Hangouts users, rejoice! Now you can access your conversations right on your desktop (outside of the browser), thanks to the new Hangouts Chrome App, which is now available for Chrome OS and Windows.
Google says the updated Hangouts app, which has an interface similar to Facebook Messenger's chat heads interface, has a streamlined design that keeps your conversations easily accessible no matter what else you're doing on your PC.
"When you’re chatting with your friends and family, you want your conversations easily accessible, not buried in browser windows", said Google Software Engineer David Levin in a blog post making the announcement.
Like other IM applications, the Hangouts Chrome App can be set to run in the background and alert you whenever you receive a new message. Also, as long as the app is running, your messages will sync across Hangouts on all your devices.
The desktop application also has all of Hangouts video and voice features, and if you’re a Google Voice user, you can make and receive calls and get your voicemails and SMS messages. The app also offers a persistent view if you wanted to set it on top of other windows for easy access.
While the new Hangouts Chrome App is available for download now, if you’re already using the Hangouts Chrome extension, Google says you’ll also see a "promo" to try the app over the next few weeks.