More importantly, before hangouts, if someone pings you on gtalk when you are offline, you would get an email saying that you had been sent a message, even the message would be there in the email. With hangouts, that is gone too! And for me, that was bad - really really bad! Now, you won't get any mail. Not just that, the chat thread containing new messages won't even get marked as "unread".
Here's a solution I cooked up...
After installation, whenever someone pings you when you are offline, you would get an unread conversation in a Gmail label "Offline Chats".
Here's my sister pinging me while I am offline:
How to install userscripts: Firefox
Install the addon called greasemonkey, then simply click on the userscript link.
How to install userscripts: Chrome
Install the addon called tampermonkey, then simply click on the userscript link. Chrome actually does not need another addon to run these scripts though; you could just follow the following steps instead.
- Right click on the userscript link, click on "save link as" and save the user.js file somewhere convenient.
- Go to chrome://extensions/
- Drag and drop the saved user.js file into the chrome tab in which the above link is opened. Done!
- Authenticate the Google apps script for gtalk offline message notifications that I wrote, by clicking on this link.
- Install the userscript for gtalk offline message notifications in your browser.
- If you don't trust these scripts, you could download the source, go through the code to see that no crazy stuff is being done, and then follow the installation steps in the readme file from the github repository for gtalk offline message notifications.
Initially, there were some restrictions for the setup to work. Like "user must explicitly log out for the setup to detect that they are no longer online" etc. No more such restrictions! (so, the following is now outdated)
Click on the "Sign out" button. Either sign out of chat or go invisible. You simply close Gmail tab in your browser without doing any of above. You simply close the browser itself. You put your computer to sleep or directly shut it down or plug out the network cable etc.