We were all elated when Hangouts finally gained the ability to make direct calls and text messages on Android. But that upgrade also seems to have broken a few features on the desktop (Chrome extension) version of the service: several users started reporting that they couldn't see incoming Google Voice text messages or recorded voicemails on their laptop or desktop computers, starting on September 12th. Good news, everyone: it looks like that problem is solved.
We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issues which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, what's more immediately striking is the new visual redesign.
With the amount of smudging this post required, I feel like I've been working on classified documents. The new version of Hangouts plasters your email address absolutely everywhere. It's not an issue when using the app, but it does make for some rather swirly screenshots.
Update: Hangouts 2.3 is now rolling out to devices in stages. If you rather not wait, we can help you download it manually. And as it turns out, this Dialer just links to a tab within the new Hangouts app. It is not a separate, standalone piece of software.
Hangout's Google Voice integration is finally happening. We started seeing functionality merge into Hangouts overnight, but there remain a few kinks to work out that we're hoping an upcoming app update will fix.
There have been rumors, speculation, hints in Hangouts updates, and now finally Google Voice is being rolled into Hangouts. The Hangouts app is offering to enable Voice SMS and voicemail via a popup in the conversation list. So check your app now!
Google is continuing to shine a brighter light on Hangouts users who are currently online. A few months ago the company brought back the green dot that used to mark online contacts in the days of Google Talk (which was replaced with a subtle green line in Hangouts). Going forward, the messenger in the web version of Gmail will contain a new tab that puts online contacts at the top. It's still possible to message friends who are offline, they're just tucked at the bottom where they're out of the way.
Kiersch says (and shows) that Ultra Violet will present significant interface changes for Hangouts, including a new Chrome extension that would introduce a floating, Chat Heads-style icon on the desktop, which users could move around freely.
Once the circle is clicked, Kiersch says, the Hangouts welcome screen would appear to introduce users to the new experience.