When video conference is being talked about, the first chat services that usually come to mind are Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.
These two apps are popular options if you want to chat with someone face-to-face. What many people don’t consider is Google Hangouts. One sign that FaceTime and Skype are prominent video conference services is their ability to be used as a verb. Some people would say “Let’s Skype/FaceTime tonight” and that would make sense, whereas when you tell someone “Let’s Hangouts”, it’s more likely they don’t understand what you meant.
However, most people don’t realize that Google Hangouts is also a great option for video conferencing, especially for long distance communication. Google plans for Google Hangouts to be its one-stop communication tool. However, with rivals like Skype and FaceTime, can we say that Google Hangouts is the best chat service for video conferences?
Video Conference with 10 Other Users
Google Hangouts can be used between Google+ users so you need to have a Google+ account to be able to use the app. Some people may not be keen on this idea; but securing a Google+ account is fairly simple and don’t cost a thing. Google Hangouts lets you video chat with up to 10 people for free. You can chat with people on your address book or from other users within your Google+ Circles.
Chat with Multiple Platforms
If there’s one thing that puts off FaceTime users is its inability to perform across multiple platforms. Google Hangouts, on the other hand, not only allows you to chat with 10 more people; but it makes it happen in different platforms – meaning, users of iOS, Android, and desktop users can participate in the same video conference. Skype also allows video conference across multiple platforms so in this case, both Skype and Google Hangouts have the upper hand against FaceTime.
To keep the video conference in a less cluttered way, Google Hangouts incorporates a cool feature that would distinguish who’s talking within the group. When a person is speaking, his video stands out among the rest, bringing the others’ videos down to a smaller box. When the other users speak again, their videos will be brought to attention again on the screen. This is a useful feature, although it can be a bit cluttered when there are too many voices at once. However, this feature helps in making you focus on the person currently talking.
Google Hangouts’ text service scrolls in real time and it’s also complete with features like emojis and the ability to send photos. However, it still has plenty of room for improvements. Google Hangouts still has a lot to improve before users can choose it over Skype. The quality of the video conference still relies heavily on your connection so if you have a decent internet connection, you can expect to enjoy a nice video conference with your friends. Google Hangouts may not be the best yet but it is definitely a solid option for all your video conference needs.