Google Hangouts

Should I Pay for Google Voice?

Google Voice

Episode 1585

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

Gary wants to know if it's worth buying the G Suite from Google. Leo says it makes a lot of sense for companies, but for $10 a month, Gary won't get anything new. Google is replacing Google Hangouts with Meet and Chat, so he may have the opportunity to use that. It also offers Google Voice for new users. Look around. Check out Grasshopper, Mighty Call, or Line2. Leo uses Ring Central. 

Gary also found out that PlayOn, his DVR service online, is going up to $50 a month. Leo recommends YouTube TV as PlayOn requests a password apparently to access some services to record to the DVR.

What's an Alternative to Google Hangouts?


Episode 1576

Ron from New Jersey

Roger uses Google Hangouts and hears that it will be going away soon. Leo says it will be going away for business users, but if he's a Google Fi user, he can still do Hangouts. What Google wants is for everyone to use a new service called RCS. The downside is that there's no iOS version, it's very limited, and you can't have phone calls into the conversation. Hangouts could do all of that, so keep using Hangouts while you can.

How can I make Google Voice my default text messaging app?

Google Hangouts

Episode 1445

Nathan from Grand Rapids, MI

Nathan made "the switch" from the iPhone to the Google Pixel 2. He couldn't be happier. Leo says it's a great phone. Nathan ported his number to Google Voice, and it works great on his old number. But can he make Google Voice the default messaging app? Leo says no. He can make Google Hangouts his default messenger, and it'll show up in Google Voice. It'll even work on iOS.

How can I teach kids online?

Episode 1290

Ken from Rochester, NY

Ken is a teacher who uses Camtasia Studio to record all his class lessons online for his students. He's tried Blab.IM and YouTube Live. Leo says that Google Hangouts is also good. They use something called WebRT which allows him to share a link for a larger number of people to watch, while having up to 10 people participating. He can also have a chatroom. Afterwards, it gets saved automatically to YouTube. It can also be watched on mobile. Hangouts is the best way to go here.

What's a good camcorder for video podcasting?

Canon Vixia HF

Episode 1288

Isaiah from San Bernadino, CA

Isaiah has a video podcast and he's looking for a better camera with which to shoot not only in his studio, but also on location. Leo says that camcorders are on their way out, but they're still around. He'll want one that has live video out (via HDMI is best) that he can then connect to his PC (the HDMI port has to be on his PC as well). It really comes down to how much he'll want to spend, and if he already has a still camera, then chances are he already has a camera to do the job.

How can I have people text me without my phone number?

Episode 1278

John from New Jersey

John is a DJ for weddings and clubs. He's looking for software that would allow clients to text him without knowing his real number. Leo says that there were some products that don't work anymore, but getting a Google Voice account would work perfectly. They could text the Google Voice number and he can set it up to forward it to his mobile phone.