In our family, we use video conferencing a lot. With family across the US and around the world, everyone like to see each other as well as hear each other (especially with our son). For years we have used Skype
, but over the years it has stayed the same and just hasn't kept up with other technologies. Lately I have become a fan of Google+ Hang Outs
. The quality has been better than Skype and the ability to conference call with multiple people with multiple cameras is the killer feature.
The big own side is that you have to be in a browser to see a Hangout. This is ok for me since I always have a browser open, but this has proved a problem for older members of my family.There is a solution.
I don't know why Google doesn't make a bigger deal about this. There is a Chrome plug in from Google that basically runs Chrome in the background of your computer all the time and allows you to get instant messages and Hang Out requests even when you aren't in your browser and while other applications are running. Now we have a Skype killer.
Here is how to set it up:
1) Open Chrome
2) Go to http://www.google.com/hangouts/
3) Click on “Available for your computer”
4) When prompted click yes
5) You should now see a Google icon in your task bar.
6) You can control whether you are signed in or out by clicking on the icon from the taskbar
7) You will now see Hangouts popup even if you aren’t logged into Google+