The big news today may be everything surrounding the Amazon Fire Phone that was just unveiled this morning in Seattle, but there's another thing to look forward to every week on Wednesday and that's the usual updates of Google's apps. Today we're seeing an update to the Hangouts app on Android, bringing forward Google Hangouts to version 2.1.311. So far it doesn't seem that there are any major updates to the app in any way. There's no new major feature changes and still no Google Voice integration although that should hopefully be coming soon.
Most likely all that comes with this update is just some bug fixes and improvements, and from what I can personally tell everything still looks the same. The contacts are accessed by swiping in from the right which brings in the contact overlay panel, and it can be swiped back to be hidden which reveals your conversations threads. The dropdown menu to easily switch between accounts is still there and hasn't changed positions. As Android Spin points out there was minor changed that they noticed, which was the color of a particular emoji that seems to have had its color swapped out from orange to white. That is hardly function or user experience impacting, unless you really have a thing for orange colored everything and hated to see it go.
As with all updates you can find them in your "my apps" list inside of the Play Store if you have automatic updates turned off, which is where you'll need to go to to initiate the update manually. If you have automatic updates turned on you likely already have Hangouts updated as it would have done so on its own without you knowing unless you were watching the screen when it happened to start. It is unfortunate that we aren't seeing any fun, new features come with this update to Hangouts, but there's always the possibility that we could see something out of next Wednesday or the Wednesday after. Google I/O is just around the corner so perhaps after the conference is over we'll see some cool new things come to the app.