How to use Google Hangouts and Why You Should Use It

There is something intimate about a face-to-face conversation, compared to only hearing someone’s voice. Learning how to use Google Hangouts helps you use the best video calling app there is on Android.

Either if you’re abroad and want to keep in touch with your friends and family, or you have a meeting to attend from home – Google Hangouts provides a perfect environment for online communication.

Must read: if you want to know more about Hangouts Chat, read our article about its future features!

How to use Google Hangouts for video calling

This is the primary purpose of the Google Hangouts app, video conferencing.

So let’s see what it’s all about!

Step 1

Download the Hangouts app fro Google Play store. On some devices, this app can be preinstalled.

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts Icon
Google Play

Step 2

Sign in with your Google account.

Log in Google Hangouts
Log in Google Hangouts

Step 3

Tap the “+” button in the right bottom of the screen to start a new chat or a voice call.

Starters options Hangouts
New video call

Step 4

Tap on the person you’d like to chat with (or you can just search them, either by their name, or their email address.) Then tap the video call button at the right top of your screen.

Select new contact for video call
Select new contact for video call

Step 5

Adjust the settings. You can either turn off your microphone (icon on the bottom left), or your camera (bottom right). You can end the call by pressing the red button.

Video call on Hangouts
Video call on Hangouts

And there you go! Now you know how to use Google Hangouts for video calling.

There are some other fun things you should know – like how to use Google Hangouts for Screen Sharing, but that is only available for the desktop version. All you have to do is select “More” and click “Screen Sharing”.

Google Hangouts vs Google Duo

In 2016 Google laughed an app called Google Duo that has the same primary use as Google Hangouts – video calling. However, what is the difference between them?

  • Google Duo is specialized only in video calls, whereas in Hangouts you can also send text messages.
  • Google Duo is only a mobile app, while Google Hangouts can be synchronized across multiple devices using the same Google Account.
  • For Google Duo, you only need a phone number, but for Hangouts, you need a Google Account.
  • While Hangouts can be used for group video calls, Duo is more of a one-to-one video calling app.

Which one is better? Both of them are great and, even though they appear to be similar, they serve different purposes. If you want an app strictly specialized in video calls, by all means, go with Google Duo. But if you want a multi-purpose app, where you can also send text messages and have synchronization on more devices, you should use Google Hangouts.

If you want a full review of the Hangouts app, we suggest you read our article Hangouts App Review(Android): Wanna Hang Sometime?


How can you record a call in Google Hangouts?

We use an app called Apowersoft Screen Recorder – it is widely used for screen recording activities – like gameplay – but it can be a great choice for recording Google Hangouts video calls.

Does Google Hangouts cost anything?

No, it is completely free! However, there are business versions of the app that might cost a penny if you want to use them.

How much data does Google Hangouts use?

For a one-to-one video call, in a fairly good internet connection, it would use approximately 40MB per minute, according to the official Hangouts support page.

Will Google Hangouts be discontinued?

According to a Google spokesperson, sometime in the future, the usual consumer users will be transitioned from the classic Hangouts to the other two apps that are available through G Suite at the moment – Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. An approximate time the support for the Google Hangouts we know could be 2020.

Using Google Hangouts? Never easier!

While being one of the top apps for video calling, we find Google Hangouts pretty easy to use and convenient. International calls, video conferences, text messages and screen sharing – all of those are possible with Hangouts!

If you’re looking for other ways to have a video call with someone, be sure to check our list of 3 Simple Ways to Video Chat on Android Phones.

Do you have any experience with using Google Hangouts? Let us know it the comments down below!

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