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Archive for August 2013

Let’s Hangout!

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In the interests of simplicity and efficiency, am ceasing to communicate using any other messaging services (WhatsApp messenger, Skype etc) and switching exclusively to Google Hangouts.

Despite Google’s (as yet) inexplicable decision to cease support of XMPP (messaging protocol), Hangouts is quite simply the best executed messaging system out there and comes highly recommended.

Just as when choosing a phone, laptop or car, it is wise to be ridiculously fussy about selecting products that are intelligently conceived – not just aesthetically pleasing. As with many other of their properties, Google are light years ahead of alternatives because they are staffed by some of the most intelligent humans on this planet. (I met one a few years ago outside a restaurant in Kensington after a fire broke out in the kitchen, but that’s another story!)

Hangouts Logo

Hangouts value proposition

  1. The client runs on almost all devices, including those without phone numbers. One of the flaws of the otherwise superb WhatsApp app is that it requires a phone number (& therefore a sim card) to operate, and not just for authentication. Like Skype, Hangouts happily works on data only connections or WiFi without the need for a cellular/mobile connection in the case of the later.
  2. Hangouts runs in the browser within the Gmail interface, so you can continue a conversation on your desktop. But that’s not all, it gets better…
  3. If you fire up and login to Hangouts on multiple devices and begin to text chat with someone, you’ll notice that as you type, the text appears in real-time on each device, as does anything the other party is typing! (Very much like collaboratively editing a Google docs page or spreadsheet where you see the other parties changes appear instantly.) This means you can jump from one device to another and continue the conversation seamlessly, great if you leave your desk in a hurry mid conversation. Just grab your phone or tablet and continue chatting.
  4. The video conferencing is outstanding – as evidenced by the live Hangout with Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson yesterday afternoon. That said, as my team know full well, physical face to face meetings are still the only way for that sort of thing, but technically, Hangouts video conferencing is very impressive. No lag or dropouts.

Right, time to erase all chat apps except Hangouts from my devices!

Am aware that Hangouts does not run on some platforms, but truth be told, and I base this on factors beyond the scope of this post, Google will be around for a bit yet, unlike others who appear to have their head(s) buried in the sand with regards to their mortality.

Chat back club: Download, login, chinwag!

Update – Feb 2 2014: Epic fail. No one wants to use Hangouts, so stuck using inferior messaging systems. I think this is because Google’s Android Hangouts app is rubbish so it puts people off.

Written by Oflife

August 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

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