On May 15, Google announced at their developers conference a newly designed and feature rich Google+ application. In addition, they announced an upgraded version of Hangouts. To our surprise, Google then launched these changes. If you have a Google+ profile, you will notice several differences throughout the application.
When Google turned on all this new stuff, our Google+ Hangouts was automatically disabled, but only from the Google+ interface. Hangouts still work through the Google Calendar, Gmail Chat, mobile devices, and you can still Hangout with someone in your Google+ circle. What confused us was seeing a red alert box saying "Unable to sign in - Hangouts has not been enabled for your account." Google did not tell us this would happen.
Before we enable the new Google+ Hangouts for our UCSC domain, ITS is testing and reviewing the impacts. It appears that Google is replacing our existing Gmail Chat feature (which is a Core service) with this new Google+ Hangout feature. We don't want to disable our beloved Chat to gain Hangouts in Gmail - if that is the case. Also, we think with the new Hangouts, conversations are automatically archived for future viewing - but we don't know where or what exactly (video, group chat, audio) is being stored. So, that is why we are testing everything out.
Please let me know if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will keep you updated through this blog.