Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Skype vs. Hangouts (Goodbye Skype and welcome Hangouts)


Hello everyone. Today I wanted to give a candid feedback about Google Hangouts after the 1st usage.



Before Hangouts - Skype
Flashback about my video chat using Skype to communicate with wife and kid, a year ago.


Skype was installed in my PC and Android version Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Also Skype user name was created for both users.


It works well for one to one video chat as a free user, but the video goes off if I invite a third person and continue as audio chat.

Okay, no problem, I understood a free user deserves only thatL. Video clarity was also good when I was using Wi-Fi and broadband in both locations.

But things changed, replaced WI-FI with 3G (SIM card in TAB) due to various reasons and Skype started under-performing. Video was lagging behind the audio and most of the time 3G user goes offline and Skype tries to reconnect. It was bad experience!!

Things changed again, I moved the 3G connection to my mobile (HTC Desire) and used WI-FI Hotspot to connect my Tab. It was terrible experience since user goes offline every 5 seconds.

Advantages
Skype supports multiple platforms – Android, IOS, Blackberry, and Windows
It can act as calling card – paid users can make calls to any phone

Disadvantages
Separate account need to be created
It needs to be installed in all devices
Interface is not modern (chat window looks ugly)
No group video chat for free users
Video lag and connection issues for low bandwidth

Story about Hangouts
I started exploring about Hangouts (part of Google +) from last few months since I heard it supports multi user video chat. I did not get a chance to try out due to reluctance from users to use Google +.


Finally Google announced in IO 2013 that they are replacing Google Messenger and Google talks with single app Google Hangouts. The app made available for both Android and IOS and it became major rival for Facetime, BBM (Blackberry is planning to launch android version soon)

Cool stuff – all conversations are stored in cloud and it will sync across all devices and we can have never ending conversations. It is not necessary to install app in PC, the browser can be used to start conversation, which is also quite convenient

Today I tried video call using Hangouts – one end in Chrome and other in Galaxy Tab2. It worked perfectly even in 3G and WI-FI tethering. No video lag and connection issues.

It can also replace other messaging apps – Viber, Whatsapp etc. As of now, there is no SMS feature, but it is most requested feature – can be anticipated soon

Advantages
Google account can be used to sign in
Browser also can be used to start chat
Data resides in cloud and it can sync across devices
Never ending conversations
Group video chat and users can also share any video in the chat
No video lag and works in low bandwidth

Disadvantages
No phone call options
Volume was bit low compared to Skype

So, that’s it. My 1st hangout and I really enjoyed it. Please try it out and hope you will also enjoy the experience.
Comments are always welcome

Thanks for reading



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