Hangouts has finally been adorned with its own standalone website. Google’s communication platform – which was previously accessible via the iOS and Android app, a Chrome extension and Gmail – now offers its users the option of sending messages via desktop as well.
Plenty of other services are available through the official website, such as calling your friends or starting a video conference. And the interface is user friendly, following the previous layout used in other locations, such as Gmail. In a similar way, users can still open more than just one conversation at a time, and also initiate group chats.
To get started on using Hangouts for desktop, users simply have to log in with their Google account on the official website. Next screen will prompt multiple icons to appear on the left side, such as contacts, conversations and phone call log, along with the option of downloading and installing the Hangouts app for iOS, Android or Chrome.
Even if you haven’t been using Hangouts prior to accessing the standalone website, you shouldn’t have problems navigating through the various options available. Clicking on the three dots next to a contact’s name, for example, simply opens a list of three services: pinning that user at the top of the contacts list, starting a video call or hiding them from your list.
In the same straightforward way, the conversations menu contains a list of all previous conversations with contacts and offers the possibility of initiating new conversations either by looking for a new contact through the search bar, or by clicking on a name that’s already in the list. For new calls, access the phone calls menu, where you can reach your friends by typing their name or phone number.
If nothing sounds new for users used to the Hangouts interface, it’s because there are no new features included. The only difference – and the website’s strong suit – is that the standalone version of the communication service offers a much cleaner experience.
Instead of having your conversations within the Gmail inbox frame or on the Chrome extension, try Hangout’s website that will regularly entertain users with changing background images.
The new Hangouts is yet another example of the company’s strategy of unbundling Google+’ features, following the revamping of Google+ Photos into Google Photos – which was also gifted with its website and app. Google+ may not be dead yet, but its services are slowly and surely being transferred to their respective standalone domains.
Image Source: I Think Different