Hangouts messaging app

With the launch of Allo and Duo and the reports of Hangouts being relegated to the Enterprise I feel compelled to write this review of my favourite messaging app, Hangouts. I’ve tried the other Google messaging apps and I find absolutely no use for them at all, they are not cross platform and I don’t want to ask friends to install yet another messaging app when Hangouts is already great. Here are the reasons I think Hangouts is the best messaging app:

Universal on all Android phones.

Until recently Hangouts was mandatory on all Android phones. If I know someone has an Android phone I just need to get their Android login account (gmail address) or find their Google+ profile and I can start sending them Hangouts messages.

SMS integration.

All my messaging in one app, regular Hangouts along with SMS messages for those few contacts that may not use Hangouts.

Cross platform.

Hangouts works across all platforms, Phone, Tablet, PC. When I’m at work I send and receive Hangouts messages on my PC, no need to pull my phone out. My wife has her tablet nearby all day at the house, she can text from her tablet, no need to carry the phone around.

Group Chatting.

We have several group chats on the go. Family, friends etc. when we want more than one person informed on what’s going on this is the place to do it.

Voice calling.

I can voice call all my Hangouts contacts. This is useful when our daughter tries calling when my wife only has her tablet nearby such as when lounging out by the pool. Dialing phone numbers in USA/Canada is also free with the Hangouts dialer, this was extremely useful before we had unlimited calling plans and only had data.

Video calling.

You can make video calls using Hangouts. We don’t use this feature much but it’s available for all our Hangouts contacts without having to switch to yet another app.

Google Voice Integration

Google Voice calls and SMS can be sent and received using Hangouts.

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