Hangouts is Googleâs take on chat rooms. Like many times before, Google has turned a good idea into something incredibly useful, while preserving simplicity and ease of use and thus making it fantastic.
1. Free Video Chat With Up To 10 Participants
On Hangouts, you can invite up to 9 friends into a video chat with you and itâs free. Skype on the other hand allows free one-on-one video chats. If you want to invite a third person, you have to upgrade to Skype Premium or make do with audio only.
2. A More Intuitive Interface
Google Hangouts has a more intuitive interface than Skype! Once you are in a Hangout that is. While figuring out how to join a Hangout can be a challenge, once youâve managed to join, things are straightforward and simple without omitting fun features and great details.
Letâs look at sharing your screen as an example, an option available both in Skype and Google Hangouts. In Skype, you must be in a video call to be able to share your screen. Sounds obvious, right? Well, in Hangouts you can create a chat room to prepare and test the screen before anyone else joins. Thatâs an advantage in my book.
To share your screen in Hangouts, you click the Screenshare button, which opens a window showing all windows you can share. You select what you want to share and click Share selected window button. Now try to do this in Skype. While technically, Skype can do the same things with only subtle differences, the key is that Google managed to design a straightforward and intuitive process.
The same case can be made for inviting people to the conversation or other options.
3. Integrated Apps
Hangouts offers a selection of optional apps, for example YouTube, Google Docs, and SlideShare. These apps enable you to collaborate on a Google Document, use Cacoo to co-create diagrams with your team, watch a YouTube video with your best friends away from home, and play games, all while chatting and video chatting at the same time.
In comparison, Skype, with the only added bonus that you can send a file, suddenly seems very one dimensional.
4. Hangouts On Air
When you set up your Hangout, you can select the option Hangouts On Air. Subsequently, your Hangout will be broadcast live on your Google+ stream and on your YouTube channel. Apart from being streamed live, the Hangout also gets automatically saved to your YouTube account. Unfortunately, you cannot broadcast and save your Hangouts privately.
5. Minimal Setup & Maintenance Requirements
All you need for Google Hangouts is a browser (tip: you are probably using one right now), a browser add-on that installs automatically, and a Google account registered with Google Plus. Skype on the other hand is a separate download that provides no additional services and requires regular updates, in addition to an account that you canât use for much else.