Hangouts is a popular voice and video calling service by none other than Google. The Android app has recently updated to version 2.1 and this Hangouts update brings many improvements.
With the launch of Android 4.4, Google added support to use Hangouts as a SMS app as well. And the major feature that this Hangouts update brings us is to merge SMS and Hangouts messages in one conversation. Now there is a button on the bottom left of the conversation which allows you to choose between sending SMS and Hangout message. The icon will be green if outgoing message is Hangout or else it will be white if it is SMS. While incoming messages will have written ‘SMS’ if it is a SMS or nothing will be written if it is a Hangout message. Merging the conversations is totally optional. You can unmerge them whenever you want to.
There are some other changes too. Hangouts notification sound is a bit reworked. A home screen widget is also introduced to open your favorite conversation instantly. Here is the official changelog that describes other changes in this update.
- Merged SMS/Hangout conversations: SMS and Hangout conversations with the same recipient are now combined into a single conversation. You can control whether you want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS with the flip of a switch, and different message types will be easy to tell apart in the conversation. Of course, you can always merge and unmerge conversations if you’d like
- Highlighted outgoing Hangout messages
- Simplified contact list: now there’s two main sections in contacts — People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts — making it simpler to navigate, and easier to use for SMS
- More Prominent Presence Status (on call, moods, etc)
- New Notification sound
- Separate voice and video call tones
- Performance improvements: today’s update includes better quality video calls, as well as improved SMS and MMS reliability
- Home screen widget: add the Hangouts widget to your homescreen for quick access to your recent conversations.
This is a major update which Google released after a long time. We are sure most of the people will be happy to get this update. Download the update now from the link below.