New Hangouts for Chrome OS and Windows app can work independently of a browser [VIDEO]


Google has just announced a new upgrade for Google Hangouts that folks on Windows and Chrome OS will no doubt get a kick out of. The upgrade brings a few cool new features, particularly for those who don’t fancy having to open a browser to chat with friends and family.

For starters, you can now use the app independently. It opens as a neat looking out-of-the-way widget on your desktop and will show you notifications for incoming Hangouts messages and calls. You can move the widget wherever you want to make sure it’s never in the way.

hangouts desktop

The app also enables voice calling to any phone in the world as we’ve already been enjoying with the Hangouts Dialer app on Android. With that you’ll also get Google Voice integration if you’re still using that service for messages and voicemail.

Note that this app is different from the Hangouts for Chrome extension you’ve probably been using to this point. The download is already here so give it a try as soon as you can if this is something you’ve been waiting for. Find a quick demo of the update in action above.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. The “download is already here” link just links to an article about the HTC Cyclops phone.

    1. The first time a McAfee report was actually legit o_O

    2. It did the same thing for me when I was opening this via Feedly. I tried opening in an original window and it popped me right over to the correct site.

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  2. On my Mac computer, for a while, I have used “MailTab” and it is my Gmail, Gtalk (now hangouts), and the ability to make and place calls all from the top menu bar via Voice. When I am done, it just fades out until I need it again and I hover over it, it opens, and I can use Hangouts or Gmail or make a call with Voice.

  3. Been using the hangouts chrome extension for about a hundred years.

    1. He’s not talking about the chrome extension. He’s talking about the program separate from the browser so that you don’t need to start up chrome. But still I have had that ability for some time now. Not a long time but still not new.

  4. Hmm, I just tried it out, and it looks cool, but I think I will be sticking with the extension for now.

    I cannot deal with that icon staying always on top on my screen. I managed to find the settings where you can disable always-on-top, but then when you receive a message it will not pop up over your current window (this is on Windows 7).

  5. I was looking forwards to an app that separated itself from chrome as mentioned in the article, but sadly it’s not true. It works the same way the previous chrome extension with it’s “background chrome” or whatever flag set (I disabled it long ago). If you ‘open it separate from chrome’ it still opens chrome, including every tab you had open in the background, it just hides the windows until you click the chrome icon. Also, closing chrome will still close all hangouts windows that were open at the time.

    The new onscreen menu is still nice, and you can ‘pin’ chats so they automatically re-open though, so I’ll be sticking to the new version for now.

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  7. I don’t like it at all. always on top list of contacts is dumb. I have some windows opened and I don’t need conversations to overlap content I am working with! All I needed is better conversation windows management.

    They should just fire half of the team and hire new guys!

  8. I don like (windows), that it always stays in my task bar, which it can minimize to the notificaiton area. with chrome extension, at least i can close it from the taskbar area, and it will still notify me when new messages come in

    1. Yeah, it’s half assed. But this is Google, we are their lab rats :) I don’t need the bubble BS. I don’t care if it sits in my task bar but I don’t want both and you CANNOT disable the stupid little circle thing.

  9. I’ve been using this on Ubuntu for months. They basically brought back the desktop messenger.

  10. Its a Chrome app depend on chrome. not a separate app. Its good for the chrome OS but not for windows.

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