As Twitter and Facebook grow from strength to strength, Google is still struggling with its attempts to “do” social media.
Google+ has not exactly set the world on fire, and neither has Google Hangouts – the Facebook Messenger-style chat app the company rolled out last year.
Now it looks as though Google is experimenting with a “new and improved” Hangouts, with the codename Ultra Violet.
Screenshots revealed by the Caschys Blog show visual changes such as Facebook-like floating “chat heads” icons. There also appears to be a conversation view showing all active conversations baked into the main chat window.
While the image above come from Hangouts for desktop (via a Chrome extension), it’s also likely some of these visual changes could make their way to the Android app as well.
Blogger Florian Kiersch – who has previously uncovered several in-progress Google projects including Google Stars – says the experience is still very much in the experimental stages and that it relies on extension APIs in the Chrome’s developer channel.
As yet there is no word on when Ultra Violet (if it ends up keeping that name might be rolled out to the public or if it will actually bring any of its new features to Android.
By Stuart O'Connor | August 14th, 2014