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How to Enable the New Hangouts Functionality in Google Apps

2 minute read

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I’m really excited about Hangouts, the new unified messaging experience that works across all devices, from Chrome to mobile (iOS and Android) to tablet to Chrome OS.

But, just like any update, there are some important things to take into consideration before enabling this new service for your organization’s Google Apps domain.

First, I’ll detail some of the things to keep in mind before enabling this, and second, I’ll show you how to enable it in the Admin Panel.

How Hangouts works for different scenarios in Google Apps

New Hangouts for Google Apps Customers - Scenario Grid

Other Considerations

1. This replaces Google Talk on your users’ Android phones. If they use Talk heavily, you should consult with them first and run a test.

2. This update will NOT affect users who access Google Talk via 3rd-party clients (like Adium). The new Hangouts system does not sit on the XMPP protocol, so I expected that once I turned Hangouts for my domain, users would no longer be able to use 3rd-party clients to access Google Talk. This is actually not the case (we’ve tested it), but, you should warn users and be extra alert to any complaints about Google Talk not working.

3. You can enable the new Hangouts service on an OU level, so it’s best to enable this for a testers group before rolling it out to more users.

4. There are a number of disclaimers that pop up before you enable the service. You can view these in your own admin panel, but here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see:

Lots of “current issues” to take into consideration.

How to Enable Hangouts for your Google Apps domain

If you’re still on the old admin panel, you need to navigate to Settings > Talk:

If you’re on the new admin panel, you’ll navigate to Google Apps > Settings for Talk > Advanced Settings:

 

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