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How to Use Hangouts on the Nexus 7 Tablet

One of the ways that you can fool your Nexus 7 tablet into acting more like a phone is to use the app called Hangouts. It does text chat and video chat. The only downside to the app is that you can communicate only with your friends who have Google accounts.

The Hangouts app is a reincarnation of the Google Talk app. Most of the things you could do on Google Talk can be done by using Hangouts instead.

How to use the Hangouts app on the Nexus 7 tablet

Start the Hangouts app by locating it either on the Favorites bar on the Home screen or on the All apps screen. If you have more than one Google account, you may be asked to choose which account to use when the app first starts.

Previous conversations are shown on the left side of the main screen. The right side shows either a conversation or your list of contacts. If you don’t see the contacts, touch the plus button in the upper-right part of the screen.

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The Hangouts app listens for incoming conversation requests, or you can start your own. You can even do other things on the tablet, and you’ll be alerted via notification of an impending Hangout request.

To sign out of the app, which means you won’t receive any notifications, touch the Menu icon in the upper-right part of the screen. Choose Settings and then choose Sign Out. Touch OK to quit.

  • When using the Nexus 7 in the vertical orientation, you need to swipe the left and right side of the screen to fully see the previous conversations or contacts list.

  • Conversations are archived in the Hangouts app. To peruse a previous text chat, choose it from the list on the left. Video calls aren’t archived, but you can review when the call took place and with whom.

  • To remove a previous conversation, long-press it. Touch the Trash icon that appears atop the screen.

  • Your friends can be on a computer or mobile device to use Hangouts; it doesn’t matter which. But they must have a camera available to enable video chat.

How to have typed Hangout conversations on the Nexus 7 tablet

The most basic form of communication in the Hangouts app is text-chatting. This term refers to typing at another person, which is probably one of the oldest forms of communications on the Internet. It’s also the most tedious.

You start text-chatting by obeying these steps:

  1. Touch a contact in the Contacts list.

    If you want to chat with several friends, keep selecting them. Selected friends show a check mark icon over their account name or image.

    To deselect a contact, touch that person’s account icon again.

  2. Choose Message from the bottom of the screen.

  3. Type your message.

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  4. Touch the Send button to send your comment.

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    The Send button replaces the Photo button when you type a message.

You type, your friend types, and so on until you grow tired or the tablet’s battery dies.

When you’re chatting, or “hanging out,” with a group, everyone in the group receives the message.

Resume any conversation by choosing that same contact from the Previous Conversations list.

Adding more people to the hangout is always possible: During a chat, touch the Menu icon and choose the New Group Hangout command. Touch a friend (only available friends are listed) to invite that person in.

When someone sends you a text message by using the Hangouts app, a notification appears, similar to what’s shown in the margin. Choose that notification to review the message and begin a conversation.

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How to video chat with Nexus 7 Hangout

Take the conversation up a notch by touching the Video icon on the right side of the text-chat window. When you do, your friend receives a pop-up invite. Touch the Answer button to begin talking.

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In an ongoing video chat, the person you’re talking with appears in the big window; you’re in the smaller window. Other video chat participants appear at the bottom of the screen as well.

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The onscreen controls (in the upper-right corner) may vanish after a second; touch the screen to see the controls again.

To end the conversation, touch the Exit button. Well, say “Goodbye” first and then touch the button.

  • When you’re nude or just ugly enough that you don’t want to video-chat, touch the Decline button for the video chat invite. Then choose that contact and reply with a text message or voice chat instead.

  • Use the Speaker icon to choose how to listen when you video-chat. You can choose to use the tablet’s speaker, headphones, and so on.

  • When video-chatting with multiple contacts, choose a contact from the bottom of the screen to see them in a larger format in the center of the screen.

  • The Nexus 7’s front-facing camera is at the top center when the tablet is held vertically. If you want to make eye contact, look directly into the camera, though when you do, you can’t see the other video chat participants.

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