Plenty of people have experienced the consumer version of Skype in their personal lives. Video chatting is fun, effective, and more intimate than emails or phone calls.
Many businesses use these factors to their advantage as well, but they may not have access to the full potential of these applications. A switch to Google Hangouts unlocks new features while retaining a comfortable familiarity.
Here are a few differences between Google Hangouts and Skype for business.
A Modern and Sophisticated Layout
- Conversations. Across both applications, it’s fairly easy to navigate between conversations. A list of chats is located on the left side of the screen, and active discussions show on the right side. While Skype only allows for one active window, Google Hangouts gives you the option to pull up several conversations at once. Skype also operates with fixed window widths, and Hangouts provides the ability to rearrange and scale the windows as needed.
- Minimized menus. The tabs inside Hangouts are sleek and non-intrusive. By moving them to the sidebar versus the general menu in Skype, you have more room to access contacts, phone calls, and conversations.
- Smooth navigation. The user-friendly toolbar in Google Hangouts is collapsible. You can easily examine or change profile settings in seconds. The menu options are repeated as well, so every selection is always close by.
Moreover, if you’ve used Gmail, Drive’s layout will be immediately familiar. You’ll intuitively know your way around its interface because you check your email every day. Customizing your tools, layout, and user experience are also easy. If you need to make any tweaks to complement your business or highlight personal preferences, it can be done in a flash.
The interface is familiar enough to use immediately and features a unique and modernized quality.
Accessibility and Composition
The original Skype application can be opened two ways: via desktop and mobile device. These options work well but are limited.
Conversely, Google Hangouts adds several new means to open the software, allowing for more freedom and productivity. Along with the regular functionality of your desktop and mobile, you can also enter the application from:
- Google Calendar
- Chrome browser extensions
Most calls to the United States and Canada are free with Google Hangouts, whereas Skype charges for this function.
Many businesses benefit greatly from the savings and effectively use Hangouts for meetings without worry of additional costs.
Hangouts also allows you to schedule and control such conferences with flexibility and ease. Both Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendars integrate with the software, so you can add appointments easily. You can also choose between guest permissions, such as common use across your domain.
Switching to Hangouts also enables you to engage more people. Skype allows simultaneous connection for up to 10 different devices. Hangouts more than doubles that number, with enough power to link 25 participants at once. This greatly increases the number of people you can reach with each meeting, which is often a requirement for large companies.
Google Hangouts Lets You Do More
Since the software integrates flawlessly with other Google Apps for Work, you experience maximum benefits with a few taps or clicks. Sharing Google Docs with your team (without even leaving the video call) allows all participants to collaborate on notes.
It’s especially useful for following along with a meeting agenda.
You can also provide your remote audience with presentations at the push of a button. Simply load the Google Slides project and turn on screen sharing so everyone can follow along. Participants can easily ask questions and more thoroughly absorb information.
The Hangouts History keeps tabs on previous conversations and allows you to search for keywords and important information. This feature also proves useful for exchanging statistics and other data during virtual meetings, since the information can be retrieved at any time.
Tips and Tricks for Google Hangouts
There’s an abundance of useful features in Google Hangouts, but it also has several options to personalize and improve your experience.
- Easily mute notifications during important meetings. Under the Settings menu, you can choose a specific time period to disable notifications, such as 1 or 8 hours. You can also pick the notifications you want to receive. Hangouts gives you the option to turn off call ringing and message sounds independently.
- Adjust call bandwidth. This feature is excellent if you have issues with the quality of your audio or video. Move the slider to the right or left to control the level for that call. It can be readjusted for each conference for total customization.
- Choose how others see you. Along with statuses that provide a custom message, you can let others know when you were last online, what device you’re using to access Hangouts, and if you’re currently engaged in a video or phone call from the application. Checking these boxes automatically provides feedback and information for those looking to contact you.
- Take control of your invitations. You can turn notifications on and off by simply checking a box. Plus, you can add personal details so users with your phone number or email can send you a direct invitation. No more searching for usernames and wondering if you contacted the right person.
- Quickly access the Help menu. Click or tap on the Help and Feedback button at the bottom of the More menu, and type in your questions to easily find solutions or clarification.
Video conferencing has come a long way, but Hangouts makes it even better.
An elegant design and easy-to-use interface offers a revamped experience that’s still comfortable. This sophistication and power is impressive in itself, but the built-in ability to work through other apps makes it truly incredible.
Switching from Skype for Business means access to all these features and benefits as well as the reliability that you expect from Google. When capability and efficiency matter, trust your business to Hangouts.