The latest update for Hangout in Android comes with pleasant surprises. There are 2 changes in this update, the visual overhaul and the integration with Google Voice.

The Visual Overhaul

The new design for Hangout user interface is using tabs. It is now easier to navigate between your contact list, messages and the dialler. Except that the dialler tab will appear provided that you install the new Hangout dialler otherwise you will only have the other 2 tabs by default. Swiping will change between tabs and each tab provides different information.

The background colour will be green which makes it more vibrant and colourful. Your email address will be always shown at the top of the screen.

The Integration with Google Voice

Google has released a new Hangout dialler to allow us to make voice calls in Hangout. To be able to use this dialler, you need to download it from Google Play store and install it. Even though it is available separately from Hangout, it is not an independent app. It is merely an extension to Hangout app. Once you install it, there will be a new “third” tab in your Hangout app.

When a new voicemail message arrives, it will appear as a new unread notification at the top of the Hangout’s list with voicemail icon in the message. Then you need to click on the icon to be able to listen to the message.

After this update, Hangout can be considered as a VoIP calling solution after you have turn on the option to receive calls in Hangout.