Google Hangouts has for many people become a go-to messaging application thanks to a number of reasons. One is that Hangouts comes as part of both Android and is built into the Gmail website. Another is that the Hangouts Android application can handle both SMS messages and Hangouts messages in the same thread, which for some people is a genius feature, but for others it is a serious dislike! Another feature is that Hangouts synchronizes between all of your devices seamlessly and in the background, with minimal impact on battery life or data usage. However, this all written, the web browser version of Hangouts has some unusual and weird issues. One of these is that sending an attachment – typically a picture, but sometimes a different kind of attachment such as a document or video file – involved an awkward, backwards even, interface. Hangouts users needed to click on the attachment icon and then navigate to the particular file or image to send. It was clumsy, inelegant and ruined the flow of a conversation, especially if an image you wanted to share was buried several folders deep on your Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer.
Well, there is some good news for all Hangout users from a web browser! Mayur Kamat, Google’s product manager of both Hangouts and Google Voice, has posted in his Google+ account for some improvements to Hangouts. Chief of these is that now the websites can cope with drag and drop, which has made life much, much easier if you wish to share files or pictures and they’re already showing on your screen. Google customers may need to refresh the Gmail or Inbox website or restart the Hangouts Chrome application; if you try this and it doesn’t work, give it a refresh or restart (or try turning it off and on again!). For the touch typists out there, it is understandable that you may not want to lift your hand away from the keyboard in order to drag an image across. With this in mind, you can use the copy and paste commands instead of dragging and dropping. That means the CTRL & C, CTRL & V keyboard shortcuts will work as designed with Hangouts.
This is a small but very welcome change to Hangouts; it’s hard to imagine that the web app has existed for so long without supporting this functionality and I’m sure there are many, many users out there who will appreciate the change. If you use Hangouts and frequently share files, go ahead and refresh the website and give it a go.