Google Hangouts Update Lets You Virtually ‘Hangout’ With Anyone

If you’re wondering why Google Hangouts has been trending on major search engines (like Google), it’s because the app has updated yet again. This time, you can message anyone you want, even if they’re not a member of Google.

This is great news for those who use Google Hangouts for business meetings. You may have colleagues that still don’t have Google email accounts. Well, now you can invite anyone to your meetings. Google now allows you to invite “guests” into a Hangouts meeting, if they don’t have a Google account. This will make easier for you to hold video conferences on Google Hangouts without worrying about who has an account or not.

This new feature on Google Hangouts is easy to access. There will be an option that allows you to invite them as guests. Then, they will be invited to your Hangouts through Google Calendar. With just a few clicks, they should be able to access your Hangouts meeting. If the person doesn’t have Google Calendar, then you can simply send them Google Calendar invites. If you happen to not use Google Calendar as well, then you can provide a link to the call in your event’s description.

They will be referred to as “external guests,” meaning that they don’t have to enter a name when they enter the online conference.

Google Hangouts Update
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This isn’t just great news for workers, it’s great news for everyone who uses Google Hangouts. Also, it’s ideal for savvy mobile users who don’t want to create an account with Google for privacy reasons, but also don’t want to use services like Skype to send and receive messages or video calls.

Whoever created the Google Hangouts meeting will be able to moderate and control the room. That means you are free to ban anyone who’s acting inappropriately or is taking attention away from your meeting. This new feature will be activated for all Google Hangouts users, but it will finish rolling out until this week. It will also be available on all operating systems, including Android, Chrome, iOS, and web version.

Google has a lot to celebrate with its app. It just surpassed 1 billion installs from the Google Play Store. That hasn’t stopped some users from wondering if Google’s new feature is a response to Skype’s newest feature which allows those without accounts to access calls through shareable links. According to the Google blog, the tech giant just wants to make it easier for everyone to communicate around the world, whether they have a Google account or not.

“This new feature is available now for guests joining with a web browser, making it easy for Apps customers using Hangouts to meet with anyone – inside or outside their organization, with or without a Google account. Customers with Chromebox for meetings will also have an even easier method for guests to present content in meeting rooms.”

Just early last month, the Google Hangouts 5.0 update started rolling out to most Android phones. This update didn’t really come with many key features. Instead, it addressed some of the issues that users have experienced with Hangouts in the past. For example, the scrolling lag and GIF display have been corrected. The update also removed the Google’s Dogfood Icon.

The Google Hangouts 5.0 update is said to provide a much “faster user experience,” even though it “doesn’t bring as many sweeping changes as 4.9 did,” according to Phanrdoid contributor Quentyn Kennemer. But it did give some noted features such as a revamped design, a new compose button, and faster messaging times.

In addition, Google+ got a revamped design, in which only a handful of users either noticed or complained about.

What are your thoughts on this latest Google Hangouts feature? Are you glad to hear that you can use it to communicate with anyone in the world? Sound off below in the comments section.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]