Google has released a new Hangouts app for Windows and Chrome OS. It replaces the older Chrome browser extension while continuing to let you chat or make voice or video calls to contacts whether they’re using a PC or a mobile device.
Hangouts for Chrome has a user interface that’s reminiscent of Facebook Home’s chat heads. When you start a new conversation an icon for your contact will show up and it’ll stay visible until you end the chat. You can hover your mouse pointer over an icon to view the latest updates in that window.
You can drag the icons for your contacts anywhere on your screen or tap the Hangouts icon to close the app. The chat windows will automatically minimize when they’re not active.
Hangouts works as a native app which can run in the background. If you’re using a Windows computer you can launch the app from the Start Menu, pin it to your taskbar, or switch between Hangouts and other apps using Alt+Tab.