An excellent free group chat application, GoogleHangouts allows you to chat with friends on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The application can be used by anyone who has a Google+ account, if you don’t have one simply create a Gmail email address or create an account for free in seconds. To use GoogleHangouts, simply download the application onto your chosen device and sign in with your Google+ ID. You can then add friends by searching for them via their Google+ ID or by their full name and location. There are several aspects to the application including the ability to text chat with emoticons and see when friends have read your messages and when they’re typing back in reply. If your friends isn’t online you can set up a notification to alert you when they are next online. You can also easily set up group conversations and name them to help keep track as well as participating in group text and video chat. Users can even place calls to landline number directly from their computer.
There are tons of features available with GoogleHangouts and all are available for free as long as you have a Google+ account. These include:
• Create a profile complete with information and pictures
• Add friends and family easily and separate them into groups known as ‘circles’
• Instant message friends via text and see when they’ve read the message, are replying, or get a notification when they are online
• Easily share pictures, files, and videos
• Live video call with up to 10 friends at once
• Start group video chats with just one touch
• Call landline numbers for free
• Available on computer, smartphone, and tablet
What We Like
Another gem from Google, we absolutely love GoogleHangouts. The application runs very smoothly and contacting friends or family is a breeze. The ability to video chat with up to 10 people at once is something that isn’t offered by other group chat applications that generally limit the number of people in a chat to 4. Additional features such as a customized profile, the ability to send and receive pictures and videos, and free calls to landline numbers makes this application a winner.
What We Don’t Like
Although GoogleHangouts is perfect for keeping in touch with friends and family, there is no way of adding strangers to your ‘circle’ or to random chat with other users. We would like to see the implementation of a random chat service and the ability to search for other users to make friends with.
If you’re looking for an application that allows you to instantly message your friends for free as well as chat with up to 10 people at once, GoogleHangouts is ideal. The software runs very quickly and is a pleasure to use with tons of additional features. However, if you are looking to make new friends or chat randomly with people, you may need to find another application.