Google Hangouts / GChat as a Stand Alone App on a Mac

I’ve been waiting for Google Hangouts / GChat to come out with a stand alone desktop app for Mac OS X for too long.

Today, I realized I already had the power to create one, and so can you.

Here’s the steps (mac only) …

  1. Go download and install Fluid
  2. Start it up
  3. Type in “https://plus.google.com/hangouts” for the URL and whatever you want for the Application Name

    Using Fluid App to create Google Hangouts Stand alone Mac app

    Using Fluid App to create Google Hangouts Stand alone Mac app

  4. Yay, you’ve created a Google Hangout stand alone desktop app for your mac

    Yay, you created a Google Hangout stand alone desktop app for your mac

    Yay, you created a Google Hangout stand alone desktop app for your mac

  5. Open it up from your Applications list/folder, as you would a normal Mac application

    In your Applications directory now is the Google Hangout app

    In your Applications directory now is the Google Hangout app

  6. Here’s the first look of your shiny new app. As you can see, it just opens the URL. But wait, here’s the special part ….

    Your new Google Hangout App, first look

    Your new Google Hangout App, first look

  7. Click the quote icon in the upper right corner and your GChat conversation list appears.

    List of Hangout Chats

    List of Hangout Chats

  8. Click on the “pop out” arrow on that window and it’ll open a new tab for the conversation.

    Open one hangout chat fully

    Open one hangout chat fully

  9. Ta da! Here’s your conversation, in full screen, in it’s own app.

    Here's the opened chat window

    Here’s the opened chat window

Any other tips, comments, or love? Leave ’em in the comments. Thanks!

Update for Yosemite OS X!: Thanks to some comments below, there’s a fix for those of us on Yosemite.

Change the User Agent from “Default” to “Safari 7″. Here’s a screenshot.

  • Thanks to @Brooks and the few others who shared something similar.

Update #2: You’re a Mac user, and a Google user. If you’re like me, you use Google for all kinds of things – calendar, drive for files, email, etc. I highly recommend this amazing all-in-one solution which 2-way syncs with Google apps. Check it out today.

Nate Ritter lives in San Diego, CA who popularized the #hashtag and creates scaleable web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

41 Comments on "Google Hangouts / GChat as a Stand Alone App on a Mac"

  1. Peter Connors says:

    Very nice, Nate. This works perfectly.

  2. Claude B says:

    A Lifesaver! (Well, not quite, but right now it feels like one). Works perfect, filling a big Google gap.

    Thanks!

  3. Morgan says:

    Apple’s built in Messages application works perfectly for Gchat.

  4. Baxter says:

    still can’t get mine to send me OS level notifications. any tips? otherwise it’s a bummer because I don’t want to see the app all the time.

    • Nate Ritter says:

      Baxter, yes, I agree. There aren’t OS level notifications using this. Kinda a bummer. But if you keep ‘notifications’ turned on, at least it’ll ding.

  5. BMC says:

    GREAT! Thanks. Nice and easy to set up with your guide!

  6. Willie D says:

    Much appreciated. Really didn’t want chat popups each time I open my browser.

  7. Javier says:

    Nice!!! That’s what I was looking for!! Worked like a charm!
    Thanks man!

  8. Mike says:

    in OS X Yosemite, clicking the quote icon (step 7) has no effect. Any update coming? Or suggestion?

  9. Richard Thornton says:

    I’m also having the same problems after installing Yosemite. It seems to work ok if https://plus.google.com/hangouts is run as a Safari tab, but not as a Fluid app….

  10. Tim Potter says:

    This is a great idea, however I’m also having trouble getting the hangouts bar to display on Yosemite. Hopefully the developer knows about this.

  11. Tim Potter says:

    The developer mentioned on Twitter to change the User Agent to Safari, which worked for me!

    Load the Hangouts fluid app, then go to the FluidApp menu (labeled whatever you named the App) and go to User Agent, and switch from automatic to Safari. Then go home with ctrl+shift+H or restart the app.

    The rendering was better, I had to press the hangout icon once to close, and again to open, but it opened correctly.

  12. Elly RIvera says:

    I am also getting the same issue as Mike. :(

  13. Mike says:

    Changing the User Agent, as noted above by Rhys and Tim has solved my issue. In my case, I chose “Safari-7” as the User Agent, and the Fusion Google Hangouts app is now back to working perfectly. Thanks.

  14. Min says:

    Stupid social blocker – I may or may not be interested in ‘liking’, ‘tweeting’, ‘+1ing’ etc your article, if only I could read it and see if the information was useful.

    socialblocker is evil and should die.

    • Nate Ritter says:

      Thanks for the comment Min. I’m curious to see what happens when I move it down to below the post, allowing you to see the content first. I’ll give it a try and see what happens. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Nate Ritter says:

      Min,

      I tried changing the social blocker to be more of a “thank you”, but nobody thanked me in the few days I tried. So, I’m back to leaving it where it is. It’s not hard and doesn’t even make you leave the page to get the content. Feel free to like it and then remove the like if you didn’t think the content was valuable.

      I’m truly sorry for the tactic. This just happens to be the most effective way to get social media validation for the post at this point. I’ll be thinking about how to change the post around to see if I can make it more of a “thanks for the info” type of ask.

      I appreciate the feedback, regardless. If you have any suggestions for effective word of mouth marketing like this, I’m happy to hear them and give them a try so it doesn’t feel so wrong.

  15. rafael says:

    thanks for blocking the content begging for likes

    just showed the div and denied your like.

    i will report you as soon as i figure out how

    have a nice weekend

    • Nate Ritter says:

      Rafael,

      Calm down. Who would you report me to and for what injustice? There’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing. I’ve done this on one page on this site, and this is the first time I’ve ever done it. There’s nothing illegal or immoral about it. Feel free to go somewhere else for the info if you don’t like what I’m doing here.

  16. drac94 says:

    I still have chat popups on my main chrome browser, so I really don’t find what is the difference in having a separate window instead of this tool

    • Nate Ritter says:

      @drac94, the difference is that you can remove the plugin from your chrome browser and only use it in the separate window. For instance, I recently switched back to Firefox, so this helps. Another example is that you might like Chrome, your employer, who uses Google Domains, doesn’t enable Google Hangouts/Chat. So, if you use a different account, you can use Fluid, as explained above, to still get it to work.

  17. Ryan says:

    Thank you for this post. Very helpful in finding a viable Hangout workaround. I’m wondering if you (or anyone) knows if it’s possible, to also have the “app” notify you of waiting messages (beyond the initial “ding” that is played when a message is received). I’d much like to have the “app” show a badge of waiting messages like iMessage does. Is this possible? Thanks again.

    • Nate Ritter says:

      @Ryan, I haven’t seen anything to do that as of yet. I like the idea of that though. I’ve been using the same process to wrap up Google Inbox, which has GHangouts chat integrated, and I don’t see any way of making it push anything to the browser, unfortunately. At least not in this method that I can see.

  18. Chris Rimple says:

    Thanks for this! Finally upgraded to Yosemite and it broke. Deleted the app, started again following your instructions. Which I’d scrolled down first to see the instructions about the User Agent. :) Regardless, after creating a new app via Fluid, it’s working fine on Yosemite, with the User Agent still set to Default.

  19. Joseph says:

    Anyone figure out how to get notifications? I read somewhere else that someone got audio notifications to work, but not the visual counter like in others. I would like to see how “Goofy” got it to work flawlessly for FB messenger and if anyone with the knowledge can merge that with Hangouts.

 
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