Signing out of Google+ Hangouts

I rarely take a negative view on change: I view that improvement is a type of change and sometimes on the way to better we have to give something up; a trade-off if you will. Occasionally, I find myself having to have a wee rant.

Google messing about with both Talk and Hangouts, two wonderful functions of which I have long been a loyal user, has gotten me very annoyed. Not only has the replacement of Talk on Android with the unified version of Hangouts produced a messy, lesser functioned product which is as unusable on iOS and almost as unusable on the GMail client, the browser version now inserts itself persistently anytime you are logged into Google+. And this applies when you simply want to go in and play around with photos on what used to be Picasa Web!

I consider myself pretty adept at things technical, particularly in the application and web space but for the life of me I can't figure out how to better control this widget. This loss of control of when I'm logged in, what my status is and the inability to actually see who's online and seeing me is a significant reduction on privacy control and I really, really don't like it.

So, Google, you're losing some kudos here. To think we pile vitriol onto Facebook for their loose and ready application of privacy and security but at least I can specify who sees me online for chat and I can log it out whilst I play with my photos. And for all open hostility for Apple's lack of customisability and configuration without jailbreak I can figure out most applications without being reduced to googling "how to log out hangouts without logging out google+".

If you check out the forums, I am obviously not unique in my frustrations:!topic/chat/0edQ0n1aGD8.

Sign out of Hangouts on Google+

Because I had quite a difficult time figuring it out, here's the Gadget Girl guide to logging out of Hangouts on the browser. Remember, if you've been upgraded to Google+ Photos from Picasa, you'll want to check this out.
  1. Click the little green and white hangouts quote mark button on the right of the header
  2. Click the arrow at the top of the hangouts bar, next to the 'New Hangout' field
  3. Sign out is at the bottom of the list 

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