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We are launching another way to use Hangouts today.  From our new site you'll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day. Check it out and let us know what you think.

https://hangouts.google.com 
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134 comments
 
Can we set the background image, or it is what it is? Will it anchor all convos to the bottom of the Chrome window, or will there be an option to put them higher up without making them their own windows?
 
Now we need access to it through that menu in the right corner. =).
 
Ummmm?.... Why this, when everything else (Android, Chrome, etc.) is still feeling so ignored, and broken? Is nobody there managing priorities, or "the big picture?"
 
+Joe Morrison and if you uninstall the desktop app, they go in the exact same place on the bottom of your chrome window...
 
I see SMS in this screenshot. My SMS aren't showing up. How can I make them appear?
 
+Joe Morrison this is meant for people who don't want to use the desktop app. If you are on hangouts.google.com, have the chrome extension installed, and the chrome hangouts app installed, all incoming notifications are routed through the chrome hangouts app. That is perfect. Why would you want multiple interfaces for the same thing from the same device? you can pick the one you like.
 
+Ara Wagoner​ darn. That would make sense. I'm on Verizon so I can only use Voice's Voicemail service.
 
Hangouts is terrible.  No mms messages will load from people that use iphones and sometimes android.  Why is it so worthless?
 
+Joe Morrison You don't need to uninstall it, you can just exit the app or the extension. This is the exact same behavior that Gmail and Google+ use. If you click on a convo there, and have the app/extension running, it opens the convo in the app/extension. This isn't anything new/
 
Not sure why they have a hamburger button and three-dot button that lead to the same menu.
 
Why are +Opera users told they are not supported?
 
+Joe Morrison Yeah, this is pretty much just a nice simple location for people to use who can't install the extension/app. I feel a lot of businesses will be using this page that have restrictions on company laptops.
 
Something I've been clamoring for, for awhile!  It's a good start, but if I had to suggest anything, it'd be to make the contact list less...formidable?  It's just a block of white opaqueness which takes up a good chunk of the left side of the screen.
 
+Jordanna Chord Strange as I saw the same bug a few years ago with Gmail & Google + same error

Thanks for the fast reply, hope they fix it soon
 
Now it seems like it only allows access from desktop browsers and shows an error page from mobile. At least show a landing page that directs you to mobile app downloads
 
+Tunping Wang There is an error on ios which will be fixed asap to have the app open when you navigate to this page. Android directs the users to the installed app too. (since the installed app is a better mobile experience on those two platforms)
 
I'd love it if there were a way to discover all the video hangouts, public and private, that were taking place at any given time, that I had access to. It would be like the early days of G+, and would revitalize enthusiasm in the platform.
 
+Christian Müller it's an incredible strategy. This website is for people that want to use hangouts outside of chrome. You can just tell your friend to go to hangouts.google.com

And the website, chrome extension, and app are all integrated well so if you are using all three, everything correctly flows to the chrome app.
 
Hangouts needed its own website, but this is a very poor design.
 
As someone who uses HO/HOAs multiple times a day, all I can say +Jordanna Chord is that recent moves by Google seem to be brilliant ... just what's needed to move the ball forward. 

It will be fun to check back in six months (an eternity in internet time) to see what the new landscape looks like.

Any chance HOAs will have a new public portal and/or new interface?
 
Nice!, but we also really need an option to kick users from group chat (please, please, please...) :) 
 
Kinda wish the chat windows can be displayed as a large panel next to the conversation list instead of the old tiny ones that stick out from the bottom. Popping out the chat windows isn't the same either. overall I love this and have high hopes for it
 
I agree with +George Cohn - the discovery in Hangouts used to be good (in the days when Hangouts was just Video), but since the integration of text hangouts, it's been difficult to discover public hangouts, and even HoAs take more clicks than is needed to list them.

A lot of people who used to be active on Hangouts seem to be moving across to Blab at the moment, mainly because (IMO) of the discovery tools. You could take a few leaves out of their book.
 
+Keith Milner , you seem to be right that a lot of hangout people are checking out Blab, which at least for now is only public (and therefore of limited utility).

The main advantage of Blab, as I see it, is that it is drop jaw easy to use.

Honestly? I think Google would be wise to deploy a "drop jaw easy" version of its "hangout video chat" and even "hangouts on air" services. My 2-cents worth. :-)
 
+Scott Scowcroft +Keith Milner You know blab runs on webRTC right -- and who created the webRTC open source project in May 2011.. yes Google did and who runs it now -- the Google Chrome team .. so in my view google do have it covered by opening up the service free for al like appear.in and blab etc..
 
+Jordanna Chord Serious question, why isn't there a Hangouts Android App Beta Google+ Group? Then we can actually help you test your apps before release. Chrome does it really well, why not Hangouts? 
 
+Mike Downes Of course I know that, and it's great that Google gave WebRTC to the world.

But Hangouts (as a service) used to be a lot like Blab in the early days, and in many ways was better. But a lot of that seems to have been taken away over the years and I think that's a shame.

Of course it could be argued that Hangouts is evolving into a different tool, with a different market, but I think there's a real danger that Blab (and similar) are pulling users away from Hangouts.
 
+Mike Downes , no I didn't realize blab runs on webRTC, but was vaguely aware that Google was behind webRTC, open source and all.  Thanks for the added clarification and added information. 

For those of us who'd like to see the world be able to operate seamlessly from within Google, what do you think about the idea of a blab-like HO-lite or HOA-lite, Mike?
 
+Jordanna Chord thanks! I hope this is a start. I was expecting it to work like https://web.whatsapp.com/ although I despise WhatsApp, I have to admit their web interface is the best so far. I didn't expect to go all the way to https://hangouts.google.com and click on a chat conversation just to get my Chat window opened in my Hangouts extension/app I already installed. I'd go to https://hangouts.google.com to get the chat conversation going in the webpage itself like in https://web.whatsapp.com/. While you are there, I hope you could convince Google to grab http://www.hangouts.com/ domain too!
 
+Scott Scowcroft video hangouts when connected to LIve at YouTube becomes a very different animal compared to the simplicity that is blab or appear.in ..  Look for the new launch of YouTube gaming as that will have an easier way for creators to broadcast live (as well as gamers) at: https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard .. OMG i have just got it !!

+Keith Milner I know you know that and I know you were there at day one... i also think hangouts are SO google apps private now that public has just gone away -- bit like looking for public emails, none at all .. / yes totally -- as a hangouts tester, we have video just a tiny part now...
 
having some screen space and then just these small chat windows on the bottom of the screen totally not made in material design? Feeling bad that even whatsapp web has a more consistent UI.
 
Why? I'm not trying to be snarky, I seriously want to know why. All of Google's products, with the exception of Google Apps, have felt so far off task for the last year it's crazy. Is this a shift to getting the old Google back? Is this simply a situation of all those people who used to work on G+ just being bored and having to justify their paychecks? 

Google used to address problems and conquer them. Now they seem to be creating problems by addressing non problems with redundant apps/services in triplicate. Psst... come here. Closer. Closer. Okay, here is a secret. The Holy Trinity does NOT APPLY TO TECH! ;P

So, when I ask why, it's not to be an ass about it, It is because I have most of my tech life tied up in Google products and services and honestly, Google's lack of focus is scaring the crap out of me. How can I trust  Google will have my assets at heart when I pour them onto your servers?

Listen, we all invest huge sums of time, thought and creative juices using +Google services so that you can advertise to us, thus supporting those services. But at this point I do not feel I can trust Google to take anything they are not making a direct cash injection from seriously. How many more services have to get gutted in the name of streamlining? You people do understand that if you keep streamlining everything eventually you just have a line, right? Have you ever tried using and enjoying a simple line? It's not much fun. Hell, it can't be that bad, I keep telling myself. At least I can play connect the streamlined dots. But wait, you folks have streamlined out the dots as well. I DON'T WANT GOOGLE LINES! ;)

Anywho, keep up the good interesting work.
 
Can we please get support for chrome notification banners for new incoming messages and the "online contacts" tab in Hangouts for Google Inbox?
 
+Jordanna Chord It looks good but it seems that the space could be better utilized. The chat windows are identical to how they are used in other google properties but seem somewhat dated. Instead of the background image, it would be better to expand the active text box to encompass this area and blow up the text size depending on the aspect ratio and screen size. More visible, more modern. For an example of what I mean, look at the Any.do entry UI on the web client.

Also, when are we going to see the desktop SMS integration shown in I/O 2014?
 
Is it possible to get these wallpapers via an api? If would be an awesome collection for other apps independent developers create.
 
Do you still need a google account to use hangouts? This is a deal breaker for using in business settings. Can't expect everyone to be a google user or force them to create a google account to use hangouts video. 
 
+Kumaran Thillainadarajah how is that different to any other messaging platform? You have to know who the participants are in order to quickly generate meetings.

Gotomeeting gets around it but isn't as easy. You have to send a code which then requires you add your info when you log in 
 
+Graham Scholton it's not very professional to send a hangouts invite to a client or potential customer and then expect them to be am existing user or ask them to create an account. It would be nice to allow people to participate as a guest 
 
+Graham Scholton SMS is already available on desktop; type in a number and you'll get an option to send an SMS.
 
It doesnt work on Android browser so what is the point? I can just load it on Google+
 
+Amircito Gonzalez That logic makes no sense. That is like saying, why would I use it in the android chrome browser when I can just load the app?

The point is that this is something users have wanted for a while. I think it is quite rough in its current state but it just launched. Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger currently have better dedicated sites but I welcome it if they add features.
 
+Michael Bond My apologies. I think it was even as far back as 2013.

http://www.geek.com/android/at-long-last-google-announces-sms-for-hangouts-1575493/

Here is a mention of it. My memory on the subject is a bit foggy. Long time ago.

"Each of these features will operate with mobile devices and the desktop browser experience just as seamlessly as the rest of the service. Receiving an SMS in Hangouts will show up just like all other messages, with a tiny icon next to the photo of the sender that lets you know where the message came from."

I personally don't see why it is so difficult. Just have your phone convert the sms message to a hangout on receipt, push to the browser using GCM, then when you respond it goes back to your phone, is converted back to sms, and sent to the recipient.
 
+Jordanna Chord​ when can we expect you guys to integrate hangouts into the Android OS? You guys have a face time competitor right under your noses, but instead we have to have a fragmented experience. What version of Android will it happen? 7.0? 8.0?
 
+Jordanna Chord​​​​​ Congratulations on the site. Only two issues that I don't like:

1. Background image. It's pretty, but pretty distracting. But I keep gmail plain, too and hate those photo themes, so I'd like an option in settings to remove background images.

2. Inconsistency The screen menu above background photo shows video, but default side menu only shows icons for calls and text which is confusing. The side menu default should show the same video, call, text sequence for consistency. Since each option gives a search/contact pop-up, the contact icon could move to overflow menu, as in Inbox by Gmail.

Fun new design. I use Hangout on Chromebook, so I'll probably continue to use the app vs this site, but at least there is an option for others.
 
+Hunter Hubers for me, in the settings (available in top-left drop-down menu) is an option which reads, "Receive SMS and Voicemail in Hangouts". When checked, contacts in the Phone Call view have an SMS option next to the phone option.
 
+Michael Bond the article specifically mentioned feature parity between mobile and desktop Web.

As far as overlap with Google voice, you need to think of the rest of the world. I am in Canada and we can't get Google voice as it is a US exclusive. I wish we had it but I feel the CRTC likely blocked it. Ironic since the underlying tech came from Grand Central which was a Canadian company and offered service in Canada.

With that said, the technical challenges should not be that difficult. Apple was able to do it with imessage. Not being able to do it on iOS isn't Google's problem as iOS doesn't have support for third party sms. 
 
Looking good. Would love to have a recording ability if this is right place to cry.
 
+胡萬心 known issue.... its being worked on.

didnt know people actually use opera!
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How does one get his/her photo publish in the Hangout background?
 
+Jordanna Chord will it be possible to do hangouts to hangouts voice-only calls from desktop? On mobile it is already implemented.
 
why. the windows for the chat are so ... urghs.
you don't need a hole website to have this little chat windows in the right corner.
this could be much better.
 
+Mahasish Shome search is a feature I miss... Its in gmail on desktop/laptop/chromeos is you get desperate but it would be awesome to have on mobile too
 
+Adrian Chapmanlaw at home I use the extension but on work I don't want to install extensions and I use firefox on my windows work-pc. So the extension is no option.
actually I use hangouts in g+ or on my phone.

I don't need a extra webpage for hangouts but I know that some people could need one.

I don't unerstand why google make an extra page and then open there the same chatwindow like everywhere else.
 
This is broken. Clicking on the videocall takes one to another window (Looks very similar to former hangouts which used to come bundled with +Google+ ). Once we hangup, the window closes, erminating the hangouts.google.com session. There is no way we can go back to the original window!.
 
A tiny chat window pops-up in bottom right corner of screen while everything in middle is empty! Chat interface could have been made a lot better, take a look at whatsapp web interface for example.
 
+Mahasish Shome Thanks. But that is possible only if the window remains open. Ending the video call closes the window.
 
Jordanna Chord ,i have only one this to say and that is "nothing beats old Gtalk app" . Why isn't Google thinking of revamping the old app and why has it created google hangouts is still the users question. We all know , hangouts doesnt really work like Gtalk . Users want it back . and the link is broken and doesnt work .
 
+Britt Amtower That is not true. I get mms messages/photos from iPhone users all the time.
 
My issue: I have a tabs open in Chrome for Gmail, Google+, and (now) Hangouts, I get the chat window popping up in all three tabs. If I'm going to have a dedicated Hangouts tab now, I want all Hangouts activity confined to that tab and not cluttering up Gmail and Google+.
 
Also, the little yellow laughing dude who shows up in Hangouts in the gmail tab doesn't appear on the Hangouts site when I type:

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Sad. I miss him.
 
That's nice, but maybe  you could also create a standalone product that would let you chat with people without having to have a browser open. And as long as it was hooked into Google maybe it could let you know that you had new GMail by popping up a notification in the corner of your desktop.

Oh wait, you already had such a thing. It was called GTalk, and it was incredibly useful! Until you killed it.
 
Instead of making another browser-centric app or service that basically just duplicates existing functionality, how about engineering something useful? Why don't you bring back the dedicated, stand-alone desktop app that used to be available for Google Chat that everyone loved. Discontinuing that product and forcing everyone to use the crappy browser extension, or worse yet, the app version of Google Hangouts, was one the worst decisions Google has made recently. The Google Chat app was simple to use, had a small memory footprint, could be minimized to the system tray, and best of all, didn't require an instance of Chrome running. 
 
I've been using Opera Browser for about 2 years now and your new Hangout does not seem to be supported by my Browser, will this be rectified anytime soon?
 
I would really love the ability to close chat Hangouts in G+ but still have them open in Inbox or GMail. It's really annoying have the same chat windows open on different web sites. Especially if I minimize it or close it in one, it's still open in the other. If I Sign Out of Hangouts in any web interface, it signs out of them all. This is very frustrating.

Edit: Exactly what +Mark Palmberg said.
 
At least now the memory that Gmail and G+ uses can be freed if we only want to do hangouts.  

Can we please get the ability to search by hangout title or participant for group hangouts?  This is crippling when using hangouts for large teams with hundreds of subgroups.
 
I don't think, it is required to make it complete new web site for Hangout, the chat popup is the old one only, nothing as impressive.
707947
 
hi Jordana...when using the site I get a blank pop up and nothing looks active or live... this is in South East Asia I am at... 
 
I just tried to access the hangouts website twice from Safari on my iPhone and got 500 status code error. What is going on?
 
Where are my SMS???  I use Google Voice with Sprint, up until yesterday I could see all my SMS in GMail and in my Hangouts Chrome Extension.  Now in my Gmail I can only see email hangouts and in my Chrome Extension I can't see anything.
While you're at it, let's add MMS to hangouts!
 
I ask you to stop displaying images on the background of this page.
You can let users choose the background.
 
Where did the Hangouts icon go in the new Google+ interface.  It was hard enough finding it in Google+.  Why isn't it listed in the standalone / launcher apps??? 
 
I'd like Hangouts to be an option on the apps menu please
 
go to the chrome store and there is a hangouts extension. Add it and it works pretty good. Better than having to go to Google+ and then launch from there.
 
Ok, but how would all my non-gmail Google+ contacts know this. All they know is that the Hangouts double-quotes icon is gone.
 
this extension is for chrome users.  the Hangouts double quotes icon you are used to seeing still shows in chrome up right next to the settings icon (three lines in top right).  It just looks like the green quote bubble.
 
This is just a quick way to get to your existing hangout conversations.  If you are looking to start a new one I guess just have to go to hangouts.google.com
 
Plus was my standard home screen until hangouts was removed. Feed+chat = good. Whatever, just another "buzz" now that will DIE IN A FIRE.
 
Omygooness!! What I'm the world are you talking about I thought Google hangs out was very good and hear you trying to tell me it's not! Please expand this to me so I can get this phone started and go on with my business are.don't you ever forget that...your Friend Always Rose Yost Dolan....
 
removing the chat from the google+ interface is a terrible idea. I really enjoy everything else about the new g+ but without easy access to the chat I will definitely continue using the classic version. 
 
I use Google Hangouts from my pages. Like our company page. You have made it extremely difficult to FIND google hangouts for G+ Pages now...

 
Unfortunately, the integration with G+ is a major reason why I use Hangouts. Stripping it out makes both G+ and Hangouts less useful. I will probably leave Google except for email when the classic G+ goes away, and thus what's left of G+ Hangout integration.
 
I HATE this new Google hangouts - I can only have one chat box open at a time and every time someone comments in another chat box it opens even if I'm in the process of typing in the first one, completely interrupting my flow. HATE IT!
 
Why the hell did you do this?
 
Where did the Hangouts extension go on the Chromebook? Now it takes extra clicks. And only one window at a time? Puerile. Stoopit. Chromebook is not as good as I had hoped. Too bad.

 
so bad.... No hangouts no new g+... simply as that!
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