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.
A single SMS message is generally limited to 160 characters, which gives it the potential to be a very concise means of communication. If, however, you feel that the point of your message will be hard to convey in such small snippets, Hangouts has a feature for you.
Hangouts allows users to specify a subject for SMS messages. Simply hold the send button for a moment, and a subject box will appear as shown below.
Google buys a lot of companies, and the deals don't always make a lot of sense from the outside. However, the acquisition of messaging client Emu totally jives with Google's priorities lately. Emu uses context clues in your messages to automate actions—sound familiar?
Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products.
Google began its transition to Hangouts as a universal messaging platform a little over a year ago, but true SMS integration didn't arrive until much more recently. To encourage use of Hangouts, the company offered forwarding of Hangouts messages via SMS in select countries, but now that's going away as of tomorrow.
It looks like Hangouts on the web is learning a new trick. Some users are reporting that Hangouts can now sketch a message, drawing with a variety of brush widths and colors on a little scratchpad, which is sent to the user on the other end of the conversation as an image. To sketch, users need only hover over the camera icon, click on the pencil icon that appears, then draw away.
That Hangouts update from yesterday has one more trick up its sleeve, and it's an interesting one. Google has opted to change the behavior when you tap on a contact photo so it no longer tosses you to Google+, but opens a contact card like most other areas of the system.
You didn't think you'd get through an update Wednesday without a new Google app APK, did you? Hangouts is getting a version bump today from 2.1.100 to 2.1.223. Despite the small version number change, there are a few new things of note going on.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
Group chats can get confusing, especially if you've got a bunch of big talkers in the thread. If you need to get someone's attention in Hangouts, there's a handy little trick for doing it. Just long-press on the user's avatar and you get an @name reply.