Us Chrome users tend to have a preference for using Google services, including Google+ Hangouts. For those who use Chromebooks much of the time, Hangouts is actually the best of VERY FEW video chatting options. This is why it’s great to hear that it just became much better with 720p HD video support and performance improvements.
This is actually a very silent update Google has been rolling out over the last few weeks, and the update process should be completed soon. The luckiest of you may have already noticed the improvements without even knowing they were coming, but don’t be upset if you didn’t. It’s not really meant to be an update everyone can directly notice.
Google is transitioning to the VP8 video codec (from H.264), allowing the video quality to reach 720p HD. This feat was previously impossible due to the H.264 codec’s lack of processing power. It simply could not handle 720p video from 10 sources. Over all, you should simply notice the video being better and the performance much smoother. “It will be cleaner, better video”, says Google’s Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew.
Performance is great, but there is a little more Google is accomplishing with this update. VP8 allows Google to utilize WebRTC, a technology you see being mentioned very often around here. It allows for video/sound communications via browser, without the need of any extra plugins.
This transition makes Google an its service much more autonomous. The idea is to have Google’s services available to everyone – without problems and hassles. This update to Google+ Hangouts reaches out to that goal while making our video experience better. I am game, are you? Have any of you noticed any improvements to Hangouts lately?