Technology with attitude

Google Hangouts 4.0 – An Early Look at What is Coming on Android and iOS Devices

1

Google Hangouts has been receiving quite a number of updates, but in a very gradual manner. Last year, the app was updated with new colors as the app dumped gray in favor of green.

During this period, there was little to talk about the new material design concept from Google. This update was Google Hangouts 2.3. The application has been receiving a few updates from time to time and as of now, the current version of Hangouts 3.3, which is available for free download from the official Google Play Store and iTunes App Store for Android and iPhone users respectively.  As it stands, many users of the current version are not quite contented with this interface, for instance, there is a no-use contacts tab, a messy drawer as well as a non-standard toolbar, just to mention but a few of the complaints the users have been raising in the recent past.

As it seems, Google is working on fixing a lot of these issues and bringing in a number of new features when they release Google hangouts 4.0. Reddit is already rumbling with news of the new Hangouts update and as a result, out editors thought it will be wise to provide you with an early look into the new Google Hangouts 4.0. However, most of the reports in this post are still very early to substantiate, but this version is expected to come out in the next few months. There is also no current APK version that is available for download, however, this post is based on the information available to us.

The home screen

When the latest Google Hangouts starts up, you will notice a change in the interface as there are a reduced number of tabs. There is also no logged-in email address or name, all of which have been replaced by a toast message that is displayed when you log into the home screen.  You will still notice a new floating button for action. It opens options for new video calls, SMS, group or simply a new conversation.

The contacts tab has been migrated to the drawer; however, you can still access the same contacts from the FAB. In the past, Google Hangouts would show a red bar when you turn off group notifications, however, v4.0 features a snackbar that only reminds you of the status of the group notifications then disappears.

Setting status from the drawer

The drawer has received two new things – the contacts tab and the status option. Users can set their status such that the others can see it in their own lists of contacts. In the past, this feature was only available for the web users of Google Hangouts; however, it has now made its way to the mobile platform.

Slight changes in chat screen

When inside an actual Google Hangouts chat, you’ll notice that things have been cleaned up. There is better usage of space by the chat interface thanks to the few tweaks that have been included to make things feel more cohesive than before.

You will notice that the sent messages are in white while incoming messages are on green. Furthermore, there is no avatar in your chats and better still, your friends will no longer receive time stamps in each message, rather, they will appear sporadically across the message stream. The conversation bubbles have also been shaped up, receiving new rounded corners in the latest Google Hangouts 4.0.

The new Hangouts 4.0 does away with the paperclip icon and introduces a full row of options for attaching images, emojis, stickers and many other files. The new app also comes with the ability to see details of any contact by simply long pressing their avatar. This will also give you the details of the messages they sent you. When SMS is enabled, there is a drop down menu that shows up on the left of the window, providing users with an option to switch between messaging options, just like what happens with the current version of Google Hangouts.