Google improves Hangouts with three awesome new features

Google+ Hangouts is arguably one of the most successful features in Google+, along with Google’s multitude of instant messaging services. The video chat service has a ton of functionality, with everything from playing games to watching YouTube videos together, and even sharing each other’s screens. But in the past few days, three nifty new features have made their way to Google+ Hangouts: Remote Desktop, live rewind, and instant replay.

Remote Desktop is a new Hangouts app that you can add to any existing Hangout, and it works almost exactly like Chrome Remote Desktop, except users can video chat while connecting to the other computer. I finally got around to testing this myself a few days ago, and it works exactly as expected, although it still doesn’t allow remote connections to Chrome OS devices. (Hang tight, though, since Google still says that this feature is coming soon.)

The latter two features – live rewind and instant replay – are geared towards users of Hangouts on Air, which publicly broadcasts these hangouts over YouTube. They do exactly what they say they do, and the recorded video of these Hangouts is also immediately available on YouTube after they end. (Previously, there was a short delay.)

Now, there’s talk that Google Babel will actually launch as Google Hangouts, which means that Google Chat, Google Talk, and Google+ Messenger will probably all be rebranded as such. This might cause some initial confusion, since Hangouts now mean something totally different, but we probably won’t know for sure what will happen until Google I/O next week.

At least we can enjoy these new features right away!

[CNET | The Verge]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.