Google’s new Material Design is supposed to extend to every screen the company touches from your smartwatch to your desktop computer. Today, we’re getting a first look at what may be the Material Design version of Google Hangouts for Chrome, complete with some Facebook Messenger-inspired chat bubbles.
Three leaked images obtained by German blog Caschys show a new version of Hangouts referred to here as Ultra Violet. The basic window design looks a lot like the current Hangouts for Chrome extension, though it seems to be a bit flatter in keeping with the Android L aesthetic. The big change here is those small floating circles. The bubbles represent your contacts with a small rounded photo in each one, while a numbered notification on each will let you know how many missed messages are waiting inside. Sounds a lot like Facebook’s Chat Heads to us.
The only difference is that Chat Heads is part of Facebook’s mobile Messenger app, while this new version of Hangouts will presumably run on your computer. The idea of bringing those little chat bubbles from your smartphone to your desktop sounds a bit bizarre, but it could also be a cool new way to manage your many online conversations.