Another "I don't quite understand what is going on in Google Hangouts" type of question....

So - when I view Hangouts via my Android app (running under KitKat), my girlfriend's status is ALWAYS shown as online (green speech bubble next to her picture), even when she is not online.

Conversely, if at the same time I log into my GMail account, her status is shown as NOT online (no green line under her name). How can she be both online and offline!!?

What the hell is going on here?! Has anyone else had this issue?

  • Google Hangouts is a little odd. It doesn't really have a concept of online/offline. It just knows about conversations you've had with other people. If you send a message to someone who's not "online" it'll still reach them. If you call but they don't answer it doesn't mean they're not "there". It is a bit weird, and you're not the first person to wonder about it. (There's more than a few questions here as well as Web Applications on this topic.)
    – ale
    Jan 20, 2014 at 21:45
  • Not to mention, in the Android app you can set whether people can see your "status", while you can't do that with the Gmail Hangouts app. (And if she's still using Google Talk instead, well, then all bets are off.)
    – ale
    Jan 20, 2014 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Once you sign-in to the Google Hangouts app in an Android device, you will always appear online until you sign-out of the app. Shutting down the phone, or even uninstalling the app won't do it. I'm not sure why she appears offline in Gmail.

  • But why is the status different between gmail and the app? One says my girlfriend is online whilst the other says she is offline.... Its very confusing!
    – ccbunney
    Jan 20, 2014 at 23:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .