My girlfriends in college and I thought we’d always live in the same city. After college (Miami University in Ohio) most of us moved to Chicago and saw each other daily. Sure enough, spouses, kids, and jobs started to change things. Some moved out to the suburbs and others, like me, moved across the country.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a sad story. We still all get together regularly (weddings and baby showers will keep trips lined up for years to come 🙂 ). But there’s also a lot more phone calls. I think of my group of friends as smart, savvy, intelligent and any other adjectives that describes brilliant. Yet, every time the group tries to get on Google Hangouts, at least one of us has problems connecting. We spend half the call like this: “can you see me”, “I can’t see you, but I can hear you”, “is your sound on”. So … taking matters in to my own hands, I put together this guide for my friends so that there was no more Google Hangout chaos.
What is Google Hangout?
It’s Google’s free video-conferencing tool that allows up to 10 participants to join at a time.
Who can use Google Hangout?
In order to use this free feature all you need is a Google Plus account. If you already have a Gmail account, then you automatically have a Google Plus account! So just make sure everyone who will be participating on the hangout has Gmail.
Ensure that your laptop/desktop has both a webcam and a speaker (or headphones that you can speak in to). These are essential. If it doesn’t, opt for an ipad or smart phone. You can download the Google Hangouts app for free.
Now let’s get started.
The following is a story of two Lindsay’s connecting via Google Hangout. Lindsay Crazy is calling Lindsay Organized.
Now she invites her friend, Lindsay Organized, by typing in her email address. (She could have typed in just Lindsay Organized if she had added Lindsay Organized as one of her Gmail contacts.) If she wanted to, she could have invited more friends to the call in this same section. She then selects ‘Invite’.Now Lindsay Crazy just has to sit back and wait for Lindsay Organized to answer. This is Lindsay Crazy waiting patiently :).Lindsay Organized now needs to answer. She’ll do this by logging in to her Google+ account and selecting the gray ‘Hangout’ button. Now she’s able to see that Lindsay crazy is calling her. (Yep, none of the Lindsays think this is very intuitive either.) She clicks on the Hangout icon.OR …. she could have gone back in to her Gmail. If the person calling her was previously programmed in to her Gmail contacts, then the screen below will appear. She could then just click on the Hangouts icon from her email view. TADA!
Lindsay Crazy & Lindsay Organized are connected! (This is Lindsay Organized’s screen view) You’ll always see your friend in the big screen and a tiny version of what you look like in the small screen on the bottom right. Notice there’s a dark gray icon bar on the top. This has options such as muting, removing the video, inviting more people and hanging up the call.
Now that you know HOW to use Google Hangouts, here’s some great uses:
- Chat with your girlfriends accross the country
- Let grandparents see their grandkids in action!
- For phone calls where you want to SHOW the other person something
- Work conference calls
May you all be able to have fun conversations with your girlfriends, wherever you’re located!