Oct 9th, 2014

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]