Earlier this week, we spotted Hangouts Chat in the G Suite panel ahead of Cloud Next 2019. Before the conference next week, Google’s latest enterprise messaging app is redesigning its side panel to help users keep better track of ongoing chats.

Since launch, the side panel on the web has grouped together all recent or starred conversations. Google is today adding sections for People, Rooms, and Bots to improve organization in the messaging service.

These sections will better organize your chats, making it easy to find specific chats and see where there are items that need attention. This feature will be available across web, desktop, iOS, and Android.

Starred conversations still appear first within the side panel, right under the search field. People and Rooms are displayed next, with a More carrot at the bottom of each section showing more contacts or groups. Always-on Bots are at the very bottom of the list.

This revamp is also coming to Android and iOS, with the same organization for the homepage. Compared to the desktop web, this makes Hangouts Chat on mobile more of a scroll, with users having to frequently return home. In contrast, Slack’s solution of having an always accessible navigation drawer might be more efficient.

The new side panel and homescreen is rolling out to all Hangouts Chats clients in the coming days, and is available to all G Suite editions.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com