How to use Hangouts on iPhone
Hangouts is a free cross-platform instant messenger created by Google. Before its launch in 2013 Google had several other products designed for text messages exchange in real time and running audio and video calls, but the new application was meant to replace them all and combine their functionality. Being one of the Google's line of products and services, Hangouts is tied to one general account, and every Gmail user can work with it.
At the current stage there is a web version of this service which is available in the browser, and the mobile apps for Android smartphones and iPhone. As for the PC and laptops run under the most popular OS versions like Windows or MacOS, there is not a separate application, but the similar functionality is provided by the add-on for the Google Chrome browser, which would substitute the traditional desktop version.
The services offered by Google Hangouts include the default set of options present in most of the instant messengers:
- Text messages exchanging in personal and group chats
- Personal and group audio and video calls between Hangouts users.
Besides, this product also provides the opportunity to call from the application to mobile and landline phone numbers, which makes it a very popular tool for international phone communication.
All these options are present in the mobile app for the Apple smartphones and tablets, and in this article we'll describe how to use Google Hangouts on iPhone and iPad.
How to install and sign in to Hangouts on iPhone and iPad
Download the mobile app for iOS (it is free of charge) and install on your iPhone or iPad, then open the application. You will need to sign in with a Google account.
On Android devices this messenger will use the default registration Gmail account associated with the phone or tablet itself. As for iPhone, it uses its own ID system, thus, a new Hangouts user wishing to work with this app on iPhone will have to create an account with Gmail separately and then use its credentials to log in to the messenger.
In case you have more than one Google account, you can choose any of them to log in to Hangouts on iPhone or Pad, and also add them all to the app to switch between different users without the necessity of logging out and then signing in again. It can be convenient if you want to use the application for business and personal chats and don't mix them.
To add more accounts to the application installed on iPhone, open its side menu, tap the current identifier, then go to "Manage accounts".
In the "Accounts" section use the option to add another account. There you can also remove any other already present ID if you don't need it in the app anymore.
All these data will be saved, and when you uninstall and reinstall the Hangouts messenger on your iPhone or iPad, the app will ask you to choose the account to log in, or add a completely new user.
If you want to share some information with all your contacts, you can set the status message. This message can be some quote, idea or notification. Use the side menu of the messenger again.
Enter the text, save it, and it will be displayed to any person having you in the contact list.
How to exchange text messages in Hangouts on iPhone and iPad
When you sign in to the messenger installed on your iPhone for the first time, it will offer you to start a conversation. Here we'll describe how to use Hangouts on iPad or iPhone to create a personal or a group text chat.
Personal text chat in Hangouts on iPhone
Tap the "+" icon to configure a new chat.
Enter the name or the Gmail address of the person you want to chat with, and the tool will find that contact (it will use the Google's capabilities, so, the search will be performed quickly).
The standard chat window will be produced. Enter the text of your message into the bottom field. To express more emotions, use stickers (smileys are not available in the text chat of the application for iPhone and iPad).
Text chat in Hangouts on iPhone allows sending file attachments, but users can send only images from the gallery or make an instant photo with a camera on the device and send it right away (it is the limitation of this product itself, the developers induce users to refer to Google Drive for sharing other file types).
Group text chat in the Hangouts messenger for iPhone and iPad
If you want to communicate with several counterparts simultaneously, you can do it with the app for iPhone: it supports group chats, and there can be up to 150 participants in one group.
Tap the "+" icon and choose "New group".
Give this group a name and add participants.
Also, you can turn any face-to-face conversation into a conference. To do this, in the chat window tap the three-dots icon to launch the chat menu and choose "People":
Then tap the option to create a group with the current person and add more people to it.
You can include other members to your group and also invite them to join your conversation via the link. The link will be offered to you right after you create a new group in the app for iPhone:
Tap "share link" and then enable the option. You can share link with other people using any convenient means.
The join link can also be requested any moment from the settings menu. Open the group where you want to invite more participants and launch the chat menu, then choose "People":
In the new window of this iPhone app you can edit this company: add or remove members (open the three-dots menu next to the user to for removing from the group) and get the invite link.
Hiding and removing text chats in the Hangouts messenger for iPhone/iPad
Both personal and group chats are present in the main window, and users can remove them from the screen, temporary or permanently.
To hide any chat temporary, you should archive it. Just swipe it as you do with other notifications on your iPhone and choose the necessary option from those ones offered:
These hidden chats are saved in the "Archived" section of the app, you can see them in the "Chats" interface:
On iPhone you can go back to that section and re-enable the conversation any time:
To delete the personal chat permanently, launch the chat menu and select "Options".
Tap the "Delete conversation" line in the settings menu. However, note that it will be deleted on your side only, and your counterpart will have the copy of your chat.
As for the groups, it is impossible to delete it yourself, even if you were the one who created it. You can only leave the group. Do the same steps: launch the main menu of the chat, choose "Options" and then "Leave group":
Your Hangouts messenger is automatically synchronized with your Gmail account: the transcripts for every conversation with all text messages, images and stickers will be found in the "Chats" section in the Gmail desktop interface (the same Gmail account you used to communicate in the messenger on your iPhone).
How to make audio and video call in the Hangouts app for iPhone and iPad
Hangouts, like other instant messengers, supports audio and video calls. The messenger itself can work on older and low-powered smartphones, but the video calling service requires good Internet connection. Provided you have a powerful Wi-Fi connection or high-speed mobile 4G Internet, the quality of the sound and video in such a call is very good.
If you call other users of this service, this won't cost you anything, the internal communication is completely free of charge and unlimited in time. You can configure both face-to-face talks and conference calls to communicate with several people at once.
First you need to refer to the "+" icon in the main "Chats" window and create a personal or a group chat with the necessary contacts as described above.
For a conference audio or video call, do the same in the group chat.
Joining such voice or video conference call via a link is possible too — just refer to the "People" in the calling window:
However, note that these audio and video group calls can include only up to 10 participants, so, people will be able to join you using the link until they reach this limit.
This is how to use Google Hangouts on iPhone or iPad for free unlimited real-time communication — it is possible between the users of this service.
However, if you need to call to someone "outside" by phone, you can use the Google Voice service and make calls to the usual phone numbers from the Hangouts app on your iPhone.
How to call to phone numbers from the Hangouts application for Apple mobile phone or tablet
VoIP support in Hangouts is one of the main advantages of this service: it has a really good quality (provided that your Internet connection is good) and is cost saving, as its prices for calling to phone are lower than those offered by its rivals. Hangouts users can call to Canada and the USA for free, and this service is available in the most regions of the world, except for some countries — you can save your money for international calls.
Configuring the Google Voice account
Before you start your call, you need to configure the Google Voice account: just sign in at the official page with your Gmail details.
- Click the cogwheel to open the settings menu, and you will see the options that can help you set how you will use Hangouts for calls to phone.
- Get the personal phone number to call from: it will be a link between your usual mobile phone and the Hangouts service.
- Follow the hints and then verify your regular phone number to set the calls forwarding. You will receive incoming calls made to the Google Voice number forwarded to your usual number.
- Add funds to your account. Hangouts supports the credits type of payments: you put some amount of money on the balance, and it covers your phone calls according to the rates per minute.
Making a call to phone from Hangouts on the Apple mobile device
Refer to the "Calling" section in your iPhone application and tap the dialer icon.
You can dial the phone number directly to make a call or choose someone from the contact list (tap the people icon to open the address book of your iPhone).
When you are going to make a paid call, the service will inform you about the price and ask you to confirm your decision:
Thus, as you see, it is really easy to learn how to use Hangouts on iPad or iPhone. You can communicate with your friends and colleagues in text chats or call each other with voice and video support. Google Hangouts is a really popular platform for business communication, and you can benefit from its functionality for free. As for the paid option of calling to regular phone numbers, Hangouts provides the most cost-efficient variant for international phone communication. Just install the application on your iPhone or iPad and evaluate the functionality yourself — it is worth trying.