Google Hangouts has finally gotten its on standalone website, away from Google+, Gmail or Inbox. Located at http://hangouts.google.com, the new Hangouts app has the same features that users love – the ability to chat and place voice and video calls. The design is also nicer now with the usage of photography from Google+ users.
Google Hangouts On A Dedicated Website
The website is cleanly laid out with the contacts list on the left, open chats at the bottom, big clickable buttons for quick video, voice or messaging and the love-it-or-hate-it hamburger menu which houses app download links, settings and links to switch between the communication features. All of this is beautified with high quality photography. All the photos have links to their sources at the bottom right, similar to how Bing mentions the sources of images on their home page.
If you have already been using Google Hangouts, you would not find anything else new here apart from a bit of material design touches here and there. The integration with mobile apps is the same as before and Google’s paid calls to landlines/mobile numbers also works as expected. However, this becomes the fourth place on the Internet (or third if you count Gmail/Inbox as one) where you can use Hangouts. Taking a page from Facebook’s book, Google seems to have provided an option here to use its messaging platform as a standalone product on the web. Not to forget, you can already use Hangouts as a desktop/browser app in Google Chrome
Google has also recently refreshed its Android app to be as the same design and features level as its iOS counter part. If you are an Android user, you should go ahead and update it to take advantage of the material design and updates.