Connecting with HP Envy 23- How to Screenshare in Google Hangouts and more
Most people have experimented with Skype, Google Hangouts, or even HP MyRoom to keep in touch with family and friends far away. HP gave me and my friend Tobey the tools that make it easy for us to video chat on a regular basis. Tobey has been my dear friend for nearly 20 years when our kids were babies and we met at a Mommy and Me “class.” Our kids are college age and working but we remain close. In the last couple months we’ve been able to be see each other using video calling which has made it easier to be “part” of” each other’s lives again despite the distance.
Yes, a lot of computers have webcams, but my HP Envy23 Touchsmart All-in-one and Tobey’s HP ENVY h8-1520t Desktop PC, HP Pavilion 23xi 23-inch Diagonal IPS LED Backlit Monitor , and HP HD-5210 Webcam are high definition cameras which makes a huge difference over the webcams of just a few years ago. When we talk on the HP computers, it really is like being in the room with each other as we can see details with smooth video.
There are a couple of features that make video calling even better. The first is Skype’s video message. When Tobey wasn’t around on her birthday last week, I left her this video message: (note, I took the video while it was recording…the actual message showed the letters and words correctly)
Google Hangout is the other video calling app that I like to use. For those who haven’t tried it, Google Hangout is similar to Skype. Download the Google Hangout plugin for the Google Chrome web browser (you may need to download Google Chrome first and use it to visit websites). Click on the link “available for your computer.” Click on the downloaded file to install.
Hangouts will run in the background and a pop-up will show when someone is calling you. Or, if you want to make a call, there will either be an green dialog bubble (like a comic strip) icon in the top of your Chrome toolbar, or you can find it by clicking on the double arrows at the top right corner of the Chrome window (the arrows appear when you have too many Chrome extension add-ons to fit in window), and finding Google Hangouts.
You can add several people easily by clicking on each person in your contact list and adding them to a video call. It’s easier to start with one person (like when I called Tobey) and add others once you are in the Hangout.
The cool feature in Google Hangout is Screensharing. A press of a button allows you let the other person see what you are doing on your desktop. This is handy when you want to help (or get help from) the other person(s) in the Hangout. The other people in the Hangout will see your desktop and you can still hear them. I was able to help Tobey get into a couple of apps and see what she was doing.
The video here shows us having some fun as I watched Tobey and her daughter show me how to play the Free Flow game by using Screenshare in Google Hangout. You’ll see us find our way through the process for the first time. Remember that when you use screenshare, you have to navigate to another window in the desktop and minimize the Hangout window.
Whether you are connecting with far-away friends or family , keeping in touch with a child that has just gone off to college or moved away from home, or getting together to play a game each week, you’ll want quality cameras and computers that make it easy to use. Remember if you can’t figure out how to do it and you want help with your computer, consider using a SmartFriend.