Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products. This means that it is promising 24/7 phone support and a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%. Hangout video meetings are also now able to support any Google Apps customer account, regardless of whether they're connected to a Google+ profile.
- Start Hangout video calls with up to 15 participants
- Include any external guests who have a Google account
- Add, change or join a video call in a Google Calendar entry (coming soon)
- Join or start a Hangout by URL or at g.co/hangout/ (and g.co/present/ to just present)
Part of this access expansion includes giving Hangouts participants the ability to eject others from video conferences as long as they're on the same domain as the Hangout creator. Those who aren't on the same domain continue to lack this ability.
Google has managed to snag some partners to help broaden its reach. Blue Jeans is working to bring in more people by allowing those on traditional H.323 or SIP-based videoconferencing systems to join in. InterCall is offering its services as well.
In addition to all of this, there are changes that improve upon Chromebox for meetings. For more information on that and everything above, feel free to peruse through the source links below.