While other Google apps and services like note-taking application Keep or the new Photos app have easily accessible and fully functional homes on the web (keep.google.com and photos.google.com), the same could not be said of one of Google’s most used services, Hangouts. For the longest time ever, you needed to be using Google’s Chrome browser so as to be able to access Hangouts via an extension or having to go through the not-so-loved Google+ all again or settling for what was before today merely an afterthought, the Hangouts website. That will be a thing of the past now since Google’s attempts to delink as much of its services as it can from its stagnant social network, Google+, continue with the a revamped and fully functional Hangouts website.
All one needs is a web browser loading hangouts.google.com and it is possible to do face to face video chats with friends and co-workers anywhere in the world or just do old school text chats. Facebook has been doing this with messenger.com for its Messenger application and with the battle for users getting intense, it is interesting to see Google going all out to make Hangouts accessible to everyone.
While the chat windows felt somewhat tacky as I tested the new website, everything else like the video chats retain the old interface. The overall feel of the site is fresh and reminiscent of the update the Hangouts mobile apps received recently to bring up to speed with Google’s latest design guidelines. One can do multiple conversations, group chats, video calls etc.