Google Hangouts vs Skype
Last updated: March 10, 2017
Google Hangouts is a live video chat app. It allows to share your screen, collaboratively draw on a whiteboard, edit Google Docs documents, create broadcasts for the unlimited number of viewers. Splitted into group chat app and videoconferencing app. Secure Google Hangouts alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and videoconferencing. Skype alternative for enterprise is called Skype for Business. Secure Skype alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
Latest news about Google Hangouts and Skype:
10.03.17. Google splits Hangouts into Chat and Meet. Google is making massive changes to Hangouts to make it more business-friendly. The service will be splitted into two separate apps: Hangouts Meet, a videoconferencing app, and Hangouts Chat, a Slack-like messaging app designed for teams. Meet is a revamped version of Hangouts' video calling features, with a few new additions designed for businesses. Like the old Hangouts, it supports video calls of up to 30 people and participants can join via their desktop or the mobile app. While anyone with a Gmail account can use Meet, Hangouts Chat is just for Google's enterprise users. Essentially a full-on Slack competitor, the service allows teams within organizations to chat and supports a variety of third-party integrations, including bots and other productivity apps. Google also created its own bot for the app, which will schedule meetings on your behalf.
15.12.16. Skype adds real-time translation to all VoIP calls. Last year Skype launched built-in Translator that allows to translate speech in real-time. Until now this feature was available only in video chat, but in the new version you'll be able to call people around the world and have your conversation interpreted instantaneously - even if they're using the last remaining rotary phone. When placing a call, users just need to set their language of choice and the tool will take care of the rest. The person on the other end of the line will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded and translated through the service, which will be very clear once the conversation begins. Windows Insider Program members will be the first to have access to the new feature. To date, nine spoken languages are supported: English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and Russian.
16.11.16. Skype now allows to make calls without registration. Last year Skype enabled to invite to chat or video call people that don't have Skype account. Now it's possible to start chat and calls without registration also. All you have to do is go to Skype.com and click "Start a Conversation." You type in your name, it creates the chat with its own unique link that you can send to friends or colleagues. They don't need to use an account either. You can invite up to 300 people in a text chat or up to 25 on voice or video calls. The conversation only lasts for 24 hours, so you won't be able to go through your post history afterwards. You also won't be able to use Skype Translator or call phone numbers with the service; those still require you to have a Skype account.
11.08.16. Skype gets Bots. In the new version of the Skype for Windows 10, Microsoft added several Skype bots, the automated chat assistants that it introduced earlier this year in a limited preview. The new bots include those that can help you make travel arrangements, locate event tickets, pull in information from other applications and services and even keep you entertained. For example, the Skyscanner Bot lets you search for individual or group flights, return pricing information and route options. Then, it will provide a link where users can go to complete the booking.
06.07.16. Microsoft launched free Skype Meetings for small business. Microsoft launched Skype Meetings, a new audio and video conferencing tool specifically designed for small businesses. Unlike the fully featured Skype for Business product (that allows you to host meetings with up to 250 people and it’s deeply integrated into Outlook, Word and PowerPoint), Skype Meetings only allows PowerPoint collaboration (screen sharing, laser pointer, etc.) and screen sharing. Video calls are also limited to a maximum of 10 people during the first two months. After that, the maximum number of participants drops to three people. Participants can join Skype Meetings from virtually any device with the help of a personalized URL and the calls are powered by the same technology as Skype for Business calls. That means you will get to take advantage of Skype’s head tracking feature, for example, which ensures that a face will always be in the center of the screen, no matter where it is in the actual video image.
19.04.16. Skype voice and video calls now work plugin-free in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is making Skype in the browser plugin-free, but for now - only in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers, including IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari, will continue to require plugins as before. This includes Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive, all of which, along with Skype for Web, will now support real-time, plugin-free voice, video and group calling when you’re using Microsoft Edge. The company has been more recently working on ways to allow anyone to join a Skype chat, even if they don’t have an account. Skype for Web was one easy way to connect these invitees to your chat session, but installing browser plugins could slow down that experience. Now when those users are on Edge, they can just click a link and start chatting.
16.03.16. Skype for Web now supports calling to mobile phones, landlines. Browser-based Skype for Web is getting a slew of new features that brings it more in line with its desktop and mobile counterparts – most notably the added ability to dial mobile phones and landlines. To make calls to mobile phones or landlines from the browser, you’ll need a subscription or Skype credit, as on other platforms. Then, once signed in, you can click on the phone call tab, pick a destination, and dial. Besides, the web version also now allows you to bring non-Skype users into a conversation easily, introduces notifications, and lets you watch YouTube videos in Skype for Web itself.
20.01.16. Skype integrated with Slack. The new Slack integration allows team members using Slack’s real-time communication software a way to quickly start Skype voice or video call from within the Slack application. Once installed, kicking off a Skype call is as simple as just typing in “/skype” into the Slack chat interface, which will then display a join link. On the desktop, you’ll only need a web browser plugin, while on mobile, you’ll need to download the Skype mobile application onto your smartphone. Slack team members can also join as guests on a computer, or they can sign in using their Skype name or Microsoft account information.
15.01.16. Skype adds free group video calls to mobile apps. Skype announced the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile. Once it's live, the update will allow Skype users to make video calls with as many as 25 participants for free. While Skype has supported group video calls for some time, the feature was previously available only to those who subscribed to Skype for Business (though the free apps have supported group audio calls.)
24.11.15. Google Hangouts now allows to make videocalls to those who don't have Google account. Google now allows you to invite “guests” into a Hangouts meeting, even if they don’t have (or don’t want) a Google account. This will make it easier for you to do all your communications, at least on the video conference aspect, through this particular medium. The process has also been made simple and painless (or so we hope). All it would take is for you to invite the guests, and for them to accept through a few taps or so. They will be labeled as “external guests” and Google users will be able to invite them to a Hangouts through Google Calendar. They need to click the external link in the event description, then input their name, preferably not a silly nickname as this is supposed to be a professional conference. After doing those two simple steps, they will now be able to be part of the meeting and chat with you and your other colleagues for the duration of the virtual meeting.
16.06.15. Skype for Web is available globally. Skype has opened its web-based client beta to the entire world, after launching it broadly in the U.S. and U.K. earlier this month. Skype for Web also now supports Chromebook and Linux for instant messaging communication (no voice and video yet, those require a plug-in installation). To get at the Skype for Web Beta, just head to either web.skype.com or Skype.com and login when prompted. Based on my limited experience with the beta, it works as advertised, and now that Chromebooks get IM support, it should be a lot more useful to people looking to travel light and cheap and stay connected from wherever they want to communicate, with or without their own PC.
08.12.14. Microsoft enabled video calling between Skype and Lync users. Last year Microsoft enabled Skype-Lync interoperation with text messaging and audio. Today, the video integration also becomes available. Skype users can now video call contacts on Lync, and vice versa, Microsoft announced this morning. To use the now cross-platform video calling feature, you don’t have to do anything differently from before – you just kick off the call the same way you do today. However, video calling is supported only on an up-to-date Lync 2013 client on Android, iOS or Windows and on Skype for Windows desktop. Skype is now working to expand this integration to more platforms, starting with iOS and Android. The change follows a series of deeper integrations between the two products, the latter of which will be rebranded “Skype for Business” sometime in 2015.
15.11.14. Microsoft launches Skype for Web. Skype has brought its instant messaging, voice and video chat service to the browser with a new beta available now. For now it requires you to install a small plug-in to get voice and video calls, but Microsoft promises to bring Real-Time Communications (RTC) support, so you'll be able to use it without any plug-ins. Skype for Web works on Chrome for Windows, IE, Firefox or Safari. Chrome on Chromebooks and non-Windows platforms can use Skype for Web for instant messaging, but not yet for voice and video because the plugin hasn’t been configured for them yet. Skype had already come to the web in one form thanks to a plug-in for Outlook.com launched globally earlier this year, which enabled text, video and voice chat through the company’s web-based email inbox service.
11.11.14. Microsoft will rename Lync as Skype for Business. Microsoft will rebrand its enterprise communications solution Lync as Skype for Business in 2015. The change will see Lync’s interface harmonized to something close to the current Skype’s interface. Skype for Business won’t be available until next year. Lync won’t fold into Skype entirely — instead, it will remain a separate application. I saw a demo of an early version of the Skype for Business client last week, and it certainly did appear to be quite similar to how Skype looks now. Users in Skype for Business will able to call regular Skype users from the application. The rebranding fits with Microsoft's strategy to "re-invent productivity" for all, not just business. To that end, it wants to offer a unified experience across services, so consumers and businesses have similar experiences.
13.10.14. Skype 7 refocuses on chat. Skype has introduced new versions of its desktop clients: Skype 7 for Mac and preview of Skype for Windows now share the same design. The Skype redesign mimics Skype on mobile and will definitely take some getting used to on the desktop, but once you grow accustomed to the big aesthetic changes, the small functional ones are what really impress. For instance, now in your chat window you’ll be able to view shared image files instantly in-line once they download, instead of having to click a little icon to view or preview them. The Windows versions has increase spacing between your contacts list and your chat and there are message previews for things you haven’t read yet, so you can get a quick look without even switching between chats.
13.10.14. Google Hangouts is available as a standalone Chrome app for Windows and Chromebooks. Google Hangouts users can now chat and make calls from their desktops without opening their browser. Google Hangouts is now a Chrome app for Windows and Chrome OS computers. It can be installed on Mac OS X computers that also have Chrome but isn’t yet fully supported. The app provides all of your active chats on the desktop for easy access. More important though is the support for voice calls through the app, right on your computer. And Google Voice users will benefit from the Voice integration with Hangouts, meaning access to voicemail and the ability to send and receive SMS.
11.09.14. Google Hangouts adds voice calls to mobile app. Google continues to unify its messaging services under one app by adding free voice calling and a number of other Google Voice features to Hangouts. Android users can make free voice calls as soon as they update to the newest version of Hangouts, while web and iOS users will have access to free calls immediately. Hangouts users are also getting access to some Google Voice features: Calls made from within the Hangouts client now feature a user’s Google Voice phone number as caller ID, and calls to that number automatically are being answered through the Hangouts app. Users will also be able to send SMS text messages through Hangouts, and Google Voice voicemail messages will start to show up in Hangouts conversational streams.
31.07.14. Hangouts unlinked from Google+, becomes a part of Google Apps For Business. Until now, you had to have a Google+ account to use Hangouts if you were a Google Apps user. Starting today, that requirement is gone. Anybody with a Google Apps account will now be able to start or join a meeting from their desktop or their dedicated Chromebox for Meetings device. Hangouts is also now coming to Google Apps for Business. While users on Google’s paid accounts could always use Hangouts (assuming their admins allowed it), this change means that Hangouts is now covered by the same SLAs as the rest of Google’s services like Gmail and Drive. Lastly, IT administrators can better manage meetings right from the Google Apps Admin Console with options like remotely starting, muting and ending a meeting.
01.07.14. Google Hangouts will no longer require a plugin for Chrome. Starting next week video conferencing service Google Hangouts will work in Chrome without the need to install any plugin. Other Hangout-compatible browsers (IE/Firefox/etc.) will still need the plugin — but Chrome will now have Hangouts support baked right in. Between the transition to HTML5, new cross-browser protocols like webRTC, and even platforms like Unity trying to go plugin free, it’s going to be really, really hard to convince users to install plugins moving forward — so if your big idea requires one, you’ll want to find another way.
13.06.14. Skype 5.0 for iPhone looks cooler, works faster. Microsoft has launched Skype for iPhone 5.0 with major redesign and performance tweaks. The updated app looks very similar to Windows Phone. It features ribbon navigation bar at the top and on the bottom - a pair buttons that put the two most used-features based on context at thumb-point. The performance seemed significantly improved: Lag was almost imperceptible, and when there were slight delays they were ameliorated by fluid animations. The new Skype client makes it easier to start group chats and it also syncs notifications across devices — even if the recipient isn’t logged into Skype when the message is sent. The increased emphasis on text messaging makes sense, especially as startups and established companies strive to be the one messaging app to rule them all.