Among the first elements to have been given a makeover is the sidebar in Google+ Hangouts, which is displayed on the left side of the screen next to your Hangout, new notifications and improved app management. The sidebar also include a list of constantly used apps and apps currently in use in the hangout. You can remove apps from your sidebar list at any time.
Intimating users of the new changes, Google’s Amit Fulay explains that Hangouts will now contains a collapsible sidebar that brings together all of the most important icons and services, making them available when you need them but ensuring they are out of the way when you have more pressing things to be doing.
The new sidebar in Hangouts… (Credit: Google)
Fulay further said that users can choose whether to show or hide the sidebar, if they want. “The most important part of a hangout is the people in the room, so we have consolidated important items (like invites, chat, and apps) into a sidebar that is there when you need it and tucked away when you do not,” read the Google+ post on the news.
Embellished Google+ Hangouts make it easier for users to find and manage Apps. The sidebar is packed with those apps that a user uses more often, as also those others that are active in the hangout. Alternatively, users can remove apps from the sidebar at any time.
Another important update is the new notifications aspect on Google+ Hangouts that now appears clean and colorful, and has been classified in order of what they signify, shares Fulay. Alerts are shown in red, actions display in blue and announcements are grey, giving you the chance to see what needs to be actioned with a quick glance.
Lastly, Google has made Hangout apps much easier to find and manage. Fulay says that the update is rolling out gradually, it may take a couple of days to propagate. If you are a prolific Hangout’er, this announcement might certainly make your video and audio calls a whole lot easier to manage and maybe a bit more fun.