Just before launching its latest general update to Google Hangouts, Google also recently announced that it is bringing its new group video chat tool to India. Just like in other countries, Google is replacing its current plugin-based Gmail video chat system with Hangouts in India, allowing its users there to chat with up to 9 people at a time (or just have a 1:1 chat like before).
With today’s larger update, Google introduced a bandwidth slider that allows users to switch of to adjust how much bandwidth they are using for Hangout – something especially important in countries where high-speed connections aren’t all that prevalent. Google also made an audio-only made available with this update (other participants will just see your avatar) and the service already offered an ultra-low bandwidth mode since last year.
Google first introduced Hangouts in Gmail in the middle of last year.
Here is the full announcement:
Over the last few months, we’ve been rolling out updates to Google+ Hangouts to make it easy for you to connect with friends and family no matter where you are. Today we’re excited to bring Hangouts to all of our Gmail users in India.
You can continue to enjoy 1:1 video chat with any Gmail user, but now you’ll be able to add up to 9 people at once after they’ve upgraded to Google+. What’s more, with Hangouts you can watch YouTube videos with friends, collaborate on Google Docs, or play games by adding apps from the menu on the left. If you find yourself with a slow connection, just switch over to ultra low bandwidth mode to keep the conversation going.
To give Hangouts a try, just click on the hangout button at the top of your chat list in Gmail. You can also schedule a hangout with Google Calendar, and use the Google+ app for Android and iOS to hang out while you’re on the go.