When you need to send a quick chat message while reading an email, why should you open up a third-party app? You can use Google Hangouts within your Gmail interface right inside Shift.
Ever see something funny in an email that you just have to send to a friend you know is online? There's a way - hello, Google Hangouts! It's like Windows Live Messenger but still alive, with functional video and microphone capabilities. And you can use it directly out of your Gmail inbox within Shift without opening another tab.
Is it not everything you've been looking for and more?
Starting a Hangouts conversation in Gmail
Believe me when I say this is quicker and easier than you think. You can contact just about anyone via Google Hangouts if you have their email or phone number.
1. Launch Shift, then go to your Gmail account
2. Click the "+" next to your name
3. Input the name, email address, or phone number of the person you want to contact (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. In the popup, click "Send Invite" if you've never had a Hangouts chat with them
5. Or, enter and send your message if it's someone you've talked to before
As soon as the person has accepted your invite, you'll be able to chat away all day.
Starting a group Hangout
Starting a group hangout isn't massively different to starting just one conversation - but just in case you are a little rusty since our last tutorial, here's how to do it.
1. Open Gmail in Shift
2. Click "Chats"
3. Click the "+" or "Start a new one"
4. Hit "Start a new group"
5. Enter a group name (optional)
6. Invite who you want in the group Hangout
7. Click on the green check mark to create the group
Accessing the Hangouts app in Shift
In Shift, there's also an easy way to access the full version of Hangouts.
1. Make sure you're logged into the Gmail account you want to use
2. Click "Google Services" (the last button in the top right-hand corner)
3. ...and that's literally it
Note: Starting a meeting via Shift and Google Hangouts only takes seconds. So make sure you're camera-ready!
If you are managing multiple Gmail accounts to use Hangouts, make sure to download Shift to save yourself time!