Google’s multi-platform messaging app Hangouts received a major redesign today. Windows and Chrome OS users now get Facebook-like “Chat Heads” that can be dragged around the screen. It’s much easier to read and minimize messages than with the old chat windows.
This offers more flexibility than the old Hangouts extension for desktop. You’ll still need to download a Chrome extension but the app can run without Chrome being launched. This means you can use the Hangouts app in conjunction with other browsers like Firefox. Links received in Hangouts will open in your default browser.
The updated Hangouts app also supports voice calling from your desktop. It even integrates Google Voice so you can receive your text messages and transcribed voicemails in their own chat windows.
If you’re already using Hangouts, you’ll be prompted to update over the next few weeks. Or you can just download it now at the link below.
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