Comparision

Google Meet vs. Hangouts: Which Video Conferencing App to Use

Video conferencing has become a basic need for small and large businesses. Most tend to search Google for options and have hangouts that allow users to send text messages, make voice calls, and video calls. To make things simpler or more complicated, they decided to launch another video conferencing app called Meet and call it Hangouts Meet. It’s a confusing similar name policy.

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Google Hangouts is more focused and available to everyone who has a Google account. Meanwhile, Meet is designed for businesses and enterprise users who subscribe to the G Suite suite of apps. There are a lot of variations under the hood, although both are usable to start a video call.

Let’s understand what these differences are.

HOW GOOGLE HANGOUTS WORKS

Open your favorite browser. If you’re signed in to Chrome or Gmail, Hangouts will sign you right in. The same applies to smartphone applications. The user interface is very easy on the eyes with contacts on the left and three options for communicating with them on the right.

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You can chat and make voice and video calls with friends and relatives you’ve added to the Gmail app or Contacts and Hangouts installed. You can click on the new chat button to search for contacts. The background will change every time you refresh the page.

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Mobile apps follow suit with a contact list on the home screen and a “” icon.+To start a text or video chat. Where is the voice call option? You need to open a contact to find it. I’m not sure why they would choose to go this weird UI route on mobile apps.

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Once you open a conversation, there are other people-centric options like Archive, Block, Create or Add to Group, and Notifications. There is no way to attach files, even from Google Drive, which surprised me a bit. You can send photos (Device and Drive) or take photos. No audio clips either. But you can send videos. These are some strange options.

In general, Hangouts works well but it lacks certain features that you can find in other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram such as attachments and end-to-end encryption.

HOW GOOGLE HANGOUTS MEET BUSINESS

Google Meet or Hangouts Meet is an extension of the same platform but for business users. Meet is a direct Zoom competitor, and it appears that once it was launched.

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Meet mainly focuses on HD video conferencing, but it also supports voice calls. Most global companies have employees who join from different regions, and Meet supports real-time captions to accommodate everyone. How does this all work?

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Create a room and share the meeting code with others via the click and join link or by sending the code directly. Just like Hangouts, the background wallpaper changes randomly but is much nicer to look at, thanks to the Hangouts Canvas Project.

Key Differences

Well, there are a lot of differences under the surface. Meet supports HD calling and was designed with G Suite users in mind. This means that you can only connect to a meeting but you can’t create a meeting if you’re not a G Suite user. Hangouts is available to all Google users including G Suite.

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You can schedule a Hangouts meeting but only from the Google Calendar app. This means that you should use this app, whether you prefer to use it or not. The same is also true for Meet. I think Google wants you to use Calendar, which makes sense if you have a G Suite account.

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You will see additional options once the meeting has started. Some of those useful things are screen sharing and meeting recording for future references. You can also chat with users, but only after the meeting has started. This is not a messaging app. This is what was developed for Hangouts.

Hangouts are not end-to-end encrypted. However, Google notes that messages are encrypted in transit. This is very strange while messaging apps like Telegram focus on users’ privacy and security. The same is also true for Meet, but Google notes that recordings saved to Google Drive are encrypted.

Google Hangouts supports some additional features such as adding special effects like hats during calls, status messages, and emoji support. Meet doesn’t take a more professional approach.

Pricing and platforms

Both Hangouts and Hangouts Meet are available on the web and have mobile apps for both Android and iOS. Hangouts support up to 150 users in chats and up to 25 in video calls for G Suite users but only 10 users for free.

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Meet supports up to 100 participants on the Basic G Suite plan, 150 on the Business plan, and 250 on the Enterprise plan. Note that up to 100,000 users can watch the live broadcast, which is huge but also needs a powerful computer and internet connection. Useful for streaming a live event. Free users can only join a meeting but cannot create and manage a meeting, as we discussed earlier.

Getting to know Google Hangouts

The distinction is very clear once you look at the features. Hangouts is for everyone who doesn’t want to invest in G Suite apps. It is the regular messenger that lacks many of the features that you will find in popular messaging apps. Meet is an enterprise solution designed specifically for video conferencing meetings for G Suite subscribers which makes a lot of sense. Why choose another video conferencing app when you’re already paying for Meet?

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