It looks like the Hangouts makeover Android fans have been asking for is finally happening, and it’s all thanks to Android Police. Google Hangouts has grown messy over time with a ton of features like Google voice calling, video chat, and even SMS messaging and users have not been pleased. Fret no more. Hangouts 4, the next version of the app, has been acquired by Android Police and redesigned with a much cleaner interface.Instead of breaking the layout into two separate columns – conversations and people – Hangouts 4 will feature a single column of messages that will be stamped with an a+ that will serve as ground zero for everything you do. Press the a+ button and contacts will be revealed, the option to start a video call will be displayed, and the ability to create a new group or single conversation will be available with a single mighty tap. The updated will app is both pretty and more functional.
Hangouts 4 is much easier to understand than previous versions of the app. The messaging screen is much cleaner, the chat bubbles have been tweaked (better design), and adding attachments is easier than ever before. Additionally, you’ll be able to set your status which will appear at the bottom of your main Hangouts window.The chat interface avatar is no more which adds to the “cleanliness” of the app, and faster access has been gifted to things that aren’t text.
The tab for people has been totally eliminated and replaced with a slide-out menu on the left and a new “floating action button” pops up a list of recent contacts. Android Police hasn’t revealed when the updated app will be available to the public and has warned that a lot of these changes could be scrapped before Hangouts 4 is released. If you’ve been patiently waiting for Hangouts 4 to get an overhaul though, this is an update to keep your eye on. In the meantime, you can see images of the new interface here.