Preface: To use the information in this post you will need to have a computer camera and audio recording capability on your computer. See “Note” of explanation at the end.
Recently, I got excited when my friend Morgine Jurdan called to tell me she’d just learned about voice and face-to-face communication on Google Hangout. She and her son, Andy were having a challenge with Skype, so he introduced her to Google Hangout.
I immediately wanted to see how it worked. Then I asked Morgine if she minded if I videoed the interaction to present to followers of Technology for Seniors made easy. With her okay, I opened iShowU on my Mac and started recording. Neither of us bothered taking the time to get “made up” for the camera. The resulting spontaneous video:
With Google Hangouts, you can join existing ones and you can set up your own. There is the ability to have up to 9 people chatting by text, voice and/or video in any one Hangout. In order to take advantage of this service, all that’s necessary is for you to have a Google Plus account.
If you need help this process, starting with the Sign Up page, see “How to Create a Google Plus Account” on this blog.
You can use your regular email address, or a Gmail one. If you would like to use a Google Mail address, and need help with that, see Gmail Account Creation for Email.
To activate a Hangout on Google Plus:
1.Type plus.google.com in your web browser address bar.
2. Sign in with your email address – traditional or Gmail address.
3. Once signed in the window you see below, without the notations, will open up.
4. To start your Hangout
- a. Click on Hangouts near the bottom of the menu on the left. You may have to click on “see more” first.
- b. Then Click on “Start Hangout”
5. Name the Hangout and add email address of person, or persons, you wish to invite.
6. Clicking on Hangout will bring you to a plain Invite window.
Clicking Invite people brings you to the prior window. Clicking on Screenshare in the left column brings up the window below. It shows all of the windows open on your desktop.
Select the one you want to share and Start Screenshare.
If you simply want to voice and text chat, click on “Chat” right above the “Screenshare” link in the left menu column.
That’s it for this tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts for Screensharing and Chatting, having fun with your family and friends.
Please share your experiences with Google Hangouts and with this post in the “Leave a Reply” box just below. Have any questions? Ask them in your “reply” or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Link is in the footer.
NOTE: In order to use Google Hangout for Screensharing you will need an internal camera in your computer or a Webcam (external computer camera) and built-in microphone in your computer or an external, plug-in microphone.)