While LINE maybe the go-to app for free calling here in Japan, Google fanboys like me are overjoyed with the release of Google's own full-function chat service: Hangouts!
Up until now, Google's messaging service had been split up into separate services for calling, video chatting, and texting. Hangouts (finally!) brings all of these services together into one easy-to-setup package so you can get talking with your friends in no time.
Hangouts was announced in the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, and now we here at TABROID had a chance to check out how it works.
This is the basic look of the app. You can start chatting immediately with any other Google accounts currently online.
If you've used LINE, KakaoTalk, or, for iPhone users, FaceTime, the layout of the main app screen should look pretty familiar to you and you'll have little trouble figuring out how to get started. Hangouts is actually a bit simpler looking that some other chat apps, so it may be easier to figure out for some.
There are a couple of different ways to initiate a conversation, but sending an invitation is probably the easiest. Once you've started a convo, tapping the video camera button sends an invitation to the person you are chatting with and asks whether they want to join a video chat. If they accept, a window pops up for some full screen video chatting goodness.
The video and sound quality in video chat does the job well and there didn't seem to be any considerable problems. When you want to end the video chat, just tap the X button at the top and you're done.
iOS users need not feel left out either because Hangouts is also available on the App Store. Regardless of OS, users can communicate problem-free through Hangouts.
Hangouts replaces Google Talk, Google's previous chat service. Hangouts isn't just limited to a smartphone app; you can also login to the service through your browser or Google+ and chat with friends without touching your smartphone. There's a lot of potential for growth thanks to Hangouts' ease-of-access and availability.
So while LINE may be the king of messaging in Japan, it'll be interesting to see what kind of a dent the almighty Google can make in the free calling market.
- Use Cloud Music Player and Stop Worrying about Storage Space on your iPhone!
- Sneakily Read LINE Messages With Notification History
- New Anime Featuring Your Favorite LINE Characters Debuts in Japan [VIDEO]
Device used: HTC J ISW13HT
Version: Depends on phone model
Publisher: Google Inc.
Last updated: 5/16/2013
Compatibility: Depends on phone model
Translation by Jason Morgan