Using Hangouts video calls

Video calls expand the boundaries of your meeting. You can talk with coworkers in another location, interview external candidates, or present your big idea to the whole company: no matter where you are.

Hangouts for Google Apps provides a secure video conferencing system for use within your organization. You can quickly create video calls with up to 15 co-workers, add video calls to your Google Calendar events, and more. Google Hangouts video calling is enabled by default.

Here's a high-level overview of things you should know when using Hangouts video calls for Google Apps:

What Google Apps editions support Hangouts video calls?

Hangouts video calls are automatically on for Google Apps for Work, Government, and Education as well as Standard edition (free edition). Admins can choose to disable video calling for the domain or for organizational units within it whenever they want.

  • Business, Government, and Education editions include the following enterprise benefits (Google+ is no longer required):
    • Create a named video call.
    • Create and join a multi-way video Hangout.
    • Create a domain restricted Hangout.
    • Join Hangout by name or from g.co/hangout.
    • Hold video calls between up to 15 participants.
  • The Standard edition supports 1:1 video calls by default.  When Google+ is enabled, multi-way video calls between up to 10 people are supported.
What Google Apps services must be enabled?

To join a Hangouts video call, your organization must use a supported version of Google Apps (such as Business, Government, or Education).

The Google Apps services required for Hangouts video calling are enabled by default, so no action should be required to start using video calls. However, if you are unable to create video calls, verify that the services were not disabled for your organization or organizational unit.

  • Verify that the Talk/Hangouts service is enabled.
  • In addition, verify that voice and video calls from Hangouts are enabled for each user.  This setting is enabled by default. 
  1. Sign in to the Admin console.
  2. On the dashboard, click Apps, then click Google Apps > Talk/Hangouts > Advanced settings.
  3. In the Organizations section near the top of the page, select your domain or the organizational unit for which you want to configure settings.
  4. In the Additional Services section, select Allow users to place voice and video calls from Hangouts.

What are the device requirements for Hangouts video calls?

Hangouts video calls are automatically enabled for Google Apps users, but each user device must also meet the following requirements:

How do I start or join a video call?

See the Hangouts Help Center for everything you need to know about joining Hangouts video calls.

Hangouts for users who have Google Apps may be restricted to others within your organization.
What are "named" video calls

Video calls in Google Calendar events have customizable names that are private to your domain. External guests can join your video calls, but they must be directly invited to the event or video call.

For more information on named video calls, see our printable guide.

What happens if I choose the same video call name as another person in my domain?

If you choose the same video call name as another person in your domain, then you will join the same meeting. If martha@solarmora.com and josh@solarmora.com both create a video call named “staff-meeting”, they will join the same video call.

However, external users will only see the Hangout and participants associated with the event they were invited to. If an external participant of martha@solarmora.com's event joins “staff-meeting” first, then the external participants of josh@solarmora.com will not be able to join.

Can users in your domain be in a Hangouts video call with people outside of your domain?

Yes. Learn more.

Users can still invite external users (users outside the organization's domain) to a video call even if the administrator disables Hangouts chat outside of the domain.

See our printable guidefor more information.

What happens if I choose the same video call name as a person in a different domain?

If you choose the same video call name as a person in another domain, you are not affected. If carmen@solarmora.com and matt@cloudeasel.com both create a video call named “staff-meeting”, they will not end up the same video call.

Can guests join by telephone?

Yes. To invite users by telephone:

  1. (One-time only) Enable Google Voice in your Google Admin console.
  2. Start a Hangouts video call.
  3. Click Add Telephone and follow the onscreen prompts.

See the following for details.

Enable Google Voice

To turn on Google Voice for your organization:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console
  2. Click Apps and then Additional Google Services.

  3. On the Additional Google Services page, click filter to open your Filters. Then uncheck the Show top featured services box.
  4. Click the Google Voice service.

  5. Follow these steps to turn the service On/Off.
Invite a person using their telephone number
  1. Start a Hangouts video call.
  2. Click Add Users.
  3. Click Add telephone.

  4. Enter a telephone number and click Call.
  5. The person will be added to the video call when they answer the phone.
What additional video call features are available with a Google+ profile? Why can’t I see the video call name on my mobile device?
At this time you can only join from your Android mobile device, and the video call name is not displayed in the calendar invite.
Can I modify the video call from my mobile device?
At this time you can’t modify the video call and can only join from your Android mobile device.
Can I remove participants from video calls?
Your users can eject a user from a video call by clicking on the options menu for the person and selecting Eject. The removed participant will not be able to return unless explicitly invited in the call.
Who can remove participants from a meeting?
Users who are in the video call’s domain. If martha@solarmora.com created the video call, josh@solarmora.com will be able to eject participants from the meeting, but matt@cloudeasel.com will not be able to eject anyone.
Are 1-on-1 audio calls supported?

Initiating an audio-only call is not available. However, all participants can switch to audio-only during a Hangouts video call.

For more information for users, see the Google+ Hangouts Help Center.