Using Google Hangouts on Your Smartphone

Hangouts Is Migrating to Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat

New Google+ Hangout with Extras
Craighton Miller/Flikr/CC BY 2.0

Google Hangouts app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and mobile devices. Hangouts replaced Google Talk and integrates with Google+ and Google Voice. It allows you to make free voice and video calls, including video conferencing with up to 10 participants. It is also available for desktop and laptop computers, so it synchronizes across all your devices. Hangouts is also a texting tool, although Google encourages users to move to the new Google Allo apps for text messaging.

Hangouts Transition

Google Hangouts is undergoing a transition. Although the Hangouts app is still available, Google announced in early 2017 that the company was migrating Hangouts to two products: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, both of which have been released.

What You Need

Google Hangouts runs on all modern iOS and Android smartphones. Download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

You need an internet connection on your device. For best results, use a high-speed Wi-Fi connection. The video call feature requires a speed of at least 1Mbps for a one-to-one conversation. The quality of the voice and video depends on that. You can use a cellular connection, but unless you have an unlimited data plan on your smartphone, you can quickly run up an expensive data charge.

Log in to your Google account. Once you log in on your mobile device, you are set to use the app every day without logging in again.

Holding a Hangout

Starting a Hangout is easy. Just tap the app and click on the + on the screen. You are prompted to choose the contact or contacts you want to invite to your Hangout. If you have your contacts sorted into groups, you can choose a group. 

In the screen that opens, click the video icon at the top of the screen to initiate a one-to-one or group video call. Click the phone receiver icon to begin a voice call. Send messages from the bottom of the screen. You can attach photos or emojis by tapping the appropriate icons.