Google Hangouts is a useful program that is used for conferences and meetings in an online format. The utility is suitable for distance learning and webinars, meetings, and communication with clients. There is a built-in telephony system for businesses. Cross-platform messaging and file exchange is available.
What Are Google Hangouts?
The program is paid: the cost of the “Professional” plan is $ 15 per month; the price of the “Business” tariff is $ 20 per month. There is a free tariff plan “Basic” with restrictions: organizing up to 100 participants, holding group conferences no more than 40 minutes.
The utility works on the Windows operating system (32 and 64 bit). The interface is fully translated into many languages. To start working with Google Hangouts, you need to download the program and register a new account in the system.
There is an option “Schedule”. This is a function that allows you to schedule a conference. Here you need to specify the topic, set the date and time of the beginning of the event, select the duration. You can also check the “Recurring conference” box if you plan to hold one every week. There is a tool for choosing a time zone.
The next step is to create a new identifier or use a personal number. You can set a password to prevent other users from joining this meeting. There is an option that allows you to turn off video for the event organizer and participants.
You can expand the advanced options separately. Additional options are located here: enabling the waiting room, entering before the organizer, activating the sound of participants at the entrance, automatic recording of the conference on the local computer.
Another useful option that the program has is “Screen Sharing”. The function makes it possible to show the desktop to the conference participants. For example, this option can be used to demonstrate PowerPoint presentations.
The Way of Using Google Hangouts
The utility has an option that allows you to start a new conference. After launching this tool, a window will open displaying a picture from the connected webcam and will know how to block someone on hangouts.
If necessary, you can enter the audio conference if you do not currently have a webcam connected to your computer. There is a separate option that allows you to stop the video, or select a different camera: for example, if the laptop has two webcams – integrated and third-party.
You can manage participants: add new ones or exclude unnecessary ones. You can open the chat for text correspondence, or start recording the conference on your computer so that you can review it later.
Another option in the program is “Login”. This tool allows you to connect to a conference. To do this, you must specify an identifier, as well as enter your nickname, which will be displayed for other participants. You can turn off the sound or turn off the video from the webcam.
Hangouts video conferencing features:
- Demonstration of a desktop (which is convenient, for example, for presentations) – click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select Show screen;
- Disable the video camera and/or microphone (buttons at the bottom of the window);
- Up to 25 active video meeting participants (150 – chat);
- Participation on various platforms: smartphones Android, iOS;
- Synchronization with the calendar.
There is an additional section called “Applications”. After going to it, the official website will open with additional utilities that can be connected.