Google Hangouts gets guest access

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Google has just made it a lot easier for users to consider using Hangouts for meetings by freeing the service from requirements like having a Google account to join a Hangout. If you have ever had to try to get someone who is not a big Google user onto a Hangout, you know that it can quickly turn into a major chore depending on the technical capability of the user. With the new feature that is being rolled out, all users will have to do now is click on a link to the Hangout, type in their name in a pop-up box, and then “Request to Join.”

Meeting organizers will receive a prompt to accept or deny entry to users who are trying to join a Hangout. They will also have access to tools to mute or eject participants if necessary.

source: Google for Work

Hangouts 5.0 update expected to fix lag issues and bring support for GIFs

Google-Hangouts-logoGoogle Hangouts is rumored to get an update to version 5.0 pretty soon, and it’s going to bring a handful of much needed bug fixes. One of the biggest things that’s been lacking in Hangouts has been GIF support, and it looks like the update will be fixing that.

Currently, Hangouts 4 sends GIFs as static images until the recipient taps on the image. That takes a lot of fun out of sending GIFs, so being able to see the files animate in real time is a very welcome addition.  Read more

Best instant messaging services

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Messaging services can be a useful alternative to your standard SMS messaging on your smartphone. While a standard text message uses your carrier plan, a messaging app only uses WiFi and is completely independent, which means you won’t actually need a plan from a carrier to use it. These are also useful if you want to message simultaneously on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and they often have a ton of extra features that your standard text messaging app simply won’t have.

We’ve compiled some of the best and most popular apps available to give you a few to test out.

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