Google Hangouts Part 1: How To Use Google Hangouts

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I have been using Google Hangouts for more and more things lately, and encouraging my customers to do the same.  So I want to share with you a 2-part series of posts about Google Hangouts.  In this post I’ll share with you how to use Google Hangouts.  And in part 2 that I will post next week I’ll share with you 8 things you can use Google Hangouts for.

NOTE: Google Talk is being phased out by Google, and being replaced with Google Hangouts.  So for those of you who are Google Talk users, you can expect to be forced by Google to use Google Hangouts pretty soon, so you might as well give it a go!

Using Google Hangouts on your smartphone – If you have an Android smartphone (version 2.3+) or an iOS device like iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads (iOS 6.0+), then you can download the free app from the Android Play Store and the Apple Store.  With the free app you can have a Google Hangout anywhere you are.  You can access more features of Google Hangouts using a computer browser, but being able to use Hangouts on-the-go is just awesome.  And it just works.

Using Google Hangouts on your tablet – As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can get the Google Hangouts apps from the Android and Apple stores.  So as long as your tablet meets the OS requirements and has a front-facing camera, you are ready to go!  And your tablet will of course have to be connected to the Internet, which for most tablet users is via a wifi signal.

Using Google Hangouts from Google+ – For those of you who are Google+ users (that includes me!) then starting a Hangout is as easy as choosing “Hangouts” from your Google+ menu.  You can start a Hangout with a circle or with any individual, as long as you know their Gmail address.

Using Google Hangouts from your Gmail inbox – Because Google Hangouts is so intertwined in the Google Ecosystem, you can even access Google Hangouts from the lower left corner of your Gmail inbox, where Google Talk has previously been integrated.

All you need to get started with Google Hangouts using any of those methods above is a Gmail account.  If you use it on your computer you’ll also have to install a Google Hangouts browser plugin the first time you use it.

Watch for the post next week about 8 things you can use Google Hangouts for, which is really what you wanted to know anyway, right?  I guess you’ll just have to wait.  🙂

UPDATE July 13, 2013 – Part 2 can be found here.

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