google-hangouts

Pet peeve #1,035: when you have to download a plugin to get a program to work properly. It happens all the time, and it's one of the biggest tragedies of technology. Google feels your pain, and is making a big change to its Hangouts experience in Chrome.

Going forward, users will no longer be required to download a plugin before starting a video Hangout in Chrome. Google's Victoria Kirst says all you'll do going forward is pop open Hangouts, allow the application to use your camera and microphone, and you'll be good to go.

Unfortunately, the update is only available in dev and Canary channels. But Kirst says the update will begin rolling out to all Chrome users over the next few weeks. So you'll only have to endure for a little while longer. But the good news is that the next time you want to video Hangout with a long lost relative with an outdated computer, you won't have to fuss around with pesky plugins. Just boot up and voila.