On Monday, Google announced that they have updated the web version of Hangouts – particularly the video portion of Hangouts – with some new changes to the interface as well as bringing even higher quality video to the service. With Hangouts, you are able to do recorded video calls, which are open to everyone to watch. As well as doing private video calls, similar to Skype. Google has been continuously working on Hangouts since it was launched in 2014, to make it better and better.
Googler Eduardo Fern¡ndez, who is a software engineer at the Mountain View company, announced today on Google+ that they have made some changes to the interface. For one, bringing the call buttons down to the bottom of the screen, and in the center. So now you will have the participants in the call on the right side, with the call controls in the center. The call buttons have also been slightly redesigned, at least looking at the screenshot above. We have round buttons that are floating at the bottom. Additionally, they have also improved the start time, making calls start even faster, as well as crisper full-screen video in this update. Finally, Fern¡ndez notes that there is also a simpler way to invite family members into video calls. So when you want to get together with your family this holiday season, it’ll be easier than ever before.
The roll out begins today. However, Google is only rolling it out to a small group today, and it’ll be rolling out to other users around the globe in the coming days. For those of you that get the new version and don’t like it, or prefer the older version you can still choose to revert back to the old version. So this is yet another staged rollout here for Google. These updates do only apply to their web version of the Hangouts, and not the app available on iOS and Android.
So those that use video calls from Hangouts, these are some pretty great upgrades to the service. You’re getting even crisper video out of the service, which is going to be great for those times you can’t be with your family but still want to see them.