Hangouts Updated With New Bandwidth Slider, and Audio Only Mode

February 7, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Today, Google updated their hangouts feature that’s found over on Google+ (you know that so-called ghost town?). Of course this isn’t really Android news, but many of our readers are on Google+ and about 55,000 people have circled us on Google+ so it’s still a big deal. Now we already know that Google wants to make their products available to everyone no matter where they are located. With one of the new features added to Hangouts today, you can adjust your bandwidth. You know have a slider that can improve your experience based on your bandwidth capabilities.

This is what Googler Tim Blasi sad about this new feature today:

Today we’re excited to launch two new features that improve the Hangouts experience in areas with low and/or unreliable connectivity:

1) Audio-only mode. Choose this mode to send and receive audio only, and thus, significantly reduce your bandwidth requirements. Other participants will only see your profile picture, but they’ll hear you loud and clear.

2) Bandwidth slider. At the top right of every hangout is a new slider that lets you adjust your bandwidth preferences in real-time — from high, all the way to audio-only. This makes it easier to keep hangouts going, even in areas with poor connectivity.

Both of these features are coming your way today but they’re rolling out separately so you may see one before you see the other. Very soon both features will be available to everyone, so give ’em a try and let us know what you think! Thanks for your patience.

Google also added an audio-only mode. With this new mode, now anyone can join the hangout. Even if they are on mobile, which has been hard to join on because of signal strength. But audio can speed to you quickly, though, and take up less bandwidth as well. This is especially good for those that are on capped data plans.


Google also launched Hangouts in India yesterday. So quite a bit of hangouts news this week. Let us know in the comments below what you think of these new features from Google for Hangouts. How often do you use Hangouts?