Mobile Tech Useful stuff

Enabling Hangouts for Google Apps users

You may have heard that Google launched a unified messaging app/service called Hangouts yesterday at Google I/O 2013. Hangouts works in Chrome as an extension as well as within Google+ (which also received a revamp). Interestingly, you can also download the Hangouts app on to your Android and iOS device too (iPhone and iPad). The result is a relatively cross-platform messaging option which requires you to be a Google+ user (a little catch).

I installed the app on my iPhone and iPad, lamented the lack of multi-account support, was corrected and then discovered I couldn’t add my Google Apps accounts (my two work accounts). I did a quick search and discovered that you need to enable this in your Apps settings first and thought I’d show you how in this post.

First, you need to enable the feature in your Apps dashboard

Step 1:

Step 2:

You then see this:

Next, open your iOS app and add your accounts

I used my iPad for this demo but the same options are available in the iPhone version. To get started, tap the gear cog in the top left of the app screen and go into your Settings.

Once in settings it is pretty easy:

You may see some other stuff in settings when you first open the Settings panel. The panel simplifies once you have added a second account (the settings that disappear from the main panel are shifted to individual account level settings).

When you add your accounts, you will need to do the following:

  1. Sign in with your username (email address) and password;
  2. If you have 2 factor authentication enabled, you will be prompted for a PIN;
  3. You will be asked for your mobile phone number (you can skip this) which is presumably associated with your account as with iMessage and WhatsApp (pick your country from the list and add your phone number);
  4. You’ll receive a one time PIN to the number you supply (if you supply a mobile phone number), enter that and proceed;
  5. You may be prompted to add a profile photo if this process activates Google+ for your Apps account.

Once complete, you have a handy drop-down to enable you to switch between accounts:

You’ll need to do this with each device (which is a bit of a pain).

Useful stuff

Inspiring photo walks as Google+ Hangouts

I realise this is a promotional video for Google+ Hangouts but what an inspiring story! It is warm fuzziness and mobile geekery all rolled up. Love it!


IPv6 and the future of social networks

This Hangout with Vint Cerf and others exploring aspects of IPv6 is really interesting and when the participants started talking about direct device to device connections I couldn’t help but wonder if IPv6 won’t, perhaps, introduce more meaningful peer to peer/mesh networks which are less dependent on central hubs and closed systems.

In other words, will Facebook and similarly closed (and partly closed) platforms become less influential and dominant in a world where software supporting IPv6 enable direct connections and sharing. It sounds like identifiers like phone numbers and email addresses could give way to IP addresses as unique identifiers.

Or I could just be talking out my butt.

By the way, if you don’t know what I am talking about, watch this:

Business and work Useful stuff Web/Tech

Hangouts, an alternative to regular client office visits

I work at a client’s offices in Fourways once a week. The idea is to be in the office working so people can discuss issues with me on an ad hoc basis and so I can touch base with my client’s management on important issues. I love being in their space, its a dynamic client and the people are terrific. The only downside is fighting my way through traffic to get there. I realised this morning that Google+ Hangouts could be an interesting way to be available to the staff and avoid the trip to Fourways (the travel time works out to about an hour in total).

The two main challenges to this are that even Hangouts are not as conducive to ad hoc discussions as being in the office in person and the other is that not everyone is using Google+. Its a thought though, perhaps as a way to cut back on the number of visits a little. Of course, going in a little later could address the traffic issue and preserve the benefits of being physically present.