We've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.
The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app. Read More
We first saw Ultraviolet, Google's Hangouts app for Chrome, back in August. Just a couple of months later, the app went live for Chrome users with an interesting new chat heads-style interface that put your Hangouts conversations on top of everything else as floating circles.
For the most part, Ultraviolet currently resembles the Android app - it's got green toolbars, and a one-at-a-time approach to viewing conversations or the conversation list. Read More
Now that Project Fi has come out into the open, we can expect to see integration for the new service popping up in a handful of Google's apps over the coming weeks. The first app to received custom support is Hangouts, which began rolling out just hours after the Project Fi website went live. This update doesn't make any changes to parts of the app we care about, but just adds some elements that come alive when a device is hooked to Google's new service. Read More
Update Wednesday hit like a ton of bricks, this week. It didn't help that it also happened to land on tax day in the United States. Not only were there new versions for about a dozen apps from Google, but a couple of new ones joined the mix. Yet again, Drive and its associated document editing apps are gracing the Teardown stage with even more new improvements on the horizon. Read More
Hangouts has recently made a habit of adding a little flair to every holiday with some Easter eggs. While most of the year you would know what I mean by Easter egg, let's be clear that I am referring to those hidden little gimmicks that you might stumble upon in software. But, this weekend, I also mean the other kind of Easter egg. Hangouts has come full circle by adding Easter eggs for Easter that are actually Easter eggs. Read More
Did you just conduct a small or elaborate prank on your friends, family members, or coworkers? If so, and if you were talking to them on Hangouts, the moment you decide to reveal your true intentions and the nature of the prank, you'll be helped by a selection of easter egg animations. That should soften the blow — potentially.
So far, we've seen a clown, a joker (or jester or fool), and an emoji disguised in eyeglasses and a mustache. Read More
Today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness. You're forgiven if you did not know this, as it's not the kind of holiday that gets folks out of school or work, nor does it involve exchanging gifts. Really, it's just about being happy and encouraging others to do the same, along with coming up with ways to eradicate poverty and establish peace on Earth.
So if you say Happy International Day of Happiness into Hangouts, a little guy will dance out from the side of the screen and strike a happy pose.
After that, he continues to dance until he disappears in the opposite direction. Read More
In what is becoming a tradition of sorts, Google is not letting an American holiday go by without a corresponding Hangouts Easter egg. When messages contain certain trigger words, users are greeted with corresponding animations to add a little spice to the conversation. Since their debut, we've seen the animated emoji people bring in the new year and celebrate Valentine's Day. Add St. Patrick's Day to the list! I've spotted three different versions so far.
Both sender and recipient should be greeted by these little leprechauns. Don't worry, the recipient won't see the animation until they open the app to read your message. Read More
OK, Google, let's have a talk. No, not the two of us. I mean, let me talk to someone else, using you. I heard you're willing to let me send Hangouts messages without opening the app now.
OK, Google, let me start over. No, no, no, that wasn't a command. Ugh, OK.
Google, send a hangouts message. Read More
Hangouts video chats are pretty good in terms of handling multiple up and down streams, but the invitation and verification system leaves a lot to be desired - there's something of a traffic jam when we start the Android Police podcast video, for example. Today Google is making that a little easier by allowing mobile users to join a Hangouts video session with a simple invitation link, instead of needing an explicit, personal invitation via the Hangouts/Google+ system.
This has been possible on a standard desktop or Chrome OS device for a few months, but now it's enabled for Android connections as well. Read More