Google+ hangouts on the iPad are a great way to video chat. There is no Google+ Hangouts app for the iPad, but there is an easy way to join a hangout from the iPad.
Google Hangouts are a central part of the Google+ social network, allowing users to video chat across devices and notebooks, without the Apple only restrictions of FaceTime.
While there is no Google+ iPad app, the Google+ iPhone app runs great on the iPad and looks good in 2X mode on the new iPad’s Retina Display.
In fact, the iPad is good enough that I’m now using the iPad as my primary Google+ hangout device.
How To Use Google+ Hangouts on the iPad
In order use Google Hangouts on the iPad, users need to download the Google+ iPhone application, which is free.
It is not possible to start a Google+ Hangout on the iPad, so users will need at least one participant to start the hangout on a computer and invite multiple users to the hangout.
Once invited to a Google+ Hangout the iPad will push a notification or show that there is a notification in the iPad app.
Tap Join hangout to begin the video call.
The next screen allows users to turn the camera off, switch between front and rear cameras and mute the mic.
When ready tap Hang out, and the hangout will start. Check out the video of a Google+ Hangout on the iPad below to see the Hangout in action.
Google+ Hangouts on the iPad work on WiFi, 3G and 4G, but 3G is too slow for good video performance. I recommend using a Bluetooth headset or a wired headset for better audio quality. The iPad’s speaker is loud enough, but the microphone only delivers average sound to the person on the other end of the Hangout.
The Google+ app doesn’t work with Google Hangouts with Extras on the iPad, so make sure the inviting party starts a regular hangout.
Hopefully Google will release a Google+ iPad app with full Google+ Hangout support, including Hangouts with Extras (even if iPad users only see videos) and the ability to start a Hangout. Because users don’t need a specific device and support for multiple users, I prefer Hangouts to FaceTime.