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I recently transitioned to Safari because I'm really tired of how Chrome hogs memory and drains my battery like crazy. The only thing that has been keeping the Chrome icon open is the Hangouts plugin. Basically, I am looking for the lightest way to run Hangouts on my Mac. By light, I mean the least amount of RAM usage, and preferably a way to do it without Chrome open/light version of Chrome that only opens extensions. Any suggestions?

EDIT: Another thing I noticed was that Hangouts ignores your default browser if links are sent to you by chat, and when clicked they open in Chrome. My question doesn't relate to this at all, but I found it interesting...

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There's Flamingo, but it costs $10 :(

The description says:

Flamingo is a beautiful, native instant messaging client for OS X that supports Hangouts/Gtalk, Facebook, and XMPP.

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  MariusMatutiae Dec 11 '13 at 13:48
Flamingo does not support group chatting, which basically kills the concept of Google Hangouts. –  Alvaro Lourenço Feb 12 at 15:41

Personally, I run Chromium only for Hangouts.

I am on Linux and don't know if it works well on Mac but I think you can try: - I have installed Chromium - I have installed the Hangouts extension from the Chrome web store - I have allowed apps to run in background in chromium settings (Advanced section) - I have logged in Hangouts - Totally close Chromium, including systray icon - Launch chromium with command line

chromium-browser --no-startup-window &

I have no browser window, only the Hangout extension window/popup.


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also would be nice for other chrome exclusives like chromecast –  Devin G Rhode Oct 17 '14 at 7:10

There's currently no way to go about this, as Google doesn't publish the APIs. As such, there are currently no third-party software that can interact with Hangouts.

From Wikipedia:

In "Hangouts Won’t Hangout With Other Messaging Vendors", reporter Matt Landis noted that Google dropped support for XMPP (the protocol that allowed Google Talk to interoperate with other vendors and applications) the day after Microsoft added one-way XMPP support to www.outlook.com.

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Maybe not even third party software, but the lightest build of Chrome possible that will use as little background memory... –  jadengore Oct 23 '13 at 21:47
@jadengore Have you tried the Chromium nightly builds? Free Open Source Software Mac User Group offers direct downloads and directions on how to use them. freesmug.org/chromium –  happy_soil Oct 23 '13 at 21:59

I found this link: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_ which will start Google Hangouts in any browser. Can't remember where I found it.

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That doesn't start Hangouts, it starts a Hangout. If you're trying to stay available to other people via Hangouts this will not work. –  William Everett Feb 26 at 23:22

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