Google Hangouts is a tool for making video meetings. The Google communication platform is compatible with the main browsers on the market, such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox, and does not require the installation of programs on the computer. With an intuitive interface and simple usability, Hangouts allows online meetings right in the browser in a few clicks.
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Due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, Google released the Hangouts Meet, version of the platform aimed at business communication, for all users free of charge. So far, the tool premium it was only available to G Suite subscribers. With the measure, which is valid until July 1, anyone can take advantage of the advanced features of Meet. In the next few lines, understand how Hangouts works and learn about the functions that the communication tool offers.
How does Hangouts work? Get to know the Google tool for video calls Photo: Reproduo / Google
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What and how Hangouts works
Hangouts is a communication platform that allows you to exchange messages online, make phone calls and make video calls with up to 25 people. You must have a Google account to use the service. Thanks to this integration, Hangouts is able to import the user's entire contact list automatically, which makes it easier to start conversations.
See also: Home office: see tools for working at home on the coronavirus
Home office: see tools for working at home on the coronavirus
Available for Android phones and iPhone (iOS), the platform also has an extension for Chrome. The plugin allows for quick start of conferences and can be found in the Chrome Web Store. It’s worth mentioning that Hangouts are automatically synced across all devices. This means that if you start a Hangout on your computer, you can resume chatting on a smartphone, for example.
Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet
In 2017, Google divided classic Hangouts into two tools: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Both are geared towards the corporate environment and are only available to G Suite subscribers. However, due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the search giant has released free use of Meet at July 1.
Hangouts Meet: Google's business-oriented communication platform Photo: Divulgao / Hangouts Meet
With the initiative, the company hopes to offer support to employees who are doing home office and need to communicate remotely during quarantine. Users will be able to take advantage of all the resources premium of the platform, which includes video calls with up to 250 people, live streams to 100,000 viewers, exclusive meeting URLs and recording of calls on Google Drive.
Also aimed at companies, Hangouts Chat was created for the exchange of messages as a team. The platform allows you to send direct messages, start group conversations and create virtual rooms dedicated to project maintenance, which simplifies the monitoring of progress and the monitoring of tasks.
Hangouts Chat: a messaging platform created for teams Photo: Divulgao / Hangouts Chat
Thanks to integration with the G Suite, Chat users can upload files from Drive and edit Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets or Google Slides as a group. Compatible with 28 languages, the messaging tool is also integrated into Meet.
The division of services, however, will not last long. According to Google, classic Hangouts will be disabled after June 2020, when all users will be migrated to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Video calling on Google Hangouts
Start a group video call in simple Hangouts. On the main screen of the platform (hangouts.google), just click on the "Video call" icon and, after allowing access to the computer's microphone and camera, inform the e-mail address of the people you want to invite to the online meeting . If you prefer, add participants by sharing the video conference link.
Google Hangouts video conference screen Photo: Reproduction / Ana Letcia Loubak
During the call you can send messages and share the screen with other users, as well as disable the camera or microphone. To end the conversation, just select "End call".
Making a phone call on Google Hangouts
Before starting the phone call, it is important to connect a microphone and make sure that the device is working properly. That done, go to the Hangouts home page (hangouts.google) and click "Phone call". In the search box, type a phone number or name and click on it to make the call. If the call is international, select the country code from the menu drop down.
Google Hangouts offers free calls to the United States and Canada, both landline and mobile. In Brazil, the cost of calls is US $ 0.06 per minute, that is, I need to buy credits. To do this, visit voice.google/u/0/billing. The minimum recharge amount is US $ 10, and payment can be made with a credit card.