Google+ is buzzing with angered comments about recent changes to the interface. Seems eerily reminiscent of what happens on Facebook all the time. The changes to Google+ are distinct and rather bothersome to folks in the gaming community and I fully understand and share the feeling.
Summary of changes:
– New newsfeed format that is more customizable than the previous version
– Removal Google Chat and Hangouts from the user interface, still accessible through a URL
– Removal of apps from hangouts (non-legacy version)
– A variety of other less important default setting changes
The changes were abrupt and not very well received by the gaming community. No one knows for sure if the changes will be a permanent thing or if user feedback will sway the end result in a favorable direction. In the meantime, users can revert back to the older “legacy” version of Google+. Just look in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
Where are hangouts?
Where are photos?
Yesterday, Roll20 stated that their software will still work with and operate with the legacy version of Google Hangouts. They suggest that if you launch Google hangouts from inside Roll20 the legacy version will load and apps will still function.
For me, I would love to see a better user interface and experience, but a retention of some of the features, like apps in hangouts, that we as gamers need to play our games. The basic enhancements are fine and in my opinion with some tweaks it the functionality and user interface would be that much better. Now the situation with the hangouts is detrimental and needs to be resolved. As gamers, that do not use Roll20 with any regularity, we need the ability to use apps in hangouts like Dicestream. This is am imperative for me! I am less concerned with G-Chat (text-based hangouts), but this is still a usable function of G+.
To provide feedback to google, look at your left hand menu and look to the bottom to find the Feedback link.
Time will tell how all this pans out over time. What are you thoughts on the situation and are you providing feedback to Google? Let’s focus our displeasure in a positive way that will lead to a better end result for us!