Revamped Hangouts Head to Gmail with Availability Indicators and More

May 12, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

This morning, Google announced some changes to Hangouts in Gmail. They are rolling out a revamped version of Hangouts which brings availability indicators, improved search, emojis and much more. So after nearly a year we are getting the availability indicators back in Hangouts. We haven’t really had these since it was Google Talk, prior to Google I/O 2013. We’ve been waiting for this for quite a while. Google is also bringing better search functionality with message snippets. Google has also added about 80 new emojis into the desktop version of Hangouts. The update is rolling out today, and you should see it later today or within the next few days. You may need to give your Gmail tab a nice refresh to see the changes. If you’re like me, you only refresh it every few days. So be sure to do that. Here’s the full post from Gmail on Google+:

“Starting today you’ll see some changes in your conversation list in Hangouts, including message snippets and the return of green “availability” bubbles to make it easier to see which of your friends are currently active. With the new search icon, you can see a list of all your chat buddies and find other friends on Hangouts. And whether you’re happy, grumpy, or any of the other seven dwarfs (plus a few not in the storybook classic), you can set your mood using one of 80 emoji. Your friends will have no problem guessing how you’re feeling that day.”

So we’ve got that rolling out to Gmail now. I have to admit when  I first saw that Gmail had an update, I was hoping it was the new UI that we had seen over the weekend. That’s what I’m really looking forward too. Especially with Google I/O right around the corner. How many of you are seeing this update already?