large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google launches dedicated Hangouts website

Google has launched a brand-new dedicated Hangouts website, allowing you to send instant messages and conduct video calls through a web browser.

Yes, it’s very like faithful old Skype in that respect, but this is the first time Google has extended its latest messaging service to a standalone website. Before, you could access it on a computer through Gmail, a Chrome extension, or via a Chrome app.

The new website itself is precisely what you’d expect from a modern Google service: stylish, minimalistic and extremely functional.

Current messages take up the left third of the screen in way that will be familiar to users of the Hangouts mobile app on Android and iOS. To the left is a small vertical bar that switches this view to Contacts or Phone calls, as well as to access the deeper settings.

That leaves a vast expanse of screen that’s given over to just three chunky buttons for initiating video and phone calls, or for starting a new message thread. The background, meanwhile, cycles through a series of attractive landscape shots taken from Google+.

Best Video-Calling Apps

Starting a new video call navigates to a new web page, and may require the installation of a Hangouts plugin if you’re not using Chrome. You’ll need to grant permission to use your computer’s camera and mic, too.

The Google Hangouts website is available to access now to all with a Google account.

Next, check out what we think of the current Android flagship phone, the Nexus 6:

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.