Google Hangouts just get better and better

Google HangoutsWhen we first started using Google+ Hangouts for our show The Friday Hangout the interface was pretty glitchy. The video would get “stuck” on a single person talking during filming and we got to watch her reactions to the entire show but never saw the person speaking. It crashed at the drop of a feather. Audio was problematic as was the picture quality and sometimes just plain odd things would happen. Too odd to even mention here. Not to mention the technical issues some newbies experienced getting the thing up and running.

No more! Google has continually improving the Hangout interface and features and now we really have a lot to work with on desktop and mobile devices. They’ve just added another major update to the mobile app too and besides the bug fixes there are a lot of new features.

So what’s new? Here are some of the latest changes in the last couple of updates:

  • Better mobile version

    The mobile Hangout app actually works, and the convenience of conducting a business Hangout on your iPad or even your mobile phone is pretty darn awesome. The only drawback is not having the ability to do a Hangout on Air from your mobile device.

  • Share images and clickable links within the IOS app
  • Invite people to chat via SMS

    If you get a message while the app is running the in-app alert will sound a tone so you don’t miss it.

  • Chat Hangouts are displayed in your Gmail as “recent discussions”

    This is a great feature if you do a lot of team collaboration calls with your team. Set up a circle for your team and you instantly have a collaborative video and chat collaboration environment across devices.

  • You’ll see your conversation and the list of attendees on the call. You’ll see the conversation and have the ability to add to it after the meeting. All attendees will get a notification that something has been added to the conversation.
  • You’ll know who read the conversation because the profiles are displayed below the last message they read in a discussion stream.

Hangout Chat Commands

Here are some shortcuts to communicating within a Hangout chat.

  • /to, /msg [user] [message] – Sends an inline private message to the specified
  • user. /shortcuts – Open keyboard shortcut help screen
  • /help, /? – Displays a list of command descriptions and usages.
  • /goto [user] – Opens the profile of the specified user in a new tab.
  • /mute – Mutes the audio of the caller. /unmute – Unmutes the audio of the caller.
  • /vmute – Mutes the video of the caller. /unvmute – Unmutes the video of the caller.
  • /users – Displays a list of participants in the video call
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