Key Functions 8/10
Hangouts brings a host of special features to the user that not only makes using the app easier, but also a lot more convenient. One such feature is its group chat option wherein you can create a group and add from 2 to 150 people. The app also lets you share your status or mood with your contacts so that they know what you're doing and how you're feeling. While you chat with your friends, you can even send photos, emoji's, videos, stickers, maps, GIFs, and more to get the most out of every conversation. Tired of chatting? Take it to the next level and create a group video call that can be joined by up to 10 different contacts. You can even call different phone numbers in any part of the world - although it is free to call other Hangout users. Message any contact you want, even when they are offline.
Google's dedication to making user-friendly apps is highlighted in the Hangouts app. Its simple, yet, performance based design is targeted at those users who want to stay connected without all the unnecessary add-ons that are found in other free messaging apps. From the very start, Hangouts doesn't require lengthy sign up details. All you need is your Google account and that's it. You can even link your Google Voice account and gain access to voicemail integration, phone calling, and SMS texting. Hangouts is even designed to work on your Android Wear device so you can stay connected on-the-go, even when you don't have access to your phone or computer. You can even sync your account across all your devices to always have your chats at hand.
Cross-Platform Use 9/10
As mentioned above, Hangouts allows you to chat, call, and share on any connected device around you. It is compatible on Android as well as iOS mobile devices and can also be used on the web.
Hangouts, as a free messenger and calling app, is a powerful and fun to use addition to the endless list of apps available today. It stands out for more than a few reasons and justifies it immense popularity. The clean and simple design, the wholesome customization features, the free messaging (single and group) and calling (voice and video), and its overall universal compatibility makes it a serious contender online. But the biggest advantage Hangouts carries is that it is created by a name that is trusted around the world - Google.