Today we announced Hangouts, a big improvement to Google’s real-time communication services. Instead of different versions of chat, video chat and calling across Google products, Hangouts gives you one consistent way to connect with the people you care about.
What does this mean for your Gmail? You now have the option to switch from the current version of chat to Hangouts. Simply click “Try it out” next to your chat list to switch to Hangouts and give your chat an instant facelift (literally!). You’ll now see the profile photos in the order of your most recent conversations. With Hangouts, you’ll also be able to quickly send messages, have video calls with up to ten people at once, and share photos. You can start a conversation with just one friend or even a whole group.
Hangouts transition effortlessly between desktop and mobile -- in fact, Hangouts will be available in Gmail, Google+, Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and as a Windows, Mac or Linux desktop application using the Chrome extension. You can start a Hangout on your phone, and pick it up in Gmail right where you left off!