Remember how Google Hangouts was essentially a crummy pane inside Gmail? Not anymore. Google finally has a full-blown website for Hangouts and boy is it beautiful.
If you head to hangouts.google.com, you'll see a pane with your frequently accessed contacts on your left and three big buttons -- Video Call, Phone Call and Message -- on the right. You can also click on individual contacts and pin any favourites at the top of your screen.
Just like before, if you start a video call, you can share your screen, YouTube playlists, or draw right there on the video, but now these options are more discoverable.
The new website was announced by Google engineer Jordanna Chord on her Google Plus page. "From our new site you'll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day," she writes.
You know what this means, don't you? No opening Gmail or, god forbid, Google Plus, every time you just want to send an instant message. Yes!