Online statuses now appear in Hangouts on Gmail



Something that’s annoyed a lot of users since Google Talk became Google Hangouts is the scattered contacts list. Google’s fixed that, by having friends who are online shown first, followed by those who aren’t. You can also pin your favorite contacts to the top so you can easily communicate with them. Still, you can message offline contacts of course, and they’ll get the message the next time they check Hangouts. 

Source: +Gmail

Google testing Ultra Violet “chat heads” for Hangouts on desktop

google hangouts ultra violet

Google is reportedly working on a new feature for the desktop version of Hangouts that will make chatting a much better experience for users. This new feature is called “Ultra Violet” and will allow you to set up floating conversations that you can move around your screen, as opposed to just having minimized tabs like we do now.

The circles float around like Facebook’s famous “chat heads” and expand into a full conversation when clicked. Whenever a new conversation starts, another chat head is added to the row below the current conversations, which makes it easy to keep track of which conversations are currently active.
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Google scoops up smart IM client Emu


Google latest acquisition is the instant messaging company, Emu, that left beta status earlier this year. Emu set itself apart from other messaging services by allowing users to use voice controls to do things like set calendar appointments and other tasks, not unlike a Google Now or Siri. Not only that, but Emu used contextual information from the conversations you were having to make recommendations on things like restaurants or places of interest that you might enjoy. 
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Google Hangouts made more business-friendly with latest changes

google_hangoutsGoogle really wants businesses to use Hangouts for video chat, but the problem is that there are so many different alternatives with different features. Google is trying to get a leg up, by announcing that anyone with a Google account can now enter a video Hangout, regardless of whether or not the user has a Google+ profile. In addition, another big change is that up to 15 Google Apps users can be part of an HD Hangout.

In addition to those two big changes, there are numerous other updates, including additional markets for the Chromebox for meetings hardware, and increased customer support. They are outlined in the source link below.

Source: Google Enterprise Blog

You can now make Google Voice calls through Hangouts on your computer, all without a Google+ profile


We already know that Google has been working for a while now on completely migrating the functions of Google Voice into Hangouts, so that it can merge most of its communication apps into one (besides Gmail).

We’re getting closer to that reality now, as Google has added support for making phone calls via Hangouts from the Google Voice website — and you don’t even need Google+.

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Google rolling out updates to a range of apps including Drive and Hangouts


We all know that apps, and especially from Google, take a very long time to have everyone updated to the same version. A multitude of Google’s apps are being updated in the form of a staged rollout. The apps included are Chrome Beta, Drive, Hangouts, My Tracks, and Translate.

Hit the break for a brief description of each update along with download links.
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Google Search will allow you to make calls to businesses through Hangouts

google search call hangouts

Google has added a very useful feature into desktop search that will make getting in touch with businesses much easier. Now whenever you look up a place online, whether that’s a retail store or a restaurant, you’ll be able to click to call that business directly from the search results page. The call is placed through Google Hangouts and is completely free inside the US. International calls will cost a small fee.

It’s a not a huge feature, but it’s still a very useful tweak to have.

source: Mayur Kamat
via: The Next Web

Google releases Hangouts plug-in for Microsoft Outlook users


Google has released a new plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that will allow Outlook users to jump in and out of Hangouts calls, as long as they have a Google Apps account. They can join existing Hangouts as well as start new Hangouts from a newly added button in Outlook’s menu.

Pretty handy for users that run into cross-platform issues. You can check out the plug-in at the link below.

source: Google