Share this Story

Tip: Manually Turn on Hangouts in Gmail With This Trick

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 1.36.26 PM

Google mentioned during its unveiling of Hangouts that it would gradually rollout to Gmail over the coming weeks, but if you’d like to turn it on immediately, you can do that today. All you need to do is sign-in to your Gmail account, login to Google Talk in the left sidebar, click on the image associated with your Talk account, and then tap the “Try the new Hangouts” option that appears at the top of the list.

Bam! Enjoy.

*Note – This trick does not seem to be working in Google Apps accounts, online Gmail.

Via:  reddit

Cheers Leo!

  • F00B4R

    Tried to upgrade to a new Hangouts and now I can’t sign in to it or revert back to the old chat interface, does anyone know how to fix this?

  • F00B4R

    Tried to upgrade to a new Hangouts and now I can’t sign in to it or revert back to the old chat interface, does anyone know how to fix this?

  • JC

    tried it. not a fan. if i have notifications on, i get the ding every time a chat is sent. and the browser tab with gmail shows who the chat is from.

    if i turn off notifications, i don’t get the ding, but i also don’t get tab notification. how do i turn off the sound, but not the tab notification. i can’t be having the dinging all the time.

  • Biggins82786

    When are they going to roll Talk/Hangouts and G+ Messenger together?! I hate having to go back and forth and back and forth.

  • jeradc

    How is this a trick?

  • Jeff

    For Google Apps, it did not stick the first time I tried it. However, it DID work the second time.

  • Panky

    its not a trick dude…:P it’s been mentioned in Google’s product page…

  • This disables phone dialing.

  • SubMatrix

    Honestly if they added in the status colors like Talk (green for online, red for busy, etc) and then gave the option to sort by who is actively online it would be acceptable. This way you still get the features of a traditional IM client and the features of the new SMS like Hangouts app.

  • Funny how we are on a droid fan website and the screen shot shows the person using an Apple product. =/

    • Android is mobile, so it’s not bad that the desktop/Laptop of choice is an Apple product (Pixel is rather new and Chrome OS still isn’t fully fleshed out). Now if the screenshot was from an iPhone then we could grab the pitchforks…

    • pm c

      you don’t have a clue mate

  • Andrew DeFaria

    There is no Try the new Hangouts when I click on my image.

  • Harry

    This works with Google Apps accounts provided that the Google Apps admin has the account on the rapid release track and not the regular one

  • Mark Castle

    I have the free edition of Google Apps for Business and it seems to be working fine. It could be that their administrators don’t have the rapid release schedule enabled.

  • Daniel Rosseau

    I just did it and when my wife called my GVoice number, my computer started ringing along with my desk phone and laptop. I don’t think GVoice integration is too far off.

    • Same here, but that’s been a feature for along time (Google Voice to Google Talk)

    • brkshr

      Same here, just happened. It said I was getting a video call though. Then my phone started ringing.

    • Addison Todd

      Same. It’s not “voice” though, that’s why it shows up video, I think.

  • Jake Bantz

    I had to turn off any labs related to chat. I had the “little green robot” turned on to show which contacts are on Android. Turned that off, and then I had the option shown above.

  • Can’t see who’s online…like the old talk better IMO

    • Jon

      Yes you can…just press the + button at the top from the main Hangouts screen. Now to those that haven’t used an app like WhatsApp…this may be weird to you to not see everyone. But Googles thinking is more in line with SMS. It doesn’t prioritize people, but rather it prioritizes the conversation. So just like in your SMS app…when you first use it…it doesn’t show anything…until you start having conversations. Then it will list your conversation threads. This is the same way.

      It list converstion threads, but if you want to see the list of all of your peeps online like Gtalk, then simply press the + button from the main screen.

      This really is better, you just have to get used to it.

      • Doesn’t do this on my device. Just shows six random people as images, and “Frequently Contacted” is literally my whole address book in alphabetical order…so frustrating. I’ve literally never chatted with three of the six images they show. :-

        • Jon

          But you can also just start typing the persons name up top just under where it says New Hangout from this screen. Once you have a few chats…it will get your frequently contacted right again.

      • I don’t see a plus sign to see who’s online in the GMail chat window

        • Jon

          Sorry…when I was speaking of the plus sign, I was referencing the app for phones and tablets. But….in the Gmail app, when you see a green underline underneath the contacts icon, you know that they will receive your message right away…or in otherwords, that they are online and available.

          but again, this is a bit different that Gtalk. It really is in a fundamental way different…and it’s going to take a bit of getting used to the difference. Think of Google Hangouts as a mix between text and instant message. When you send someone a text, you don’t know they are available and will read your text right away. Well Hangouts is like text in that way, except that it does actually show you with the green line underneath (in the gmail window). It also makes it clear where in the message the other person has actually read up to. So there’s no more guessing as to whether or not they actually read or received your message.

          If they happen to be there and attentive, it will feel just like a Gtalk conversation, but if not, they will still get the message when they get around to it.

          • None of the people online are prioritized on the list. The top 10 are offline 🙁

    • Seriously, this is killing me. It basically made Hangouts useless. Why do I want to chat with someone who’s offline? Isn’t that just e-mail?

      • Jon

        But I think the point is that….this paradigm you’ve come to expect has simply changed. People are ALWAYS connected now. Think about sending an SMS…you don’t think if they are online or question whether they will get it. You just send the message, and the other person gets back to you when they can.

        This is the same thing. Of course they probably see it right away, and at least you will know with Hangouts if they do or don’t see your message regardless of whether or not they were instantly available at the moment (basically happening to be using hangouts app).

        But think about it, just because Google Talk says someone is there (with the green light), doesn’t mean they are actually available or disposed now does it? It may make you feel better that the light is green, but they could be busy, they could not give a damn and not reply to you, they could have left their phone in the car and are out all day at the beach.

        So that is an old paradigm that doesn’t really benefit anyone. The new way is truly a more user friendly and meaningful indication of when a person is truly instantly available (AKA looking at Google Hangouts either in the app on mobile, or in the gmail screen online).

        • This is true for DL readers, but not for the majority of my friends. I want to know when my wife is online so I can chat with her, otherwise I’ll just SMS her and chat asynchronously.

          It’s a good point, but doesn’t apply for the use-cases I’d used Talk for. 🙁

          • jacob

            when google eventually integrates SMS, it will do all of those things within the same app…

      • Addison Todd

        If they have Hangouts, they’re essentially never offline, because it would go to the app.

      • Glorified e-mail/text messaging..

    • Droidzilla

      Green bar under the person’s avatar. Did you take the 20 second tutorial?

      • Yes green bar , yellow bar , red bar under avatar can show you whether your buddy is online , idle or busy .

        • Not true. I can see only green bars. No orange, no red. Although I know that some of my contacts are idle. Another thing: on the android app .. nothing. just the contact picture is a little faded when then contact is not “green”.

      • but it doesn’t show the online contacts at the top

  • Ryan Cota

    Wonder if they will roll this out to Google Drive, we use it in Group Collaboration on documents shared between personal accounts. Right now it still has the old Talk UI.

  • Once again they get rid of the phone calling ability.

    • Jeff Lewis

      Yeah that’s what I noticed when I switched to hangouts, the little phone icon was gone.

    • Neomastermind

      It was the first thing I noticed and I immediately switched back. I hardly ever use it, but it does come in handy on those rare occasions.

    • Matt Galyon

      I’ve been frustrated by this too since I use google voice / talk as my business phone.

      From the G+ Community manager in a comment to a question on their G+ page:

      “this first version of Hangouts doesn’t support outbound voice calls to mobile phone numbers, but calls into your Google Voice number can be answered in Hangouts. Future versions of Hangouts will support outgoing calls along with other Google Voice

      • I work for my father in our family owned business and everyone in the company used Google Voice for our business calls. I’m just worried how they’ll take it when they force the Gmail update on us.

  • Inquizitor

    I do hate how they seem to hide online/offline status. That’s still important to chatting, and facebook messenger has it even with the conversation view

  • Anyway to hide all my G+ contacts from the app?

  • Be wary. Hangouts makes it *a lot* harder to call a damn phone number.

  • Joshua Patrick

    Okay now integrate sms/mms now please want to replace my messaging app for good!

  • huskerhog

    I don’t see that option either.

  • One thing to know, this doesn’t seem to work with the Right-Side Chat option in Labs, which is annoying. Hopefully they’ll fix this soon, because that’s a great feature!

    • I take that back, it does! You just have to turn it off, turn on Hangouts, and then turn it back on again.

      • Caleb Martin

        It was there for me without turning off Right-Side Chat. However, that option was not there for me yesterday when I was trying to find a way to enable Hangouts.

  • None of my friends are being shown as online (no green bar under their display pics). Personally I don’t like online/offline statuses as it is, but when you say that it works, then it should work.

    • It only shows a green bar if they are both online, and set to available, and not idle. If they are idle / not in the app no green bar.

    • Jon

      Matt is correct. It only shows green when basically the person will for sure get the message instantly. Now if the screen is asleep, or they are looking at another app, or whatever it may be….then it will not show green.

      but…why worry about this? When you send a text…do you worry if the other person is “online”? So just send the message, you can always check back later and see if Hangouts shows the person has actually seen and read the message, something you can’t do on Text or google talk.

      Truth of the matter, just like email, it doesn’t really matter if the person is immediately available. The will certainly get the message eventually.

  • Mine doesn’t have that either.

  • Cheers! Anyone know how to hide all the people pulled from Circles instead of just people in my Contacts?

    • Addison Todd

      This is one thing that’s annoying. I don’t think I’d ever want to start a group chat with a circle, which it looks like you can do. Isn’t that what Google+ is for?

      • MentatYP

        They’re trying to streamline and combine everything. I can eventually see Hangouts and + functionality completely integrated.

        Besides, starting a group chat with a Google+ circle makes complete sense. You might have some sports watching friends, or maybe a book reading club circle. I can see a lot of situations where you’d want to chat with a recurring group.

  • Neither mine, nor my wifes account has that.

    • Well, It showed up on mine a few minutes later…still nothing on the wifes though.

  • Don White

    Hate hangout. Went back to talk

    • sc0rch3d

      been using it the last 3 days testing with my wife. it has replaced text messaging so far. plus i’m happy that we can put pictures in the convo b/c we both are GVoice users.

      also…one huge advantage is that Google+ stores the pictures you put in Hangouts in its own separate album. that way you never worry about saving them onto the phone or losing them.

      • Jon

        Plus you can tell when someone has actually read your message. Very useful in many situations to know if that message even got through. Also you can send links via the share function from other apps…I could never do that with the Gtalk app which was so annoying. Also you can now do group chats, and group video chats. Looks like they added spell checking too…which I think was absent before for some reason.

        Once they integrate SMS, this app will really kick ass.

        • The fact that it shows when someone has read something has been my favorite feature. So many of my friends are always shown as online/available on Skype but wont respond to my messages for hours because they aren’t actually on and just left the computer running. This way I can actually see if my friends are getting the messages.

          • Jon

            Yeah it’s one of those things that is a double edged sword. I won’t have any excuse to tell my wife now when I don’t answer her! On the other hand, there are times I didn’t get important messages, and now the other person will at least know that I have not received the message.

          • Ben Taylor

            I can see messages in my notification panel, but it doesn’t mark it as read until I open the app/click the notification…

    • Same here man its horrible. Also went back to talk.

  • Daniel

    I just hope that even once gMail switches over to using Hangouts that they will continue support for XMPP connections to the gTalk server via 3rd party clients such as Pidgin or Adium or Trillian etc

    • James H

      An exclusive from The Verge revealed that “Google had to make the difficult decision to drop the very ‘open’ XMPP standard that it helped pioneer.”

    • Jon

      Nope. They have publicly stated they have stopped support for XMPP with hangouts. Google talk will continue to have XMPP support, but not with hangouts. There is a video on the Verge about Google Hangouts where a Google Rep says so on video.

      I think this new functionality of mixing SMS with chat, breaks this compatibility somehow. Maybe Google can simply start a new standard for folks to get behind going forward, if for some reason the old standard was found lacking.