Using the Google Hangouts Chrome extension on your Windows 10/8/7

Google has rolled out an updated version of its Hangouts browser extension – Google Hangouts. The notable difference between the earlier version and the most recent one is that the latter runs even when the Chrome browser is closed, in a separate window. The updated app borrows most of the features from its earlier iteration. For instance, It allows controls like hiding and resizing the chat windows over your screen, minimizing it, etc.

To access Google Hangouts, all you have to do is install the browser extension and then click on a little floating green icon that you see  anywhere on your desktop screen.

Google Hangouts extension for Chrome

Google Hangouts extension for Chrome

Once you click the icon, you’ll notice a list of all of your Google friends who are currently online. When you click on a person’s name, their picture will instantly move upwards, above the green icon. Thereon, you can either chose to navigate through active conversations or start Group Chats, New video chats and text friends. You can even make phone calls to your friends. Steps outlined below will walk you through the process.

Start a Group Chat

Start a Hangout conversation by launching Chrome browser and opening the extension or app. Navigate to the Bookmarks bar, click ‘Apps’.

Then, from the upper left corner, chose ‘New conversation’.

Google Hangouts app for Windows 10

For all individuals in your group, enter their personal information like name, phone number, or email address. When you find the person you want chat with, check the box against his name.

Click Message.

Type your message, then press the return key on your keyboard.

Once you have finished creating a group, invite people using a link, add more people, or remove people.

Start a Video call

Before proceeding any further, check that your computer meets the system requirements and give Hangouts access to your camera and mic.

hangouts-app-microphone

After checking, again navigate to the Bookmarks bar and click Apps. Alternatively, you can go to the following address chrome://apps in the address bar.

Click the Hangouts app Hangouts.

At the top left, click New conversation.

Type a name or email address. When you find the person you want, click their name.

In the Hangout window that opens, click Video call Video call.

hangouts-app-video-call

When you’re done with your video call, click End call to end the call.

Phone call

First, make sure that your computer meets the system requirements (Broadband connection to the Internet, USB web camera and a quad-core processor) Other devices, like virtual cameras, may not work with Hangouts

Next, give Hangouts access to your microphone. To do so, open Google Hangouts

Click the Call tab.

hangouts-app-phone-call

Type a phone number or name in the search box.

hangouts-app-phone-call-connect

If you’re placing an international call, select the country code by clicking the flag drop-down menu or by typing it into the search box.

Text message

You can send a text message if you have a Google Voice account and have turned on text messages in Hangouts. To send a text message,

Launch the app. Next, navigate to Bookmarks bar and chose Apps. Hit the ‘New conversation’ link.

Type a name or email address. When you find the person, click their name to open the Hangout window. In the window that opens, click SMS.

Type your message and press the return key on your keyboard.

The only place where Google Hangouts app for Windows 10 desktop stops short I it requires a user to be signed into Chrome in order to allow the app to work. If you’re not signed in, you’ll be prompted to sign in when you attempt to load up the app.

Pros of the app, the app works outside your browser so you continue to receive all your messages as long as you have it running. Moreover, it syncs your chats across Hangouts on all your devices.

It is available for your Chrome browser at the Google Store.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.