What it is: Google Hangouts, long a feature of Google+, has been refined into more of a direct Skype or FaceTime competitor.
Why it's cool: Now you can chat one-on-one with a friend during a group chat. You also get a history of a conversation with text and photos (a feature that you can turn off), photos and emoji, and an end to notifications for a Hangout invite on other devices if you've accepted an invite elsewhere. Google also rolled out dedicated apps to iOS and Android, but as Jason Parker found in his review, you're better off sticking with the Google+ app.
When it's coming: It's available now.
More coverage: Google+ Hangouts gets private chats, history, and an app
May 16, 2013 5:48 PM PDT
Photo by: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
| Caption by: Kent German, Jessica Dolcourt
Conversation powered by Livefyre