip Infinity platform . As for Duo, the app for making calls and video calls from Google, the mechanism does not provide for creating an account: authentication and login take place using the user’s mobile phone number.
And this is precisely one of the points that consumer users have appreciated: the ability to immediately start a conversation, to record video messages, to use the Toc Toc function (the other interlocutor, even before answering, can see the user’s video who is calling. Acting on the settings, it can be freely disabled).
The advantage of the various video conferencing solutions is that by simply using the browser on your mobile device or installing apps, you can join meetings wherever you are. Connecting a headset via cable or Bluetooth to your smartphone: the device’s front camera can transmit your video stream. It is possible to deactivate cameras and microphones at any time.