Google+ Hangouts: nicer to look at, easier to use

Today we're excited to launch some visual and functional updates to Google+ Hangouts on the desktop, including:

1. A sidebar you can show or hide. 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.

2. Clean, colorful notifications. Alerts now appear in red, actions in blue, and announcements in grey, making it easier to read and respond to notifications while you're inside the hangout.

3. Apps that are easier to find and manage. The sidebar contains your frequently-used apps, as well as other ones active in the hangout. And you can also remove apps from the sidebar at any time.

Enjoy hanging out with today's update, and let us know what you think in the comments! (And don’t worry if you don't see the changes yet -- we're rolling them out in the next day or so.)

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