google_hangouts_iconSome may have had it for a few days already, but I just let my Galaxy Note 2 smartphone update to the latest Google chat update a couple of days ago.  It is now Google Hangout. I did not notice right away. And when I got a message I was confused by the new noise and different icon that showed up in my notification bar. After having a look my thought is this… What were you thinking Google? I get that you want to merge and rebrand to Hangout. However, in my opinion this is a miss. Change is NOT always good. Some of the functionality that we loved is now missing.

I think I use Google Talk more when I am away from home sometimes than when I’m at my desk. But now, I am not so sure if I will There are a few things that I just do not like about it.

  1. Not everyone uses Hangouts much. Some of us just like to IM… with our friends. We don’t like to video chat or IM with acquaintances or strangers on Google Plus. So…
  2. Seeing all of my circles and other people that I barely know listed on my phone is counterproductive for me. An option to hide that, or at least sort the list by those online would be GREAT. I have 6 people listed at the top which it has decided are the people that I want to talk to (not so much) when I click to start a new Hangout. Then it goes into a list of frequently contacted people. These appear to be people that I email a lot, not IM with. Listed under that is All Contacts. It is too much really. I want my old, simple, clean list back!
  3. It is almost impossible to tell if your friend is online and available. Avatars are dimmed meaning idle… I think. However, again… it is not clear. And once you are in a chat… excuse me… Hangout… with someone there is no indication whether or not the person is online or not. I want my available, idle, and away icons back please.


Google, I get what you are going for… I think… but for those of us that stay on the go a lot and use “Google Talk” instead of texting because we know the person that we are looking for is also on Google Talk, this is not cool.

Can you please adjust and fix it? Or perhaps make the two separate again? Or at least give us some options!

Thanks so much! 🙂