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Google testing new interface for Hangouts, code-named Ultra Violet

Google is reportedly testing out a new Hangouts experience, complete with Chatheads-like floating icons.
August 13, 2014

If a new report from Florian Kiersch proves correct, Google is testing out a new Hangouts experience code-named Ultra Violet. Reportedly the new experience includes several visual changes such as Facebook-esque Chatheads floating icons. While the images 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.

As you can tell by the screenshots, certain Hangout elements remain the same, though this is still a pretty big departure from Hangouts current look. Kiersch says the experience is still very much in the experimental stages and that it relies on extension APIs in the Chrome’s developer channel. There’s also likely some bugs and other kinks to work out.


So how confident are we that these images are legit? While nothing is 100% certain, it’s important to note that Kiersch has revealed several work-in-progress Google projects in the past, including Google Stars. That means his track record is pretty clean, which lends credence to this rumored cosmetic overhaul.

It’s unclear if there are any other major changes planned outside of the obvious aesthetic ones, though we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more details. What do you think of the new look, based on what we currently know?