Google+ refreshes Hangouts with new features and interface

Image Credit: Google

Today, Google gave its Hangouts video chat app an updated look and feel, including a new sidebar, a new tool for app interaction, and new notifications.

The biggest part of today’s announcement is the sidebar, which shows up on the left side of the screen next to your Hangout.

“The most important part of a hangout is the people in the room, so we’ve consolidated important items (like invites, chat, and apps) into a sidebar that’s there when you need it and tucked away when you don’t,” wrote Googler Amit Fulay today in a Google+ post on the news.

The sidebar also contains a list of frequently used apps and apps currently in use in the hangout. You can remove apps from your sidebar list at any time.

Finally, Google has rolled out new notifications for you to read and respond to from inside a hangout. Alerts show up in red, actions are blue, and announcements are grey.

Here’s a sneak peek:

[vb_gallery id=567476]

Google will be rolling out the changes to all Google+ users within the next of couple days, Fulay wrote.

Just a few weeks ago, the social network reached a big membership milestone: 100 million monthly active users, as well as 400 million registered users.

Google also recently introduced a new Studio Mode option for Hangouts on Air, both special features designed with Google+-using musicians in mind.


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