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Google Hangouts has been around for a few years. To make the popular messaging platform more accessible, developers launched a dedicated web-based version.

For direct access to the service, check out the official Hangouts link:


Robust Website Messaging

The full screen solution looks oddly similar to the Facebook Messenger site. Individuals logging in for the first time must approve the plug-in prompt.

From the front page, you can initiate a phone conversation, video call or online message. Opening the side menu reveals the option to search for contacts. Personalized notification settings suggest that the chat platform is designed to run throughout the day, while doing other tasks on the computer.

Toggling in and out of other Google apps (YouTube, Calendar, Maps and Drive) can be done from the top corner of the screen by clicking on the square grid icon. The changing background images will remind you of the stock photos selection from Chromecast.

“From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day,” said Hangouts manager Jordanna Chord.

Group conversations are limited to 100 users, which is perfect for class or forum discussions. All website chats should sync smoothly with other Hangouts platforms. This allows you to transition from your website to a smartphone (supports iOS and Android), and pick up exactly where you left off.


The Quest for a Complete Comunication App

The Hangouts mobile app has undergone numerous upgrades in the past six months. Google has put a lot of time and effort in making sure the platform offers all of your messaging needs. During its early attempts, developers crammed almost every communication feature you can think of in the panel.

The results were devastating for people who actually relied on the smartphone app. Mismatched conversation types, buggy contact searches and endless screen switching were some of the major issues that plagued the previous versions of the platform. After working through what must have been a mountain stack of issues, developers began releasing timely updates and fixes:

“Whether you’re sending a quick message or video chatting with family, you don’t want hold-ups. We’ve been obsessively fixing bugs and speeding up message delivery to make Hangouts faster and more reliable. Bonus: less battery consumption.”


The Alternative: Google Messenger

Those who are fond of other messaging options, such as WhatsApp or Snapchat, but still need a simple, compact solution to text messaging should try Google Messenger.

To cater to the growing number of non-Hangouts users, the company is holding on to the standalone mobile platform that only sends out SMS and MMS, features that also exist in Hangouts. The app is well-maintained and comes with the latest material design standards, as well as support for emojis.

Google will likely terminate the Messenger app in the near future, as it gets closer to achieving what it set out to accomplish with Hangouts. But for now, the alternative still serves a very important purpose.

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