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Hangouts on Android getting an interface overhaul

Mobile phones might be used for a bunch of stuff, but they're still mostly used for communication. Among all of the different apps we use is the (in)famous Google Hangouts, which currently sits in version 3.3 and is, according to people who understand design better than I do, a pretty ugly thing.

The app has a messy layout, with the likes of the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the drawer and the non-standard toolbar being the most common complaints.

According to Android Police, which has had a sneak preview into the next version of Hangouts for mobile, the app is getting an interface overhaul.

„It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0,“Android Police writes in a report. „We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app.“

The tab for people will be eliminated, with the feature moved over to the slide-out menu on the left. It will also feature a floating button (similar to the „compose new message“ button in Gmail) which will pop up a list of recent contacts along with options to start a video call.

Users will be able to set statuses from mobile soon, and the chat interface does away with your avatar and generally looks a lot cleaner. It also gives faster access to sending things that aren't text, with one-button access for photos, location, emoji, and stickers.

Android Police stresses out that this is a testing version and that some or all details might not make it into the final version.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.