No Plugin needed for Video Calls in Hangouts

Video Calls in Hangouts

Video calls in Hangouts have just gotten a tiny bit more simple.  Google has figured a way around the necessity for a separate plugin.  This frees up the setup that may have not been merely annoying but prohibitive to users with less experience or trust of the system.

For now the update is only available to Chrome Dev and Canary users, but you will likely see the final product roll out soon enough.  No further need for lengthy explanations, or remote controlling for add-ins.

Source: Victoria Kirst

Google Voice to be Consolidated into Google Hangouts

Google Voice


Google Voice to be moved into Google Hangouts

The long-lived and somewhat obscure application, Google Voice will likely be consolidated into Hangouts.  As it stands now, many of Google Voices’ features have already been adapted into Google Hangouts.  It’s not really all that surprising as many of Google’s long time apps have either been demolished or incorporated elsewhere.

Rather than using Google Voice as a forwarding service, Google Hangouts might become more of an actual VoIP phone line.  Again, this is not such a surprising move from Google, but it may not go over well with on iOS.  To defeat the mobile phone service ideal of carriers might border on the contest between Google Fiber and all other ISPs.

Google Hangouts currently has the capacity to send SMS, acting just like your prior default SMS app.  But more and more phone functionality in Google Hangouts is not so odd.

As it is there does not appear to be any definite timeline for the demise of Google Voice (thank goodness), but it does seem inevitable. Here’s to hoping that Google sorts out the bugs before they toss a good app.

Google adds Hangouts Control Room

Hangouts Control Room

By now, hopefully you’ve had a chance to try out Hangouts, if not Hangouts on Air.  Ideally, Google Hangouts on Air is a useful and inexpensive tool for professionals to use to meet remotely.  However, Google Hangouts previously had no simple audio and video controls.  But now with Hangouts Control Room, that option is here.

If you’ve been using Google Hangouts on Air, you can expect to see the new Control Room feature in a few days.  On the right-hand side of the screen a black bar will appear with buttons and slider bars, giving you control over the speaking and visual aspects of the virtual meeting.

More Google Improvements

Google Improvements


Google Improvements

With all the hubbub in the last few days you might have thought that Google was going to announce new hardware.  But it’s still new and it’s still good stuff.  Google’s Vic Gundotra broke out the new hotness for Google Hangouts and Google Plus. There are some very interesting Google improvements in this announcement.

Interestingly enough Hangouts is seeing SMS messaging included.  It might seem like a too little, too late scenario considering what Facebook did with SMS recently (removed it).  The popularity of the Auto-Enhance and Auto-Awesome feature included for images on Google Plus will now be included in uploaded videos and Hangouts.  But there’s an interesting twist to video update; it includes multiple videos combined into one.

Google will allow you to pick videos and images and throw them all into one continuous video (rather than Google just doing it all for you).  Once you’ve picked the videos, Google will process the final video for you.  But that’s not all, they give you additional features to edit the video, so that you have control over what gets into the video.  It’s not completely in your control, but considering the power of Google and what probably will work, it’s pretty impressive.


Google Helpouts Help People in Real Time

Google  Helpouts
Credit: Google Helpouts

Google Helpouts Beta

Google is always searching for new ways to do things with technology and Google Helpouts is no different. In fact Google Helpouts is probably just the thing that you need.  Although the idea was leaked about a month ago, Google has released the Beta by invite only.  So if you’re an expert you may get an invite.

Back in May during Google I/O 2013, Google announced that the new universal communication platform would be Google Hangouts.  Google Helpouts is based on Google Hangouts but for a specific purpose.  If you’re an expert in a particular field such as Arts and Music, Computers and Electronics, Health and Counseling, Home and Garden you too may be able to join the Beta program.

If you do submit for the Beta program, Google will review your entry and then interview you (via Hangouts) to make sure that you’re the sort of “professional” they’re looking for.  If you have certifications for your field, they will check these out as well.  Parties interest in your professional skill will check your availability and then schedule an appointment. Professionals can offer their skills for free or payment.  But if you ask for payment, be aware that Google will take 20%.  All payments will go through Google Wallet.

Hopefully soon, Google will announce this brilliant idea for the rest of the world and we will all get a chance to help each other out via Google Hangouts.

Check out the sign up page here