Have you ever been in Gmail and needed to speak with one of your friends right away - only to open Hangouts and see they are not online - so you close it up and go back to Gmail. Certainly not an overwhelming set of tasks to do, but in this day of making our life as easy as possible, effective today, Google has a new tab in Gmail that you can click on and you can see who is signed in or signed out...they are calling it, Hangouts in Gmail. Right from there you can start a chat with someone online without ever leaving Gmail...pretty slick.
As in most listings, the friends online are listed first, followed by all of the others. Requests to be added to your list - those that want permission to chat with you - are at the extreme top where you can select 'Yes' or 'No' to add them in your Hangouts. You can now pin your favorites - boss, wife, kids, Mom, BFFs, etc. - at the top so they will be there regardless if they are online or not. There is no reason to scroll through to find dear old Mom if she is offline - she will be forever pinned at the top to remind you to chat with her on a regular basis. You can still send a Hangout message to a friend who is not online at the moment - they will see the message the very next time that they sign in to Hangouts...it will be, as always, sitting there waiting for them whether they sign in on their PC, smartphone or tablet.
This update is available now and is rolling out over the next few days. If you are not already using Hangouts in Gmail, simply click on "Try the new Hangouts" under you chat settings to upgrade today. Like I said, this upgrade is certainly not a life-changer, but it is so easy now to stay in Gmail and 'Hangout' with somebody without even having to leave Gmail. When you finish your 'chat,' you can go right back to Gmail and continue where you left off. Google says that users have been asking for this feature for quite some time...hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you will be taking advantage of the new Hangouts in Gmail...as always, we would love to hear from you.