Florian Kiersch has reported that Google is looking to release a new version of Hangouts codenamed Ultra Violet. The upgrade is currently in testing and will feature visual changes. The images we see are from Hangouts for desktop. However, don’t be surprised to see these changes cross over to the Android version.
The upgrade seems to be made compatible with the Android L aesthetic. Certain Hangout elements will remain the same although there seems to be major changes occurring. The big change here is those small floating circles. The bubbles represent your contacts with a small rounded photo in each one, while a numbered notification on each will let you know how many missed messages are waiting inside.
The experience is still in experimenting stages and relies on extension APIs in the Chrome’s developer channel. Hence, there are crucial kinks and bugs that need to be worked out.
We’re not quite sure how much of this report proves to be true but Kiersch has been a reliable source for quite a few Google projects and his track record is clean. So, this all points to the report quite accurate.