Hangouts is a free messaging app by Google that allows you to chat with your friends and colleagues or gather them in group video calls with lots of additional features.
Design and Usability 8/10
Hangouts’ interface is rather typical for messaging apps. Basically, the main screen is your chats list, be it any chat with a single user or a group chat. You can tap a chat to enter it and continue chatting, or open the options menu to look for new users by their phone numbers, create video chats, or customize your app. All in all, the app is pretty intuitive, and if you’ve used other messengers like Telegram, you can get used to it quickly. The only serious usability problem is that Hangouts has a variety of annoying bugs: sometimes it suddenly forgets to send you notifications or crashes without any reason.
Key Functions 8/10
The list of Hangouts’ features is more or less typical, too. First of all, the app has free chats with all kinds of additional options: you can share photos, videos, stickers, and emojis – as well as maps since Google Maps is integrated with the app. These chats can involve up to 150 people at once, and that’s pretty impressive. There are also free audio and video calls that can also include more than two people – actually, these group calls can support up to 10 users. You can also use Hangouts to call phone numbers directly or send SMS, but calling a person that doesn’t use the app is not free.
Google tends to give its users’ security a high priority, but Hangouts isn’t the most secure messaging app out there. You can’t even delete your messages casually, and that’s why we don’t recommend using it for sensitive business and personal information. Better look for some app with more inclination towards providing the best security level in that case.
- Lacks some useful features like screen sharing
- Some really annoying bugs and crashes
- Group chats with up to 150 people
- High-quality video calls with up to 10 users
- Free calls to Hangouts users’ phone numbers