Some of us have been using Hangouts for ages. Essentially since Google recommended we switch from texting with Google Voice way back May of 2013.
Well, now they’ve dropped the hammer again, and said we have to switch back to Google Voice, since for whatever reason they’ve decided to terminate Hangouts altogether.
What gives? I’d been enjoying Hangouts quite a bit, as it fits my workflow perfectly, and had adapted to it in every minute detail through years of experience in daily life.
And now you want to make that all go away?
Unlike many other things, for which I’m an eager participant for early adoption, I was determined that Hangouts would have to be depreciated out of my cold, dead fingers.
That day appears to have come today, when suddenly my Hangouts window ala Chrome Extension’s box for entering text just disappeared.
Sure, my phone had been bugging me that I should “check out Google Voice” for over a month now, so I knew this day was coming, but I didn’t anticipate it would be like this – while in the middle of a project for a time-sensitive client I suddenly couldn’t text back to (!).
So I set out to see how much I could make Google Voice’s window look like Hangouts. Here’s what I came up with:
Start with an empty Chrome window
Navigate to https://voice.google.com – if you don’t have an account, sign up for one and set up your phone preferences (For instance, I like how it can ring all my numbers, but would never opt to get even more email… perhaps you feel differently?)
Go to the 3 dots menu in the top right hand side of the Chrome window and select
More Tools -> Create Shortcut
Give your shortcut a fancy name, like
"Voice" (look, it’s even done for you)
If you look on your desktop, you should have the shortcut now. Open it! Ooopen iiiitt…
Then go to the text message menu and scrunch it up until it starts to look like Hangouts! Looks similar enough… 🤷♀️
It’ll take some getting used to. One thing that really upsets me is I can’t directly copy + paste images straight into the text box like I could in Hangouts – I had just gotten good at finding pertinent GIFs in Google Image Search! 😥
The best you can do is drag an image you have already saved to your computer 😕
You can save images from this odd view it does inside the scrunched-up window. Unlike Hangouts, it takes an additional step to view the full-size image in another browser Window (gee, Google, all this extra work, I thought this was supposed to be better?)
But all in all, I suppose I’ll live now that I was able to eliminate that gawd-awful bar at the top of the Window.
Life continues apace…