When comparing Hangouts vs Pocket Casts, the Slant community recommends Pocket Casts for most people. In the question“What are the best Android apps?” Pocket Casts is ranked 9th while Hangouts is ranked 41st. The most important reason people chose Pocket Casts is:
You can set a 'start from' position for a podcast to skip a set number of seconds from the beginning of an episode. Great for when you don't want to listen to an intro you've heard a couple of dozen times before. Additionally, you can also change the playback speed, to slow down fast talkers or speed up slow talkers.
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Pro Save and sync your chats across multiple devices
Start chatting on your phone, then on your computer, then on your tablet seamlessly!
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 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 Chrome browser extension
Use the extension on any computer you can run Chrome browser to text from your computer or tablet!
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 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 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 Free calls to US and Canada from anywhere in the world
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.
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 Seamless integration with OK Google for voice control and typing
Hangouts can be used completely hands free, even if the app is not open and the phone is locked: "OK Google, send a Hangouts message to Mary".
Pro Remembers playback speed & starting position
You can set a 'start from' position for a podcast to skip a set number of seconds from the beginning of an episode. Great for when you don't want to listen to an intro you've heard a couple of dozen times before.
Additionally, you can also change the playback speed, to slow down fast talkers or speed up slow talkers.
Pro Quick access to Sleep Timer
The most pleasing User Experience (UX) to set a Sleep Timer.
Activating the sleep timer will stop the podcast after a set period of time or at the End of the Episode.
Pro Vibrant aesthetics
Pocket Casts has one of the most colorful, pleasant to use interfaces.
For example, the app takes the most prominent color from the album art and colorizes the rest of the playback interface based on that color. This allows the app to stay vibrant and slightly different for each podcast.
Or the way it displays featured podcasts in a colorful mosaic made from album art, makes the whole experience of using the app pleasant.
Pro Auto download specific podcasts
You can set Pocket Casts to automatically download the latest episode of a podcast, whenever a new episode is released.
Pro Excellent, easy to use discovery system
Clicking the plus button in the top-right corner will bring you to featured podcasts. From there you can access multiple ways of finding new things to listen to such as: top charts (that can be separated in audio and video), search (that allows searching both by name and feed URL), a list of podcast networks and different podcast categories.
They also have a great selection of podcasts to choose from. The team behind Pocket Casts work hard to maintain a reliable and high quality catalog so you can avoid out of date listings, problems with raw feeds, etc.
Pro Sync with iPhone, iPad, Android
If you use Pocket Casts on more than one device, you can synchronize settings, playback positions, etc., across all your devices.
Pro Sonos integration
It is possible to connect Pocket Casts with Sonos, and play podcasts.
Pro Global and per-podcast playback settings
Enables you to set a "global" playback speed to use for all podcasts which can be over-ridden by a podcast specific playback speed.
Pro Automated playlist creation
Pocket Casts has a feature called Episode Filter, that allows automatically creating playlists based on setting such as playing states (unplayed, playing, played), status (downloaded, downloading, not downloaded), episode type (audio, video) and of course podcasts themselves.
You can also customize the appearance of the playlist with a color and an icon to help it stand out easier.
Pro Can set custom skip-forward and back timing
You can set custom "skip forward" and "skip backward" timings for easily skipping past parts of podcasts you don't like.
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 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 Is owned by Google
Google is a cooperation that earns money from collecting data and breaching privacy.
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 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 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 Buggy video calls
Whether video calls work on your device is pure lottery, and there's nothing you can do to fix it.
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.
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 API support was removed
This change closed options for integrations and connections between similar apps.
Con Not available on Windows Phones
There is no Hangouts app for the Windows Phone.
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 customer support
Free product, you're on your own.
Con Won't send SMS/MMS anymore
They removed support for sms/mms. The same goes with integration to hangouts.
Con No SMS/MMS backup
They don't have options to backup sms to cloud.
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 Cannot create custom playlists
You can not add specific podcast episodes to create a custom playlist. While you can set up "filters" to create a playlist, if you're trying to follow a thread of specific podcast episodes, you can't set that up.
Con Skip episode often does not work with CarPlay
The Skip Episode feature, to automatically mark an episode as listened to and finshed, often does not work in CarPlay mode. Instead, you have to push the "skip forward" button a lot. Good luck having a long enough stoplight for that!