Standalone Hangouts app puts Google's chat service on your desktop

Google's new Hangouts app is designed to work outside the browser

Google has launched a new app for Chrome OS and Windows that gives users direct access to their Hangouts conversations right on the desktop. The app continues a trend we’ve seen with Chrome, giving users more functionality outside of the browser.

The new Hangouts app runs on Chrome OS and Windows (no Mac support yet), with chat icons camping out on the desktop. When using the service, users will have easy access to their contact lists and chats, and will receive alerts for new messages.

Messages sent from the new app will sync across all the user’s devices, with both video and voice call features working here as well. If you’re a Google Voice user, you can also make and receive calls and SMS messages from the app, in addition to accessing your voicemails.

Function-wise, Hangouts for the desktop looks similar to the “Chat Heads” interface found in Facebook’s Messenger Android app, only with chat icons locked in place like traditional desktop icons (unlike than free-floating Chat Heads).

With Hangouts now sitting at the head of the Android messaging table (and with an iOS app available in the App Store), it was inevitable that the service would eventually make its way to the desktop – and no longer as just a Chrome extension.

The Hangouts app is free, and available now. You can read more at the source link below, or just jump straight to the Chrome Web Store (though again, it's Windows and Chrome OS only for now).

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