Google Hangouts is Google’s standalone messaging app made available for mobile devices.
This messaging service has been around for a while now in Google+ and within Gmail but Google had taken it out of these services so users can download and use them on their devices. Google Hangouts is available to download for free on the App Store for iOS devices and on the Play Store for Android devices. Google Hangouts replaced Google Talk so if you download it on your Android device, don’t be surprised if the Talk icon is replaced by the new Hangouts icon.
Messages are in Sync across Different Platforms
The Hangouts app keeps your message history in sync across different platforms. You can chat with a friend using your mobile and continue that conversation on your laptop when you open the desktop version or on your email using the chat feature within Gmail. This is very useful if you use different devices all the time. It’s a nice feature that lets you carry on every conversation no matter what device you decide to use.
How to Start a Conversation
Launch the app on your mobile and look for the new message icon on the upper right corner of the app. Before continuing with the message, you will be asked to select any of your contacts on Google+ or any contacts from your address book. Using the Hangouts mobile app, you can also send photos and choose from hundreds of emojis that are available in the app. When starting a new Hangout, you will see two groups of lists of people just below the search bar. The first group is the list of people you had communicated with through Hangouts or Google Talk. The second group is a list of suggested people who you haven’t communicated through Hangouts yet but are in your contacts list.
How to Add Contacts
Adding contacts on Google Hangouts is easy. For one, the contacts in your address book and Google+ are automatically saved as soon as you register your Gmail account but they are not automatically added in your contact list. To add them, just tap the add people icon on the upper right hand corner of the Contacts tab. You will find a list of people whom you’ve last got acquainted with in your Gmail. Tap the add button to send a request to the person to add you as their contact.
How to Know If Someone is Online
If you’re used to seeing your contacts’ status in other messaging apps, you will find that Google Hangouts has a different way to show if someone is online or not. To know if someone is online, just look at the text bubble icon next to their names. If the icon is colored green then that means he or she is online while a gray colored icon means they are not. You can still send messages to your offline contacts and they will be able to read your messages the next time they go online.
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