Hangouts for Android Adds Video Messages, Improves Invites
Google updated its Hangouts app for Android devices this week with a handful of new features. First and foremost, the app now allows Android owners to record and share video messages — a feature that's been in the iOS version of Hangouts for two years. Second, the app does away with merged SMS and Hangouts conversations. Moving forward, SMS messages and Hangouts will appear in separate threads even when they come from the same contact. Google says merger convos often led to confusion and thus weren't widely used. Third, Hangouts makes it possible to invite anyone to join a group chat by sharing a unique link. Via the group's options page, select the "enable joining by link" function to make it work. Last, Hangouts are more discoverable via on-device search for the group name or participant name. Google Hangouts for Android is free to download from the Google Play Store.
Google Hangouts Improves Contact Design
Google this week updated its Hangouts app for Android devices and made a few performance tweaks along the way. Going forward, Google says it should be easier to find the right contacts quickly thanks to a reshuffled contacts user interface.
Google Tweaks Hangouts to Help Find Latest Messages
Google has updated Hangouts on the web and on mobile devices with a new user interface for finding the newest messages. Moving forward, Hangouts users will see a "Jump to Last Read" button that will take them to the last unread message in their chat.
Google to Strip SMS from Hangouts May 22
Google today outlined a number of changes to its various messaging services, including a dramatic shift for Hangouts. Starting May 22, Google Hangouts will no longer support SMS for text messaging between phones.
Google Hits Refresh Button on Hangouts for Android
Google today pushed out a significant update to its Hangouts messaging application for Android devices that puts it inline with the iOS app. Google overhauled Hangouts' visual appearance with material design, and improved how the app feels thanks to more fluid transitions, and better touch response.