The Google Hangouts app for Chrome update may be the single most exciting change to come out of Google’s Material Design push. The older versions of Google Chat were simple and served a useful and functional purpose, if not a consigned one. While Google was the first of the search engine groups to add A/V “chat” to their mail service it didn’t have the form or the ease of this new integrated system. Google is moving towards being the one stop business tool with Google + and now the revamped: Hangouts. The new version is similar to the Android version with the exception that it covers more screen space and makes it easier to manage active and “quiet” conversations. While it is almost certain that Google was coming for Apple with their Material Design innovations, Hangouts may end up being the death of Skype.
Material Design is all about increase of white space, clean lines, crisp usage and a lack of “mess”. The laptop and PC version of Hangouts just looks cleaner and is more dynamic and efficient looking. It would be hard for Skype, Apple, and Yahoo to compete at this point. There will be users, naturally, that do not like Google’s near monopoly and will stick to their chats, but not for lack of functionality or design. In that regard, Hangouts sits on top.