All of us know Google Talk. It is the trusted and reliable instant messaging and calling application that comes with our Gmail account.
It’s so useful for those moments when we need to send messages quickly, without having to bother with the rather more formal email. And true enough, most Gmail users have found Google Talk indeed useful. It’s great for those instances where you just want that casual chat, or for those messages that you need an immediate response for.
But the best thing about Google Talk is that it has evolved into a new and much better application that is still not only attached to your Gmail account but can also be downloaded as a separate application on your mobile device such as your mobile phone or tablet computer. The mobile download can be for much easier access to the application, without having to bother with going through your email account.
For those who have not used it yet and those who are not as tech savvy as others, probably the reason why you’re still using Google Talk is that the option to update is actually not as obvious as people would think. If you don’t tinker with the settings and the options pretty much, chances are you will not see the option to update to Google Hangouts.
How to Update to Hangouts
The new Google Talk is called Google Hangouts, named appropriately so because it is meant to make hangouts much easier among friends and loved ones. This is a new way for people to gather people in one place and be able to talk despite the usual hindrances to get-togethers.
Now, how you do update to Hangouts? It’s actually very simple. Just click your Google account picture on the lower left part of your Gmail account. This will open options for you. At the very bottom of the list you will see “Update to Hangouts”. Hitting this option will lead you to the update. It will take only a few minutes, just wait until the update is finished. And then when you re-load the page, you will be able to see your new Hangouts.
Sleeker, Cleaner Appearance
While some people may prefer the Google Talk feature that allowed users to share status updates with contacts, being without it in Google Hangouts actually makes it much cleaner and lighter on the eyes. For those who have to deal with a lot already from their inbox messages, you will find this a rather refreshing change. No more “noise” on the page, and you can simply see the pictures of your contacts who are also on or that you might want to invite to Hangouts.
Hangouts also introduces a very simple but very nice-looking availability indicator. When you or your contacts are online, you will see a green line under the profile pictures. Compared to the already quite common colored dot that told us people’s online status, this is another cool change. It doesn’t demand your attention, but when you need to know whether someone is online or not, it’s very easy to see. It never hurts to have an application that looks nice.
Much More Features than Google Talk
But more than the aesthetic quality of the new Hangouts, the real reason why people like it better than Google Talk is that it has so many more features and functions than Google Talk. One popular feature is that you can make video calls with up to ten people in one conference. That’s amazing, especially if you consider that most applications can only allow a maximum of six people in a video conference. Also, Hangouts has a lot more emoticons and stickers that can make conversations much livelier and more expressive than they ever could be on Google Talk.
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