Google launches Hangouts, unifying Google Talk and Google+ Messenger

At the Google I/O Keynote today, Google announced a bunch of new stuff. Most of it was for developers (I/O is a developers conference after all), but among the few consumer releases announced was Hangouts. Hangouts is the replacement Chat/Video Service for Google Talk, which hasn’t really been improved in ages. It also unifies Google+ Messenger and the Hangout video chat feature that is a part of Google+.

Hangouts

Having used it for a short period on both Android and on the Chrome Browser, it is quite nice and easy to navigate through, and works much more reliably than the messenger component of Google+.

It’s available now for iOS, Android and for Chrome. Just click the links below to download the app.

Here’s the link to the Android App

Hangouts
Hangouts
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

And here’s the iOS App

‎Hangouts
‎Hangouts
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

You can get the Chrome app here.

You can read more about the new Hangouts at the Gmail Blog. Here’s the post blog post:

Today we announced Hangouts, a big improvement to Google’s real-time communication services. Instead of different versions of chat, video chat and calling across Google products, Hangouts gives you one consistent way to connect with the people you care about. 
What does this mean for your Gmail? You now have the option to switch from the current version of chat to Hangouts. Simply click “Try it out” next to your chat list to switch to Hangouts and give your chat an instant facelift (literally!). You’ll now see the profile photos in the order of your most recent conversations. With Hangouts, you’ll also be able to quickly send messages, have video calls with up to ten people at once, and share photos. You can start a conversation with just one friend or even a whole group. Hangouts transition effortlessly between desktop and mobile — in fact, Hangouts will be available in Gmail, Google+,Android phones and tabletsiPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and as a Windows, Mac or Linux desktop application using the Chrome extension. You can start a Hangout on your phone, and pick it up in Gmail right where you left off! 

 

 

 

 

The new Hangouts experience in Gmail is rolling out as an optional switch starting today. Click the “Try it out” button when it appears next to your chat list to switch right away, or you can switch later. Learn more about the new Hangouts here.
 

Video Chat on your Android Phone

Last week, Google Announced Video Chat for Android Phones running 2.3.4 (Gingerbread). You can even use it for Voice Chat, something you needed an app like Fring or Nimbuzz to do until now. The only bad bit was the 2.3.4 part,which meant it was limited to the Nexus S as of now. The way manufacturers issue Android updates, it might take forever to get this nifty little version of Google Talk on your device. Of course, there are the good folks over at XDA Developers working round the clock to get everything set up for all kinds of Android users (and non android users too).

So here’s a little hack to get Google Voice/Video Chat working on your Gingerbread Device (whichever version you’re running). It might even work on Froyo devices.

DISCLAIMER– WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU END UP BRICKING YOUR PHONE, VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY etc.

First up, ROOT USERS ONLY. If you haven’t rooted your phone, then you can’t use this. Also, it doesn’t seem to work properly on all devices. I’ve read that it works best (the way it’s supposed to) on HTC devices Running Cyanogenmod 7+. For Galaxy S devices, it supposedly does only one way video right now, and doesn’t seem to able to find the front facing Camera.

Anyways, head over to this thread over at XDA and download the file and get cracking. Let us know what your results are! AND BACK UP YOUR CURRENT GOOGLE TALK APK.

There are three ways to push this app:
  1. Using Root Explorer (Try the Super Manager App, available on the Market).
  2. Using CWM to flash the update.zip. Check here, and if that doesn’t work, try this.
  3. Using ADB, Follow the steps below;

(lines starting with # are comments)

Code:
#mount the /system partition as writeable
adb remount
#backup the old Talk app
adb shell mv /system/app/Talk.apk /system/app/Talk.apk1
#uninstall the old gtalk, I think it clears the related cached bytecode too.
adb uninstall com.google.android.talk
#copy the two new files
adb push libtalk_jni.so /system/lib/
adb push Talk2.apk /system/app

 

Mixed reports coming in so far, so let us know what you think. It should work like the video below:

 

 

 

Follow us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld.

 

Source: Google Mobile Blog, XDA