Hangouts is a chat application by Google that can send text messages, video messages, and even host conference calls and live streams for YouTube content.
- Send and receive text messages
- Send and receive video/voice calls
- Live stream your chats to YouTube
- Keep a record of your text history or turn it off
- Available across multiple platforms
- Completely free to use
- Lets you send text messages and video calls
- Offers group conversations across platforms
- YouTube live stream feature built-in
- Video quality is highly dependent on your connection
- Google+ integration with Hangouts is annoying
- Doesn't have GIF support that some other apps do
- Ability to send/receive SMS messages removed
Google Hangouts is a chat application that has evolved several times over the years. It started out as Google Talk, which was popular when the old messenger apps like MSN, AOL, and Yahoo were still around. With the rise of the mobile industry, Google re-tooled Google Talk into Google Hangouts, which now features the ability to make and receive video and voice calls. You'll need to create a Google account to use the service, but that's free to do. Once you've added your friend's Google account to the app you will be able to text, voice or video message them at your leisure. The app also supports group chats so that you can add multiple people and keep everyone together. Voice and video call quality are highly dependent on your WiFi connection. If your connection is not very good, you'll end up with choppy audio or video which can show when you decide to upload the video to YouTube. Because of the group chat feature and the video call, Hangouts is a favorite way for people to host live video podcasts on a wide variety of topics. The recording of that video can be exported to YouTube and released on a channel for people to watch later with absolutely no editing skills needed. Because the service is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and the Web, it makes it easy to stay in contact with anybody who has a Google account. The app used to be able to send and receive regular SMS messages, but Google recently removed that functionality and put it in a different app called Allo. It doesn't work quite the same as something like iMessage, but it's the closest alternative that Android users have available to them for now.
This is good but does not now nor ever will support YouTube live streams.
Google Hangouts will close in October 2019 forever..For regular old Gmail users, when it becomes available Hangouts Chat will follow a “fremium” model — which means that anybody will be able to download and try it out, but we don’t know for sure what features will cost money.