Google Hangouts is a well-designed messaging service available across multiple platforms, offering text, audio, and video services in one easy-to-use app.
Chat with a friend or a group: Chat one-on-one or carry on a conversation with as many as 100 people simultaneously. Video chats can handle as many as 10 participants. The audio and video quality are good.
Works across platforms: Hangouts is an app for Android and iOS, but it's also available in Gmail and Google+ and through the Chrome app on Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS. It's easy to start a chat on one platform and pick it up on another.
Mix messages: You can send and receive Hangouts and SMS text messages and quickly switch between the two. You can sign in to multiple accounts and chat with contacts from all accounts.
Calls: Make calls to contacts over your cellular network directly from Hangouts. Add Google's Hangouts Dialer and you can make Internet calls as well.
Send attachments and your location: Tap the paperclip icon in the chat box to send a photo or a sticker. You can also attach a map of your current location to a message.
Lacks fine message control: You can't delete individual messages from a contact, only your entire history of messages.
Google's Hangouts is well designed, works seamlessly with your Google contacts, and is available across multiple platforms. Its combination of text, audio, video, and cell and Internet phone services puts it on a par with other solid messaging apps, including Skype.
Use Hangouts to keep in touch. Message friends, start free video or voice calls, and hop on a conversation with one person or a group. Include all your friends with group chats for up to 150 people. Say more with status messages, photos, videos, maps, emoji, stickers, and animated GIFs. Turn any conversation into a free group video call with up to 10 friends. Call any phone number in the world (and all calls to other Hangouts users are free. ). Connect your Google Voice account for phone calling, SMS texting, and voicemail integration. Keep in touch with friends across Android, iOS, and the web, and sync chats across all your devices. Message friends anytime, even if they're offline. Notes: Mobile carrier and ISP charges may apply. Calls to Hangouts users are free, but other calls might be charged.