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dave

Is there a solid desktop chat client for Google Hangouts?



I chat online a lot. Like tons! Between coordinating dinner plans with the fiancée, chatting with coworkers about technology news, and complaining to friends about my favorite baseball team, I find myself bouncing back and forth between my Gmail window and apps like Adium throughout the day.

The thing I like apps like Adium (or Trillian, Pidgin, iChat, etc...) is that I can carry on a conversation without losing focus of what I'm currently working in another window. However, I frequently find myself back in a Gmail tab, where I'll continue to carry on a conversation. The main problem is that if and when I switch back over to my third party IM client, the conversation is no longer in sync (or N'Sync if you will).

I suppose the easiest thing for me to do is to just stop using my Gmail tabs and switch over to a third party email client. But Gmail's search abilities are significantly nerfed outside of the browser. D'oh!

Anyway, I'm looking for the following IM client:
  • Supports multiple Gmail accounts
  • Conversations stay in sync between phone, browser, and IM client
  • Maybe decent logging / searching (though Gmail handles this already)?
Does anything like this exist? I have a feeling that Google has really started locking down Hangouts with their move away from XMPP.

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14 replies
HughesNet

You can pop your hangouts out of the browser tab and have them in their own window on your desktop thereby enabling you to have them up while doing other things and not having to return to the gmail tab unless something new comes in that you didn't already have floating. I don't know of any viable desktop client though no.
2 like dislike
mykro

Only problem with this is that if you inadvertently close the original gmail/google+ tab, your popped out hangout window will also die. Very annoying :(
0 like dislike
HughesNet

Not true. It will run even if you close all chrome tabs. Just install hangouts from the chrome App Store.
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flackend

Not for Mac. The only way to keep things in sync is to use the Hangouts Chrome extension. My understanding is that the Hangouts API doesn't allow for it -- like you said they have it locked down.

https:­/­/chrome.google.com­/webstore­/detail­/hangouts...
1 like dislike
nateritter

Not true... There is the Flamingo app for $9.99 on the App Store, and then there's the free way to do it described here: blog.perfectspace.com­/2014­/07­/09­/google­-hangouts­-g...
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dave

Flamingo doesn't sync conversations between Hangouts and the Flamingo client. That is to say, if you chat in Flamingo, your chats show up in GChat / Hangouts through Google Mail, etc. However, if you chat inside GChat / Hangouts in Google Mail, they aren't sync'd with your chat client (Flamingo, Adium, Trillian, etc).
0 like dislike
nateritter

Ah, that's lame. Did you try the method on the post? Fluid is mac-only, but seems to do the job you're wanting decently well. It's not perfect, but it works for me for the time being.
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Dignan17

The Hangouts app in Windows usually lives in my system tray like a separate application, but it doesn't do everything you're asking about, I don't think. Mainly the multiple GMail accounts, but I don't really know!
0 like dislike
GF

Hi dave, I have been using google hangouts extension on my mac downloaded from the chrome web store, its great.
https:­/­/chrome.google.com­/webstore­/detail­/hangouts...
0 like dislike
nateritter

There is the Flamingo app for $9.99 on the App Store, and then there's the free way to do it described here: blog.perfectspace.com­/2014­/07­/09­/google­-hangouts­-g...
0 like dislike
glebovitz

I doubt Google has any motivation to support desktops with anything other than Chrome browser. This is too bad as I doubt I will be using anything other than a laptop for work any time soon.

Chrome is problematic for me. It's performance and memory usage is horrendous. I mean, so bad that I can't use my computer for anything else during a hangout. It takes 10 seconds for a hangout to connect and the hangout freezes frequently.

Recently I've been using Skype instead. Microsoft has really optimized this application and it gives excellent performance and uses few resources.
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HughesNet

You can use Hangouts from the desktop without opening a browser if you install it from the Chrome App store. It essentially just runs in the tray.
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glebovitz

um, this is what I am doing now. It is just a Chrome running with a small window for the Hangout. If you look at the task manager Chrome is running and consuming large amounts of memory and CPU.
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HughesNet

Yes, it uses the Chrome engine to run, you are mistaken about the CPU though. It uses almost zero CPU. I can't quite speak to how much memory it uses as I also have mightytext, and a few other chrome based applications running. However, I do believe it is using LESS memory then it would if it were a stand alone application.
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