Using Google Chat without "logging in to Chrome"



  • Ok, "logging in" to a web browser is the dumbest concept imaginable. No, Google, I don't want you to import my porn bookmarks from my home to work computer, nor do I want my work bookmarks shuttled off to my home computers where none of them will work because they're not on the right network. It's a fucking stupid idea, NOBODY WANTS THIS, STOP FORCING IT ON PEOPLE!

    So here's the question.

    How do I use Google Chat/Hangouts in its own window without "signing in" to a browser? Is there even a way?


  • BINNED

    @blakeyrat Is the specific chat interface important to you? As in, does it have to be the Google web-based one / web based in general? If not, any chat application that supports XMPP protocol should be able to connect to it still.

    Also, I'm sure there was some kind of site that offered a third-party client if it has to be web-based, but I can't remember the name...



  • @Onyx I don't fucking know, all I know is I can send this guy IMs on Gmail's little "people" window on the left. Apparently that's the Hangouts IM system? I have no idea.

    Whatever works.


  • area_pol

    @blakeyrat said:

    How do I use Google Chat/Hangouts in its own window without "signing in" to a browser? Is there even a way?

    Ignore any login window shown by chrome, open gmail.com, log in to gmail.
    Now you should be able to use gmail chat / hangouts and you should not be loggen in to chrome - in some bar in top right the account will be "Person N" and not your gmail account.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @blakeyrat I think www.ebuddy.com has Google chat. No install just sign in through their site



  • @Adynathos Right; but I reboot my browser like 6 times a day due to development stuff. I want a client that runs as an app, like Skype does.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    NOBODY WANTS THIS, STOP FORCING IT ON PEOPLE!

    I like it. Very handy.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    I think www.ebuddy.com has Google chat. No install just sign in through their site

    Sorry I should have mentioned we use Windows 7 at work. No AppStore.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @blakeyrat said:

    I want a client that runs as an app, like Skype does.

    Something like pidgin then. Non browser based, I think you just choose Google as an account type when adding an account



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Something like pidgin then.

    Way too shitty to recommend for anybody. I've actually tried that before. It's garbage.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @blakeyrat said:

    No AppStore

    Last time I used it it was messaging in the browser. Probably should have checked that, sorry



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Last time I used it it was messaging in the browser. Probably should have checked that, sorry

    I don't want it to be in the browser, so that still doesn't help me.

    ... is Google's competition for Skype just "run a browser all the time?" Seriously? They're not even TRYING?


  • BINNED

    @blakeyrat Well, I only used Pidgin, but I know you don't like it. There's a list of clients available here:

    As for the settings, I verified these parameters work in Pidgin if there's no preset in whatever client you choose:


  • kills Dumbledore

    @blakeyrat said:

    Way too shitty to recommend for anybody

    Yeah, it's not great. I used to use it instead of Spark, which was even worse but standard for internal chat at work


  • area_pol

    @blakeyrat
    Other ideas:

    Sorry for the layout, I don't know how to prevent the links getting turned into those boxes.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    ... is Google's competition for Skype just "run a browser all the time?" Seriously? They're not even TRYING?

    Some of us actually prefer the browser based apps for stuff like that, as opposed to obnoxious apps that start when you login by default. I treat apps like that as I do websites that autoplay video. I don't use them.

    Spotify can fuck off also.

    Yes, I know you can change that behavior. The point is that the default behavior is obnoxious.



  • @Adynathos Have you used either? Both are open source and based on JavaScript, so I'm guessing it's crappy-broken-shit-world.

    @All: I'm more surprised that Google Hangouts has been out this long, but Google's never bothered writing a client for it. When do all those Google engineers do all day?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @blakeyrat There used to be a client, Google Talk. I think they killed it though.

    ETA: yeah, they did: http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/02/22/google-talk-windows-will-close-tomorrow-make-room-hangouts-alternatives/#gref



  • @blakeyrat There's a checkbox buried in Chrome's settings to keep app-like things like Hangouts running even when you close the browser. It does require you to use the hangouts extension in Chrome and not just the gmail chat. Also, you can tell Chrome what to sync or not sync per computer. That way my installed extensions are synced but not my bookmarks or history between home and work. I thought it asked you the first time you logged into Chrome but maybe not. It's been a while.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @All: I'm more surprised that Google Hangouts has been out this long, but Google's never bothered writing a client for it. When do all those Google engineers do all day?

    Google is all about the browser. That they haven't built a non-browser based client doesn't surprise me at all.


  • BINNED

    @boomzilla well, they did... for Android...


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said:

    No, Google, I don't want you to import my porn bookmarks from my home to work computer,

    wait, you actually make bookmarks for those?

    i thought everyone used incognito mode and just remembered the porn sites they went to.....



  • @Yamikuronue Grump.

    For now I think I'll just use the gmail pop-out, because at least gmail opens when the browser does and it'll reappear after Chrome is closed for whatever reason.

    @Yamikuronue said:

    ETA: yeah, they did:

    That makes sense:

    We want to promote this new chat product, to that end we're making it a hell of a lot more annoying to use!

    Google marketing genius.

    @mikehurley said:

    It does require you to use the hangouts extension in Chrome and not just the gmail chat.

    Right; I tried that. It requires "signing into Chrome", which means it'll do all kinds of horrible shit I don't want. So it's not an option.

    @mikehurley said:

    Also, you can tell Chrome what to sync or not sync per computer.

    I don't care. I don't want to mix home and work browser settings. EVER. I want to opt-out of the entire concept of "signing in" to a web browser.

    @boomzilla said:

    Google is all about the browser. That they haven't built a non-browser based client doesn't surprise me at all.

    They have one in Android, iOS and even WindowsPhone. Just not actual Windows. (Looks like they canned the WinPhone version too.)



  • @mikehurley said:

    There's a checkbox buried in Chrome's settings to keep app-like things like Hangouts running even when you close the browser. It does require you to use the hangouts extension in Chrome and not just the gmail chat

    Oh, man, I totally forgot about that. They turned that on at some point without telling you that they changed the way it worked and I got angry for a while that chrome wouldn't shut down, so it would have to recover after a reboot.


  • area_pol

    @blakeyrat
    I use 2 browsers - firefox for looking at sites, chromium for being logged into gmail.
    I haven't used the other alternatives, so cannot guarantee they work.

    There was also a way to launch a "chrome application" as a separate window/program (gmail chat is considered a "chrome application", but I can't find how to do it now.



  • @Adynathos said:

    There was also a way to launch a "chrome application" as a separate window/program (gmail chat is considered a "chrome application", but I can't find how to do it now.

    AFAICT there's no way to do that without "signing in" to Chrome.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    i thought everyone used incognito mode and just remembered the porn sites they went to.....

    They only do that if they're married or have a live-in SO. :wink:



  • @blakeyrat Since your work computer is the only one you're worried about, just make sure you do the custom settings on that one. You can always try it at home to see how the configuration works so you don't risk your work setup in case we're not exactly remembering how all this works.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    When do all those Google engineers do all day?

    All day long :smiley:



  • @mikehurley I don't trust Google. Not one tiny bit. I will never "sign in" to Chrome.



  • @blakeyrat You trust them to read all of your emails but not browsing in general? I understand it's less scope technically, but really they'll probably learn just as much about you from your emails as they do your browsing.



  • @blakeyrat Do you use your personal google account on your browser at work? You can also set up multiple users in chrome so you could associate one with a work user and one that you use for your personal stuff.



  • @mikehurley said:

    @blakeyrat You trust them to read all of your emails but not browsing in general?

    If I did business over email, or was like a member of some fringe political group, I most certainly would not.

    My email's just trash and junk. That's fine.

    @mikehurley said:

    I understand it's less scope technically, but really they'll probably learn just as much about you from your emails as they do your browsing.

    I don't give a shit if they learn stuff about me. I give a shit that last time I tried using Google's cloud products it ended up deleting a bunch of my shit. (So would "signing in" to Chrome wipe out all my bookmarks? It well might! I can, and do, easily back-up email.) I also care that it doesn't port my home settings to work and vice-versa. Because they're TWO DIFFERENT COMPUTERS in ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS. At work I can turn on notifications, for example, because I don't run full-screen games. And home, I can't. There's no way to communicate subtleties like this to Google because all their products are designed by basement-dwelling aspies who have never actually interacted with human beings before.



  • @blakeyrat IIRC it asks you what data you want to sync and you can just uncheck everything.



    1. Use Firefox?
    2. Use the Google Talk desktop app OH WAIT JUST LIKE EVERY SHITTY COMPANY GOOGLE KILLED THAT
    3. Use Pidgin. It's shit, but it's simplistic shit that basically works right.


  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat Do you use your personal google account on your browser at work?

    Look, you have to understand something:

    The only reason I have "a Google account" in the FIRST PLACE is because Google FORCED ME TO GET ONE. I was perfectly happy when Gmail had its account, and YouTube had its account, and neither touched the other. If I could, I'd go back to that arrangement in a heartbeat.

    But yes, for a previous job where I had to use Hangouts for work-related stuff, I made a new Google account in a new browser. The problem is if you use the same browser, it uses some cookie sniffing or something to associate the accounts together and, again, I NEVER want my work and home account(s) mixing for ANY REASON EVER. So you have to either use incognito mode all the time or run multiple browsers all the time. It sucks.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Google's never bothered writing a client for it.

    Well the client is that web thing. Desktop apps are so passé nowadays, even things that are called 'desktop' are just standalone Chromium wrappers. And Google is pushing that stupidity hard, hence ChromeOS and background web pages and shit.

    Pidgin is not very good, but for text IM it's good enough, I'd say bite the bullet and just use that.

    @blakeyrat said:

    There's no way to communicate subtleties like this to Google because all their products are designed by basement-dwelling aspies who have never actually interacted with human beings before.

    Unfortunately all that sync and 'keep everything in the butt' bullshit is what alarmingly large portion of users actually wants. For whatever reason. Something about keeping your nude photos on all of your crappy mobile devices.



  • @CatPlusPlus said:

    Pidgin is not very good, but for text IM it's good enough, I'd say bite the bullet and just use that.

    Let me ask just one question:

    Does the Open dialog work?

    Because I'm sure as FUCK not going to use an application so fucking incompetent that it can't draw an Open dialog correctly. Like Pidgin couldn't last time I tried it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    an application so fucking incompetent that it can't draw an Open dialog correctly

    You mean like Microsoft Office?



  • @blakeyrat Why didn't you create a blakey_work account for when it was for work? Or, why wasn't that employer using google's work apps or why weren't you using whatever the employer provided? I would never use my personal google account for work stuff. I don't mind using my personal account at work, just not for work. The same for Microsoft accounts. I have one for personal and I have had one for each of my employers.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Does the Open dialog work?

    It's the GTK one, not the system one (well none of the system ones because Windows already has like 2 or 3), but it does open things.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Adynathos said:

    There was also a way to launch a "chrome application" as a separate window/program (gmail chat is considered a "chrome application", but I can't find how to do it now.

    AFAICT there's no way to do that without "signing in" to Chrome.

    Hamburger Menu > More Tools > Add to Desktop > Check "Open as window" > Add

    This creates a shortcut on your desktop that opens the website in a separate application-style Chrome window (i.e. no navigation or bookmarks bars). This doesn't require signing in to Chrome.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    You mean like Microsoft Office?

    0_1458762187191_upload-e53f668b-4efd-42f1-a254-700a5532bc8d

    Don't be a smartass, Ben L, and also don't be easily-proven wrong about shit. That is my life advice to you.



  • @mikehurley said:

    @blakeyrat Why didn't you create a blakey_work account for when it was for work?

    I created a blakey_companyname account. Because I don't want my jobs mixing either. But that's neither here nor there.

    Right now I need to use my personal gmail account to chat with this guy, and I'm just looking for a Skype-like client to do it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Because I'm sure as FUCK not going to use an application so fucking incompetent that it can't draw an Open dialog correctly.

    TRWTF is anyone ever trying to help you even when you ask.



  • @Choonster said:

    This creates a shortcut on your desktop that opens the website in a separate application-style Chrome window (i.e. no navigation or bookmarks bars). This doesn't require signing in to Chrome.

    Right; but Google Hangouts isn't a website, it's a browser extension. So either I'm confused or you are.



  • @blakeyrat Here's a screenshot of the current sync settings you can choose in Chrome. My home computers have the "everything"/default option selected in the picker box up top. This screenshot is what I have configured at work.

    0_1458762274208_upload-484e21e4-0fc9-479c-b3de-e059fcea351a



  • @blakeyrat You mean I just imagined the only version of Microsoft Office I've used in the last 5 years?



  • @ben_lubar How did you manage to disable the Browse button?



  • @blakeyrat that's not my screenshot. I'm not named Diane.


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