Category: Google Hangouts

Google Acquires Lime Audio to Improve Conference Audio

Google has announced that they have acquired Lime Audio to boost their audio performance in Chromebox for Meetings and Google Hangouts.  The acquisition, of which the financial details were not released, will allow Google to improve the audio experience as more customers are turning to video and audio conferencing in their day-to-day operations.

One of the biggest challenges to a great video meeting is the audio quality. Conference rooms today come in all shapes and sizes and that can provide a challenge for acoustics. Additionally, a poor internet connection can hamper voice quality in video conference calls. Limes Audio has been building solutions that remove the distracting noise, distortion and echoes that can affect online video and telephony meetings, improving the overall online conference experience.

Based on the release about the acquisition, Google is going to be incorporating the Lime Audio technology in to Chromebox for Meetings and Google Hangouts.  When or how this will be done was not disclosed.

New Android-Like Hangouts Chrome Extension Now Available

If you are a heavy user of Hangouts and use Chrome or Chrome OS, there is a new extension and app for you to check out.  Last week Google announced that a new, Android-like Chrome extension for Hangouts would be coming out with the aim to improve performance and the overall look and feel of the UI.  Achievement unlocked as both the extension and the app look far better than the old style and both perform exceptionally well.

The new extension can be found in the Chrome Web Store which allows you to run Hangouts while you are using your Chrome browser regardless of platform.  This is what the majority of users will want, especially Chrome OS users, as the browser tends to stay open all the time.

Google Updates Hangouts With Direct Share Support

Google Hangouts has been updated for Android that brings a much desired feature for those who use Hangouts a lot:  Direct Share.  For those who aren’t familiar with what I’m referring to, Direct Share allows you to share content from another app directly to someone on Hangouts.  To this point, if you wanted to share something, it was difficult and involved a fair bit of cutting and pasting in some cases.  That isn’t a big deal for those who don’t use the app much but for power users, it was a time consuming step.  That, for the most part, is gone now.

Massive Google Hangouts Update Rolling Out Now

This afternoon Google began pushing out a big update to Google Hangouts, their SMS & IM app for Android.  The update brings the app to version 7 and this is one that all users will want to get and try out.  Perhaps the biggest new feature is one that many Hangouts users had requested:  The ability to do Quick Replies.

Everyone pause for a moment and soak in the glory.

Now on the Notification Shade, you can do a quick reply to a message and send it.  It saves you from having to open up the Hangouts app and makes replies, especially while you are on-the-go (but not driving… because driving and Hangouts don’t mix).  There is nothing you need to do to enable the feature.  It will be automatically started for you after you upgrade to this new version.

The Benefits of Hangouts For Project Fi Subscribers

One of the big misconceptions about Project Fi is that you are absolutely required to use Google Hangouts for your SMS/MMS and Instant Messaging app.  Here is a quote from a post I made a couple of weeks ago on the subject:  If you are a new Project Fi users, chances are you are a bit confused.  That confusion surrounds SMS and which app you can use for getting your text messages on your Nexus phone using Fi.  On the surface, it looks like you are required to use Google Hangouts, the voice, video and yes, text messaging integrated app.  But that not necessarily true and in fact, even Google suggests that you use Google Messenger, the default SMS app on Nexus devices, for texting.

That said, for those of us on Project Fi, there are some benefits to having everything in one app like Hangouts.  Not only does it give you one app to go to for your communications, the information synchronizes with Hangouts on your PC.  That means you can get your messages and your texts on your desktop, read them and reply to them.  If you haven’t considered moving your SMS/MMS communication to Hangouts, read this article and see if it is right for you.  A lot of it will depend on how you communicate and with whom.  But after being an avid Messenger user for most of 2015, when I switched to Project Fi, I embraced Hangouts and haven’t looked back.

Google Account No Longer Required For Hangouts Video Calls

In a post today on the Google apps blog, the company has announced that users who need to access a Google Hangouts video call no longer need to have a Google account to join.  The update follows on an update from last year where an external link could be provided to a Hangouts video call even if they were not explicitly invited.  This new update really pushes Hangouts as a video, voice and conferencing platform given how widely used it is and the fact it is on both Android and iOS devices as well as the web.

The way that this new feature will work is pretty slick.  Users with the external link will click on that link, put in their name in the dialog box that pops up and click the Request to Join button.  Organizers of the Hangouts call will get a pop-up with that users information and can either Accept or Decline to let them in to the call or not.  It’s simple and for anyone who has used a video conferencing solution in the past, will feel very familiar.

Project Fi Users, No, You Don’t Have to Use Hangouts

If you are a new Project Fi users, chances are you are a bit confused.  That confusion surrounds SMS and which app you can use for getting your text messages on your Nexus phone using Fi.  On the surface, it looks like you are required to use Google Hangouts, the voice, video and yes, text messaging integrated app.  But that not necessarily true and in fact, even Google suggests that you use Google Messenger, the default SMS app on Nexus devices, for texting.

So what gives?  What’s the truth and what is the plus or minus of using Google Hangouts or Google Messenger?  Essentially it comes down to where you want messages to appear and on which devices and how you plan to communicate to friends and family.

Google Hangouts for Android Updated With Bug Fixes

Google Hangouts has been updated today in the Google Play Store and it should be hitting your devices soon.  The new 5.0.104885319 version for those keeping score at home brings mostly bug fixes to the texting-meets-chatting app from Google.  You aren’t going to find a lot of changes in this build from a feature perspective but if you are a user of the Google Hangouts widget on your home screen…. well, it just got a little sad for you.

Google Hangouts for Android – Free – Download Now

Google Hangouts Traffic to Traverse A New Domain

A couple of weeks ago I posted on the new Google Hangouts website where you can use the messaging service without actually having to be on your Android phone or tablet.  Now Google is going one step further and moving all traffic from the messaging service to a new domain, hangouts.google.com.

Following the launch of the new standalone Google Hangouts homepage, Hangouts-related services and web traffic will be served from ‘hangouts.google.com’ in addition to existing host names.

This news isn’t really all that shocking and frankly it makes a lot of sense for Google to do this.

Google Hangouts for Android – Free – Download Now

Google Hangouts Website Now Available

Last week I told you about the all new Google Hangouts 4.0 that was released for Android as well as iOS (with a few less functions).  If you haven’t tried it out, do yourself a favor.  This is not the old Hangouts.  It’s far smoother an experience and generally a much nicer experience.  As part of that release, Google has quietly released a Google Hangouts website that allows you to use your browser to be your Hangouts app.  Like the apps for the mobile devices, it’s buttery smooth and beautifully designed.

Google Hangouts Gets Major Update

Google Hangouts is getting a big update today that all users of the social messaging app will want to get hold of for their Android phone, tablet and wear devices.  The updated version 4.0 is expected to be released to the Google Play Store today and with it comes a streamlined look and feel, simplified controls and improved speed.  Google indicated on their blog today that the new Google Hangouts will be available today and has started to roll out.  If you are not seeing it on your devices, give it time.  It will take a bit of time to hit everyone.

Google Hangouts for Android – Free – Download Now