New Hangouts callingGoogle announced a few days ago that faster phone calls were coming to Google Hangouts on the desktop, and it now appears that this functionality is finally rolling out for the masses. Google says that the newest version of Hangouts allows for faster call connections right inside of Gmail and Inbox, along with quicker call answering for Google Voice calls.

In my experience, Google is spot on.

The trick seems to be that Google is no longer requiring that phone calls be made within a new Hangouts window – the very cumbersome method previously required an entirely new Hangout to be created. The new method is actually much closer in appearance and functionality to Gmail’s previous phone calling feature, which was replaced once Hangouts was announced two years ago at Google I/O.

The update is live for me, both in Gmail and in the Chrome app, so be sure to check it out, make some test calls, and enjoy the improvement. Now, if only we could get some Material Design love for Hangouts…