Categories: I found a bug! : Messaging : Android Mobile :

Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?!

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Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! nixda 5/24/13 4:22 PM
In Hangouts for Android there is no longer any way to tell if a contact is online or not. For a CHAT app, this seems like it should be a critical feature, and it was a prominent part of the old Google Talk. Not having it breaks the app. 

Why on earth would Google remove online status indicators (online, away, do not disturb, etc.)? You've basically rendered useless an otherwise decent product. 

Having an indicator is a no-brainer, and the Chrome version recognizes and includes this -- even though that tiny green line is about as subtle as one could make it without eliminating it entirely. 

So why screw your mobile users?! 

As a follow-on question, why aren't contacts grouped by online status anymore? That's such an incredibly useful feature. 

I can accept change, but breaking critical features is just ridiculous. 


FYI, for other Android mobile users, you can revert back to GTalk from the broken "upgrade" of Hangouts by following the instructions here: 

Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Dori, Community Manager @ Google 5/24/13 8:33 PM
We currently do not show any availability indicator for idle/busy nor do we show one for when users are on mobile devices. We’ll be improving presence and status in future versions of Hangouts.

Thanks for the feedback!
Dori
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Re Be 5/26/13 12:42 PM
When?
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! nixda 6/2/13 12:15 PM
Thanks for the info, Dori. 

I appreciate your reply, but unfortunately it's entirely unsatisfying as the lack of status indicator makes the app useless for me. 

I get that Hangouts is "more than chat", but since it's replacing a dedicated *chat* app, I'm shocked that a critical feature like an availability indicator was killed. 

I've uninstalled Hangouts and reverted to GTalk on my Android phone, and I have no plans to use Hangouts until it has some manner of status indicator (and ideally user grouping as well). Hopefully these improvements will show up sooner rather than later. 


Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! meldel803 6/3/13 5:44 AM
Right there with ya, nixda! I just reverted back to Gtalk myself - for that very reason!!
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Sirtao Esposito 6/3/13 6:21 PM
Same here... Hangouts just doesn't do it for me.
Breaks XMPP, no online status indicator, a frankly too counter-intuitive UI, the notification going over a loop... I did try to keep using it, but it's no more a decent chat app.

I went back to GTalk, which only lack a "share to GTalk" option in the various "Share" menus in Android to be basically perfect.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! meldel803 6/3/13 6:42 PM
Have either of you had issues with the Gtalk notifications since reverting back?  Mine is no longer notifying me of messages now.  I've set it and reset it in the settings, but still nothing. No sound, no notification icon...  I've been fighting with it all evening!
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! nixda 6/3/13 10:25 PM
Sorry - can't relate to that problem. I uninstalled Hangouts and GTalk reappeared, with original settings and notifications. 

Have you tried configuring settings within the app?
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Spacnick 6/5/13 3:20 PM
It looks like the green bars in the web version have also been removed so that now there is absolutely no way to know if someone is online.
I'm really glad I use real XMPP for most important contacts, it's so sad because I was really happy that Google finally unifies the Gmail, G+ and Gtalk chats but currently this is a deal breaker.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! franck57 6/5/13 4:16 PM
Another example of Google products getting worse and worse... a chat app with no online status indicator... They're forgetting the basic specs, they're forgetting to be "user friendly" and all their products are following the same path. The more it goes, the worse Google products become. Another good example is that I even had to log in from my computer to write this reply, as it wouldn't let me do it from my Android phone. I used to love everything Google, it's really sad to see that they are losing it... they hire the best engineers, but they can't make them work together.

Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Rapiere 6/5/13 11:35 PM
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one disliking how Hangouts regressed from Talk. With no more availability status even in web version, I will have no choice to revert back to Talk. 
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Nelson Carneiro 6/6/13 10:44 AM
Agreed, so far hangout is useless... reverting to gtalk
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Rubynica 6/20/13 2:13 PM
Hangouts is really useless without status indicator. very disappointing. reverted to GTalk.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Jace Miller 6/23/13 2:56 AM
I realize that some work is being done to improve visibility on status/availability, but I don't understand how such a glaring oversight is possible.  Was this done to rush the update out in time for Google I/O and generate some buzz about it?  Google I/O is one of my favorite things to watch, but sloppy showings like this shake my confidence in Google's products.

I ended up going back to the old Gtalk app because of the status indicators and because I couldn't even login with my google apps domain accounts.

Thanks for QAing the feature for your paying customers.


Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Shikyo13 6/25/13 8:36 AM
We appreciate the update, however these things should never have been removed in the first place. They are especially critical for your Google Apps for Business customers who need to know when co-workers are available! Please re-implement these features asap as they are critical for this apps success. 
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! mfelkins 7/1/13 9:07 AM
Agreed! Complete fail. Give me something I didn't want in the first place and take away the key part of my most used app. Note to Google, most people don't give 2 craps about video chatting. 99.9% of the time, video is not used.

It seems like a better idea to create an entirely NEW app for video chats, that way, people who don't use it, don't have to deal with the serious lack of chatting features.

Will be reverting until Google gets their act together. What a freaking dumb decision.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! bkennelly 7/1/13 10:33 AM
Just to be clear, the video chat app is not what caused the problems.  That has been around for two years and was integrated into Google Chat in Gmail a year ago.  It works very well.  In fact, video calling works better from the older Chat application than it does in the new one. 

The problem was the new messaging platform that, unfortunately, was given the same name as the video app, and does not support most of the features of Chat.  Even worse, Google removed most email integration and ruined the chat history in order to add this new, incompatible messaging system.  
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! iPankajS 7/18/13 10:00 PM
+Dori, Community Manager @ Google 

Seriously, the feature of making the availability visible was great and proves more helpful while connecting with people. I have read 100s of articles before reaching to this page and every where people appear to be unhappy with this hangout thing just 
because of one reason. You should do something in the next release whenever it comes.

You can review the status that how many people have reverted back to Google Old chat from Hangout. I did it twice.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Shoheb Pathan 7/22/13 12:48 AM
tq dori for ur rply n help bt wen it will b available.........
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Kevin Pierre 7/24/13 6:49 AM
This should be PRIORITY #1. WTF Google ?
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! m.lgx 7/26/13 2:47 PM
It's been two months guys... wake up.
I don't know who came up with such stupid requirements, but he is a complete moron.

Btw, since the 4.3 update I can't revert back to Gtalk so I'm now using a third party app...
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! glococo 7/26/13 3:03 PM
Hi,

1) +1 Roster status

2) Make the roster list smaller: When I look for a contact, I don't need to know in what circle he/she is, so +1 "Remove circle membership name"
 Or at least, give an option to view the roster list: big, medium, tiny. With the information that matters. Circle membership doesn't matter when I search for contact !!

3) Replace useless "circle membership name" with email. Since one contact could have 2 emails with the same name: pe...@gmail.com & pepe@mygapps.qwe 

4) Add a "Voice-call" button please.

5) Roster list ORDER. Order by status, by name, etc.


10) Make a decent app chat.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Beyondcr 7/27/13 2:05 AM
Gtalk is quickly dying, and hangouts is not getting any better. Like a few have said the inability to view your online contacts is a really big deal. I have no clue how my landline non data contacts will ever be able to accept my hangout request, why must I be spamed by people I might make a phone call to once a year, I could care less if they are using hangouts. The people I talk to on gtalk enjoy using gtalk for its cross-platform ability and the nice services provided by google, sure we could use another "Instant Messenger" service like we did before Gtalk, do we really want to? looks like decision day is quickly arriving, google just about 100% killed Gtalk on android 4.3.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Shitanshu Verma 7/27/13 2:24 AM
I reverted to the old gtalk app and was happy, but now with the 4.3 update the talk app is not there.  I appreciate you working on presence and other features, but by then, can we have the ability to get talk back??

I'm looking forward to alternatives, would hate to go to skype/facebook chat,as I loved gtalk and most of my contacts are here.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! glococo 7/27/13 5:18 AM
I sadly installed SKYPE and videocall work perfect.
In Hangout videocall is broken in my phone. Seems to be a codec related problem.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! leftysloft 7/27/13 4:44 PM
When will I be able to see who is online.  How hard could it be.  The code existed in gTalk.... do we need to show you how to cut and paste?
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Lars Knudsen 7/30/13 12:12 AM
That's just not good enough.  Seriously - even a 10 year old can figure out how to "if(online) fillRect("green", 0,0,w,5)" or so.  It seems that some of those G+ engineers (also hangout?) stopped living by the very principle that made google strong:  Keep things simple and useful.  PRO TIP:  A chat application is not very useful if you can't see if the other party is online or not - for that, we have email.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! glococo 7/30/13 12:37 AM
dont worry too much and use skype.

Anyway, both are NSA-CAPABLE, and only one work flawless :)
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Dkaf 8/6/13 1:58 AM
+1 need the contact status.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Fishy1973 8/7/13 11:25 PM
I hate this hangouts app - i just want a simple chat app with presence indication.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Jesse Spry 8/14/13 9:36 AM
Guess what Dori, it is the future already. 
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Rob Lightbody 8/21/13 1:00 AM
Completely agree.  The lack of presence awareness makes the Hangout app totally pointless.

How do you know whether to invite someone to a hangout if you don't know if they're actually there or not?!

Also I used Talk to chat to friends around the world.  I chatted to them when they showed up as online.  Now I've simply stopped doing this as I don't know if they're there or not.

I gave the Hangouts app a 1 star review on Google Play, but I was being generous!
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! UriskHD 8/25/13 12:22 PM
Looking at the time that has passed... This is just ridiculous.

So let me ask you, dear people at Google:

Are you working on implementing status indication as fervently as you are on the Linux Version of the Google Drive Client? The One which has been promised since about May 2012?

Seriously: This is the second time that Google releases a potentially great product, but making it totally useless by a simple oversight and absolute inability to fix it. Only this time it is even worse, because the previous product, Talk, was discontinued and it essentially is a significant downgrade.

This is so frustrating. Just because Android is still the best OS for tablets and smartphones out there without any real alternatives Google continues to utterly disappoint in important details (als see heavy Google Maps downgrades) and doesn't even care.

Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! il0 8/28/13 7:43 PM
I guess we have to go Whatsup, Skype, etc. This is frustrating because Google Talk seemed to work!
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! nikkkko 8/30/13 12:46 AM
I went back to Skype. I hate Skype. Says it all.
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Lars Knudsen 8/30/13 1:14 AM
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! A.B. Dada 8/30/13 9:54 AM
Dear Google,

Thank you so much for fixing gChat by removing status indication.

Could you please fix these 2 additional problems?

1. I can see the contact name and photo of people I'm chatting with.  It would be fantastic if I had no idea who I was talking to.  Random chatting is way better.

2. Could you also fix the visible keyboard?  I would rather not see any characters so my typing is as incomprehensible as your "upgrading" this app.  Maybe don't even show ne what I wrote at all until I hit send?

Thanks.  Idiots.

A.B. Dada

Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! RanjanDash 9/11/13 4:35 AM
AB Dada u r right , google should remove google hangout all together everybody will be happy with that. Nobody knows who is online,everybody in circle. 
 I uninstalled hangout and  back to gtalk old app . it is better use skype or whatsapp 
Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Alk47 9/25/13 2:25 AM
please take into serius consideration updating basic feature today or revert to talk!
I do not belive on android the experience is so poor !
no presence
no busy status 
messy contact list 
no access to android contac to make a phone call direct 

did anyone human review the app before deployng it on  Play market ??

sorry guys thi is relly a BAD app fix it fast do it right  ....

Re: Where did online status indicators and grouped contacts go on Android Hangouts?! Rapiere 9/25/13 11:06 PM
At last some improvements with latest release and status icons, however status isn't really correct yet : 
gray icon = unconnected and without hangouts, green icon = connected or having hangouts.

I need (like before in Gtalk) : 
- green icon = connected
- gray icon = disconnected without hangouts
- yellow-orange-whatever icon = disconnected with hangouts.

There's some hope to bring back again such valuable information,
We need to keep up the pressure on Google :)
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