Skip to main content

Google cuts Hangouts from your browser and pastes it to your desktop in the latest update

hey kids shut racket turn im notification sounds google hangouts new
Image used with permission by copyright holder
It used to be that Google Hangouts forced you to interact with your Web browser in order to take part in conversations — but now that’s not the case.

Not anymore, says Google. The company announced in this official blog post that Google Hangouts has been updated to appear on your desktop without being tied to your browser, just like what you see in the images above and below.

The new version of Hangouts features a minimalist design that lives on the right side of your screen. Want to start a new conversation? Click the green Hangouts icon. From there, you’ll see two tabs.

The tab on the left presents you with your friends list. Click on someone to open a new conversation. The right tab organizes your conversations by prioritizing those that have the most recent updates. Each conversation is symbolized by a circular icon that matches each user’s main Google Hangouts image.

You can also call people via voice and video as well, just like in the previous version of Hangouts.

“If you use Google Voice, the app includes complete Google Voice support, so you can make and receive calls, and get your voicemails and SMS messages directly in Hangouts,” Google Software Engineer David Levin says.

The updated Hangouts app is specific to Chrome for Windows, and Chrome OS. It’s available now.

If you already have the Hangouts extension installed, Google says that you’ll see a “promo” that asks you to give the new features a shot sometime over the next few weeks.

Editors' Recommendations

Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
Google is officially killing yet another chat app
A woman using a laptop with the Google Hangouts and Google Chat icons.

Google Hangouts is finally, really going away for everyone in November of 2022, and Google Chat is ready to step in as a full-featured replacement. Once reserved for Google Workspace subscribers, Chat generally offers more capabilities, so it's a good trade.

Every change involves learning how the new system works, and the fine details can sometimes be frustrating. Getting an early start is the best way to take control of the situation and manage the transition on your own schedule.

Read more
Update Google Chrome now to protect yourself from these severe vulnerabilities
A MacBook with Google Chrome loaded.

You might want to update Google Chrome as soon as you can, as Google has discovered some severe vulnerabilities in the web browser.

Google just issued a total of nine security fixes, covering all desktop versions of Chrome on all operating systems, with Chrome version 92.0.4515.159. The fixes were contributed by activists and external researchers.

Read more
How to update the Safari browser on your Mac
Image of new Safari features for MacOS Monterey.

Apple has been consistent in updating Safari with new features in the past years, including performance enhancements and some whopping privacy upgrades. The MacOS Monterey update is also giving its browser a new look with Safari 15, a version that includes new web code support for more advanced pages, Passkey support for the iCloud Keychain, highlights to emphasize important information, and a whole lot more.

If you don’t have automatic updates turned on or are delaying certain updates for your Mac, you may not be able to benefit from the latest features right away. The solution is to manually update Safari itself -- and fortunately, it’s quite easy to take care of. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Head to the App Store

Read more