Call me using your computer!

Phone calls are great, but sometimes it is better to actually see each other, and share monitor desktops together without driving across town or flying across the country!  We can use Google Hangouts to create a video conference between your computer and mine!

I prefer Google Hangouts because you do not have to install any software on your computer, and you can use any Internet connection you can find! You’ll have to either a laptop or desktop PC and Hangouts works with either Apple and Windows.

Here’s how:

Required: GMail.com account for Google, webcam, microphone, speakers

Procedure:

  • Open a browser.
    • I use Chrome because both Chrome and Hangouts are Google applications
    • I have successfully used Windows Internet Explorer and Firefox
    • I have not been successful using the Edge browser that comes with Windows 10 ~ I haven’t tried very hard because I have 3 other options that I know will work.
  • Log into Gmail or your Google account page.
  • Launch Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
    Hangoust1
  • Click on Video Call, and look for the pop-up window.Hangoust2(You can see that my gmail address is RickJaggers@….)
  • Invite someone by entering their GMAIL address and click “Invite.”

 

It really is this easy!


Use Your Laptop

If you have a fairly new laptop, it probably has built-in speakers, microphone, and webcam. The following items are optional (Not required with your laptop, but useful):

  • A second (external) video monitor.
  • External speakers, depending on volume and quality of the built-in speakers.

 

Use Your PC

If you have a desktop PC, either a Windows PC or an Apple PC, then you need to add speakers, microphone and camera.

  • (Minimum) Speakers and Microphone
    [Or] headset with microphone
  • (Optional, but recommended) Speakers, Microphone, and Web cam
  • (Best) Speakers, and Web cam with built-in Microphone
    • I’ve had great success with the following Logitech webcams. They all have built-in microphones:
      • Logitech C310 – bought from Best Buy over a year ago. ($35/Best Buy, $32/Amazon)
      • Logitech C270 – I bought it on sale at Best Buy in July for $19.99 – Amazon.com ($25)
      • Logitech C615 – ($37/Best Buy, $37/Amazon) This looked attractive for both price and capabilities. I bought one in August.
  • The speakers I’ve always had. I’ve also had an external microphone for several years.

 

Thanks, BTW, to Adam Lopez for teaching me this skill!