With the classic Hangouts transition for G Suite customers delayed until 2020, Google has more time to add functionality to Hangouts Chat and reach feature parity. The Android and iOS apps today are getting a bottom bar redesign that splits “People” and Rooms.”

The mobile client was previously comprised of only a single — and often long — list that included People, Rooms, and Bots. There is now a bottom bar with two tabs. The first called “People” includes Bots and makes it “easier to find a single contact.” Meanwhile, “Rooms” shows all your group conversations.

This Hangouts Chat bottom bar actually serves as the app’s Google Material Theme redesign with the Android status bar no longer tinted dark green. The FAB to start a new conversation in the bottom-right corner is now white with the multi-colored plus sign in the red, blue, green, and yellow Google colors. The chatting application looks much more modern as a result, though it could benefit from a dark theme sooner than later.

On iOS, your Google Account avatar appears in the top-right corner. Google has “removed the filter at the top of these tabs to simplify how you navigate the app.”

To find people, bots, and rooms, search using the magnifying glass at the top of the screen or start a conversation by clicking the “+” button in the bottom right corner.

This Hangouts Chat bottom bar redesign will begin rolling out today for the iOS client and next week on Android for all G Suite editions.

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