Google Hangouts has been getting visual and performance upgrades over time, but it still hasn't managed a simple interface that includes all of its features - video calls, voice calls, and even SMS services. Now, the all-inclusive application is rumoured to be getting a complete interface overhaul in its 4.0 update.
The tab for ‘people’ will be relocated into a slide-out pane from the left, and the avatar & sign-in name on the top will be removed. There will be a floating action button on the chat list screen, that will give options for starting video calls, chats, group chats or even access contacts. Long-pressing on a conversation will provide options to either delete it or mark it unread. In group chats, muting a conversation doesn’t result in a big red bar appearing inside the chat. Instead, an alert showing ‘Notifications are off’ will appear for a while, and vanish.
Inside a chat, the send button will appear only when something is typed into the text area. Right underneath the text area there will be icons to replace the paperclip icon in the present Hangouts. These will be one-touch buttons to send emojis, stickers, photos, videos and location. The sender’s avatar will also be removed, and messages will have rounded edges. Received messages will be green, and sent ones white. Long-pressing on a sender’s avatar will open options to copy message text and view the sender’s details. To the left of the text area there will be options to manually switch between sending messages on chat or via SMS.
Although nothing has been mentioned by Google, Android Police and Reddit have reportedly had a look into the upcoming Hangouts 4.0. If all of these features are confirmed, the new Hangouts 4.0 will be a much smoother, cohesive unit to use.