Google Chat Brings Back Orange Idle Status From The Gchat Era

A small tweak rolled out to Google Chat brings back the idle status (orange bubble) that was originally found in Google Talk, which was colloquially known as Gchat.

Back in 2020, Google Chat added the ability to set you as “Away” (empty circle) or “Do Not Disturb” (red). An orange “Idle” bubble will now appear if “you have been inactive in Gmail or Google Chat in the last 5 minutes”.

This state cannot be set manually, but custom state support (with accompanying emoji) was introduced last year to provide more context.

In Google Chat on the web and Chat in Gmail, you’ll see an orange badge for users who were recently active in Chat, but aren’t currently active. We prefer that this makes it easier to determine the best time to communicate with your colleagues.

With this addition, Google’s latest messaging platform is back to the Google Talk era of available statuses. Idle status is only available on the web, such as when your Gmail or Google Chat tab is in the background.

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