When comparing invi vs Hangouts, the Slant community recommends Hangouts for most people. In the question“What are the best messaging apps for Android?” Hangouts is ranked 2nd while invi is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Hangouts is:
If you have signed in your Google account, Hangouts allows making video calls with up to 10 people or one-on-one. There are business, education and government solutions that increase the participant count to for video calls to 15 as well as offers support for those accounts. Additionally, you can switch between using either the front-facing or rear-facing camera on your phone or tablet.
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Pro Beautiful Interface
The apps design has a level of care and detail put into it that is rare on Android apps. The home screen is not only beautiful, but shows useful information such as the last message sent, and the status of the person.
The messaging interface itself is very clean and useful. As well as the conversation history it tells you if the recipient has read your last message, is currently reading the conversation or is replying. This makes conversations in invi very fluid as you always know the status of the recipient.
Pro Automatically switches between SMS and IM
invi automatically detects if you're talking to someone who's on invi, and switches between SMS and IM automatically to accommodate. That way, you get fully-featured chats when you're talking to someone who has invi, but you also get a beautiful, seamless experience when simply sending SMS messages.
Pro Makes it easy and fun to share stuff
invi makes sharing easy and fun - great to enrich conversations with stuff like YouTube clips, photos, games, web articles etc.
Pro Uses phone numbers for contacts
Invi uses your contacts phone numbers, not a app specific username or email address. This has pros and cons. On the upside it's very simple to get started as it automatically adds all your contacts who have invi installed, and if you text someone who doesn't have invi it will simply go to their normal inbox. This makes it very easy to integrate invi into your existing workflow.
On the downside you cannot chat to someone if you don't have their number (gchat friends for example).
Pro Share and consume rich media without leaving the app
The killer feature of invi is the ability to consume media in the app. For example if someone sends you a link to a Youtube video invi automatically turns it into a playable widget.
Not only can you view the media in the app, but you can also discuss the videos, photos etc while they are playing.
Pro Certain apps can be used in split screen
A collection of apps can be used in split screen view with the messenger. These are apps designed or ported specifically for invi. Some of the apps included allow browsing sites like reddit, 9gag, buzzfeed or playing games like 2048 while using the app.
Pro Group video support
If you have signed in your Google account, Hangouts allows making video calls with up to 10 people or one-on-one. There are business, education and government solutions that increase the participant count to for video calls to 15 as well as offers support for those accounts.
Additionally, you can switch between using either the front-facing or rear-facing camera on your phone or tablet.
Pro Free and cross-platform
Google offers all features of Hangouts completely free on iOS, Android and web with quick and reliable sync across all platforms. It's also tightly integrated in other Google services - it can be accessed from services such as Gmail, Google+, Chrome.
While the standard Hangouts offering is completely free, there are business, education and government solutions that increase the participant count to for video calls to 15 and offers support that may cost money.
Pro Excellent read receipts in group chat
It's possible to know what each and every participant of the group has read. Their icons are displayed below the last message.
Pro Save and sync your chats across multiple devices
Start chatting on your phone, then on your computer, then on your tablet seamlessly!
Pro Google Voice integration
Google Voice is a service that enables making and receiving free phone calls within US. Google Voice forwards incoming calls to all connected devices and allows placing calls from any of the connected devices, but they will show as coming from the Google Voice number.
Hangouts completely integrates Google Voice, allowing you to place calls and receive texts and voicemail from all of your devices. The Hangouts app for Android also includes a needed dialer for making calls with the users Google Voice number.
Pro No need to create a separate account if you use any other Google service
Hangouts uses Google account credentials. If you use any other Google service, then you already have an account set up.
Pro Can share animated GIFs
If you have gifs in your mobile phone, you can share them in the conversation and your partner will be able to see it animated in the chat.
Pro Free calls to US and Canada from anywhere in the world
Pro Video tools
Hangouts can add different effects and overlays to video calls that can be viewed on your device. Unfortunately, they can't be set from your phone.
Pro Chrome browser extension
Use the extension on any computer you can run Chrome browser to text from your computer or tablet!
Pro Advanced status sharing
Hangouts can inform about the status of other users including what device they are currently using, whether they are in the middle of a call and when were they last seen. This allows making sure that you're not disturbing someone when initiating a conversation. It's possible to granularly turn off status sharing.
Con Registration difficult for those without a phone #
For those that do not want to share their phone number or just do not have one to share, registration for invi can not be done. This means the app cannot be registered on a tablet or media device (like an iPOD touch) unless there is a number to give, of which neither of those devices when used by themselves have.
Con No group chat
Con Early in development
This app still has some rough edges and missing features (like group chat).
Con Android only
The many features cannot be used with people who aren't on Android, and you cannot login from the web.
Con Lack of end to end encryption
Communications are encrypted between client and Google servers but not from sending client to receiving client. This means that there is still a possibility for someone other than the receiver to read your message if they have access to internal Google servers. But it allows also lightweight chat history search, spam protection and other features.
Con Transitioning to corporate orientation
Google is turning Hangouts in to a Slack competitor. It's unclear what the future of Hangouts is, but Google has said the consumer Hangouts we now have 'isn't going anywhere.'
Con No way to moderate groups
If a member of a group chat room becomes disruptive, or there's some other need, there's no way in Hangouts to remove somebody from an existing chatroom. Similarly, if somebody is no longer active, there's no way to remove that user from the chat room to make slot for new active members.
Con Poor interface
The app tends to lag, the design can be confusing and considering that another app has to be installed that supplies another icon in the home screen in order to get a dialer for calls in Hangouts, overall it is very confusing and cluttered.
Con Not available on Windows Phones
There is no Hangouts app for the Windows Phone.
Con Poorly manages data
Doesn't cache images well either received or sent. Often users will see the sent images re-downloading, same for conversations.
Con Doesn't support sending voice notes or video recordings
Currently there is no built in function that supports creating and sending voice notes or video recordings.
Con No rich text editing
On Android you can receive messages with bold or italic text. However, you cannot bold or italicize text on Android, only on iOS devices or via the web interface.
Con SMS messages sent from the web app can't be sent outside North America
SMS messages sent from the web app can only be sent to number in America and Canada - sending to foreign numbers won't work, although you can still receive texts from anywhere.
Con Poor indication of who's online
There is no way to find out if a person in your contact's list is online or not in the Android app.