Skype vs. Hangouts Review

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

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Before Hangouts – Skype

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

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

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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 +.

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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

Hangout for Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.talk

Google Cloud Print Review – Amazing

Google introduced a new product this month called “Cloud print”. The beta version is available as and android and Chrome application.

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Let’s see how we can leverage this technology

 Concept

Google cloud print is created to connect printers on the web – to make home and work printers available for anyone around the world. This means I can take a picture in US and print in friend’s printer in India without e-mail and fax. Also this will work in phone, tablet, Chromebook.

Classic printers can be connected to make it available in the cloud with the help of Chrome – https://support.google.com/cloudprint/answer/1686197?rd=1
I was very excited to see the announcement and downloaded the app on 1st day in my Nexus 4. But I was not able to really test or enjoy the power since there is no printer in home and office printer is secured.
Now what happens if the Google Cloud print app is opened in phone?
Launch the app and it will show all printer jobs
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Click on the pint button to choose a file – you can choose all storage applications – Google Drive, File manager, Gallery, Drop box etc
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Once selecting the file, it will show all registered devices (including printers) – It did not make any sense to me at that point of time.
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But today, I found out the use of the devices!!

 If you make online payment, you will see the transaction message at the end along with Print button.

 If you want to save these details, you can take a screenshot and e-mail to yourself for future reference. Otherwise it is possible to convert this to PDF using Chrome browser – find my previous blog for more details.

Now along with the PDF a new section appears – Google Cloud Print, in which I can choose all my devices. Select the device and the PDF will be transferred to the device (or printer too).

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This is amazing. No screenshot, saving and sending to mail – just push to any devices with one click

So, what’s your story? Did you find real time benefits of the app? Please add your comments