Google+ Hangout vs Skype
Rivalries in the tech world are almost like enmities in the real world. Two of those enemies are Microsoft and Google. They have similar products, as well as different products, and they heavily compete with each other on similar products while they try to catch up with each other by bridging their differences. One such attempt from Microsoft was to purchase Skype which is essentially an IM client. Google already had their IM service which was Google talk and offered inside Gmail too. It also had video calls, but as an overall, Google Talk lagged behind Skype. Many analysts believe that is the catalyst for improvements in Google+ Hangouts which outsmarts Skype by a fair margin. Let us talk about these two services before comparing them in the same arena.
Google+ Hangouts Review
There was a large hype in the internet community when Google+ was launched, and it was well backed up since Google+ recorded a remarkable growth as a Social Media Network. However at the start, Google+ was somewhat complex to use and hence it lost some of its consumers to Facebook. As usual, Google learnt from their mistakes and kept improving it, and Google+ Hangouts are an anchor they have found to sink other rival Social Media Networks.
Hangout is essentially Google Talk in a new skin. First off, you don’t need to install a client to use Google+ Hangouts. With the WebRTC framework, one can use Google+ Hangouts right from the browser in your Google+ home page. The basic functionality of Hangouts is to let you video chat with your friends and contacts in your list. It is offered in your PC as well as an application in your tablet. You can video chat with up to ten people, and that makes it a video conferencing service. It is worthwhile to mention that Video conferencing services are still considered as premium services for which you need to pay, so Google+ Hangout is letting you use that service for free. Another interesting feature in Hangouts is that you get various applications that make your hangout fun to be in it. For instance, it has masks, ability to draw doodles, watch YouTube videos or play games etc.
Another interesting usage of Google+ Hangout is to collaborate with your co-workers. On top of video conferencing, Google+ Hangouts also provides you with the ability to share what’s on your screen, view presentations and diagrams together as well as edit Google docs together. You can also call your friends through telephones and get them in for the conference for free or for a very low price. I have particularly come to be fond of the broadcasting facility provided by Google+ Hangouts. You can start a hangout and indicate that you want it to be broadcasted on air which streams the live hangout on your profile enabling the public to view it freely. Statistics are also provided on how many live viewers are available during the broadcast. Once it is finished, the recorded video is uploaded to your YouTube channel and a link is sent to the original post in your Google+ profile. I’m sure you will find this feature fantastic and really worthwhile if you have a lot of fans out there.
Skype is basically and audio centric communication application which you can use to make calls. That sounds fairly simple when put like that, but the real advantage is the perks offered with Skype. Once you register and get an account in Skype, you get to open a communication line from a Skype user to another Skype user. I will talk about the free services available before going in-depth about paid services. Skype allows you to chat, place an audio call as well as a video call to another Skype user. A user is identified by the Skype screen name and should be in your contact list to communicate. While you communicate with the other party, you can also share your screen, play a game and send files, as well. In essence, it will act as a fully-fledged IM (Instant Messaging) service. Another interesting feature it provides is group chats and group audio calls. It also has plugin integrations with Facebook in its main window.
Skype offers Video conferencing as a premium service. They also have corporate accounts with a variety of services. Another great feature offered by Skype is the ability to make calls to any telephone throughout the world. Several subscription plans are offered for this service and it’s substantially cheaper than using IDD calls. If you subscribe for a Skype number, then anyone in the world can also call you back from their telephone; which is very convenient.
Even without the premium services, the specialty of Skype lies in its versatile nature. It will work on a Windows PC, a MAC PC, a Linux installation as well as any standard smartphone. This makes it dominate the market over Facetime and any other IM service.
A Brief Comparison Between Google+ Hangout and Skype
• Google+ Hangout is offered as a browser based service while Skype is a client based service where you have to install the application.
• Google+ Hangout and Skype can be used in multiple platforms, but when it comes to mobile devices, Skype has the edge offering support for Blackberry and iPhone.
• Google+ Hangout offers video conference calling service for free while Skype offers that and other services like fixed dial numbers as a premium service.
• Google+ Hangouts offer a variety of collaboration options that are not offered by Skype.
As of now, our verdict goes to Google+ Hangout due to the convenient nature it is offered. But hey, both are free services; Google+ Hangout is completely free while Skype has perks for a premium; so using both wouldn’t hurt your pocket or your convenience. It would be your own choice as well as the availability of your contacts on either network that would determine what you would have to use.