Use Google Hangouts
Google Mail has a built-in Hangout gadget that you can use to send instant messages, photos, and use to make video calls. If you use the Google Chrome browser, you can also download the "Hangouts Chrome" extension, which allows you to use the Hangout feature outside of Google Mail (without having your Mail open).
Note: you must have a Google+ account to use Hangouts. If you don't have a Google+ account and want to create one, you can do so by signing up for Google Plus.
To get a quick overview of Google Hangouts, watch this Google Hangouts video hosted by Google.
To switch from regular chat to Hangouts, click the down arrow on the lefthand side of the screen next to the green status circle above the contact list. (When you mouseover the green circle, it should say [Options].) Select [Try the new Hangouts].
To hide the Hangouts gadget, click the Hangouts icon in the lower left corner of your Mail screen. You can click the icon again to display the Hangouts gadget.
- To know if someone from your contact list is available, you can check to see if there is a green bar underneath their profile picture (located next to their name in the contact list). The green bar indicates that they are available.
- Choose the person with whom you would like to hangout from the list of contacts or, if the person is not listed, begin typing the person's name in the "New Hangout" textbox on the Hangout gadget (Google will pull from your contacts and the Cedarville directory).
- When you have clicked on the name of person you want to Hangout with, a box should appear in the lower right corner of the screen. From this popup, you can chat with someone, send them a picture, or invite them to a video call.
If you try to Hangout with someone who is not in the Cedarville directory, a box will appear in their inbox asking them to add Hangouts.
When someone invites you to a video call, the Hangout popup will appear in your inbox asking you to "Accept" or "Decline" the invitation. If you do not answer the video call, you will get an email saying that you've been invited to a video call.
From the contact list, click the name of the person you would like to block. In the popup that appears, click the "gear" symbol in the top right corner. From the dropdown menu, select [Block (name of person you've selected)].
- In the Chat gadget, click on the video icon located above the search box.
- Type the names of the people you would like to invite.
- Click [Submit].
- Using the Chrome browser, navigate to the Google Chrome webstore.
- Type "Hangout Extension" in the "Search the store" bar > Press [Enter].
- Under the "Extensions" heading, click the [Free] button next to "Hangouts" option.
- In the box that appears, click [Add].
- Click the Hangouts icon (quote marks in a speech bubble) on the Windows toolbar. It is located in the bottom right corner of your computer screen. The icon will be gray if you are not logged in. You may need to click the arrow to display the icon.
- Click "Sign in."
- Type in your "Email" and "Password."
- Type in your login credentials and click [Login]. (The Hangouts window will open, and you can begin messaging.)
If you do not sign out of your Google account, Hangouts should start every time that you log in to your computer. You can click on the Hangouts icon to open the chat gadget. If you do sign out, simply log in by following the above steps. The extension is also machine specific, so you will need to enable the extension on every computer on which you would want to use it.
Keywords: instant messenger, hangouts, hangout, message, Google, video call, Chrome extension