Google Hangouts Chat Makes It Easier to See if Your Pals Are Online
Google is bringing back its old "green bubble" icons that will appear next to a user's name in Google Hangouts chat in Gmail to indicate when a user is active and available.Google Hangouts chat users just got a simple new upgrade from Google that will make it a lot easier to determine if their friends are actually available when they "see" them on chat inside the Gmail interface. Google is bringing back its old "green bubble" icons that will appear next to a user's name in Google Hangouts chat in Gmail to indicate when a user is active and available. Previously, users would see the names of other users but couldn't be sure if they were actually there or were away from their devices. Also added are a new contact search button and a "message snippets" feature. The updates were announced in a May 12 post on the Google Apps Updates Blog. The green bubble icons will show up in conversation lists in Hangouts in Gmail, according to Google. The displayed contacts will be found in order of most recent chats. The feature means that there will be "less conversations [that] start with 'Hey, you there?'" according to a post on the Google Enterprise Google+ page. In October 2013, Google+ Hangouts for Android users got support for location-sharing and Short Message Service (SMS) communications, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Also that month, Google+ Hangouts updated its iOS app to include free calling to any phones in the United States and Canada for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users in the United States.