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Hangouts API - Release Channels

As of May 2013, the Hangouts API has a new release scheme including a Stable channel and a new Developer channel:

  • Stable channel - the release channel that you should use for widespread distribution of Hangout apps. Its API version numbering has changed from a dot-numbered version (v1.4) to a whole-number version (v1).
  • Developer channel - A new release channel that gives you early access to Hangout API features under development. Use this channel for testing and feedback. Once mature, these features can roll into the Stable channel.

These channels help us to make features available sooner, as they become ready, rather than batching them into larger releases.

Stable channel

The Stable channel has the API that you should use for normal, widespread distribution of your Hangout apps. Apps using the Stable channel release can be run by all Hangout users.

New APIs and enhancements first introduced in the Developer channel are added to the Stable channel when they are ready. Typically, these updates to the Stable channel are non-breaking changes for which the version number (currently v1) is not incremented. Keeping the same version number relieves developers from having to update the hangout.js URL in their app when Google releases a new update to the Hangouts API.

We refer to updates to the Stable channel by their release date, the first update being May 2013. Any breaking changes that are made require the version number to be incremented (for example, to v2).

To access the Stable channel of the Hangouts API, a Hangout app should use this URL, shown here for release v1:

//plus.google.com/hangouts/_/api/v1/hangout.js
Notice that version v1 supercedes v1.4.

NOTE: See the release notes for the Stable channel of Hangouts API.

Developer channel

The Developer channel provides early access to Hangout API features under development, for testing and feedback.

Hangout Apps that use features available only with the Developer channel API can be run only by developers or someone in a video call with a developer. Such apps can be run only in a Hangout that is running in the developer sandbox (or via an upcoming feature allowing developer apps in regular Hangouts).

Developer changes roll into the Stable channel when we have determined they won't change and are ready for public consumption. The Developer channel API can change without notice.

To access the Developer channel release of the Hangouts API, a Hangout app should use this URL:

//plus.google.com/hangouts/_/api/dev/hangout.js

NOTE: See the release notes for the Developer channel of Hangouts API.

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