Google Hangouts is my choice for a communication service, so even though I prefer Firefox, I've been using Chrome lately since it worked better with it. Shockingly, the service did not have a dedicated web page. Yeah, Google touts the open web and web apps for its Chromebooks, but Hangouts was sort of missing from the equation. Guess what? Today, this changes. Yeah, Google officially launches a Hangouts webpage and it is pretty damn good. It is so good, in fact, that I uninstalled the Chrome browser today and went back to Firefox full time -- I had no good reason to stay on Google's web browser.
"We are launching another way to use Hangouts today. From our new site you'll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day. Check it out and let us know what you think. https://hangouts.google.com", says Jordanna Chord, Software Engineer, Google.
As you can see in the below screenshot, featuring my bro Joe Wilcox, the layout is very pretty and clean. Rather than mess around with cruddy Chrome plugins, I can just leave the tab open in Firefox. The tab alerts me to activity, so I will not miss important messages. Video and phone calls will require the Hangouts plugin, however. The overall experience is very good, though.
While I chose to ditch Chrome, you don't have to; you can use this new Hangouts with Google's browser too. With that said, Firefox 40+ is a great web browser experience. While Mozilla has made some questionable choices lately, version 40 is a winner, and I highly recommend trying it. It runs the Hangouts web page, and other web pages, like a champ. It is damn beautiful too.
I tested the new webpage with Microsoft Edge, and while text conversations works, video chat does not. The Hangouts plugin is not supported at this time.
What do you think of the new Hangouts webpage? Tell me in the comments.