Google Hangouts updates Android app to merge features

Posted on April 24, 2014


Google Hangouts will be releasing an update to its app that will merge certain features, allowing users to view SMS and instant messages in one easy to view window.

This new update, known as Hangouts 2.1, means that there will be no need for users to continually switch between the two features. It could be part of a reputation management strategy, with the aim of letting both customers and competitors know that the California-based company is on the ball when it comes to updating existing products.

Google has said that the new update would allow users to distinguish between SMS and Hangout messages, as the app’s new design would see a breakdown of contacts into two separate lists entitled ‘People you Hangout with’ and ‘Phone contacts’.

It was revealed that other upgrades to the system include a widget for home screens with the capacity to quickly bring up recent conversations, and a better quality for video calling, which would see an all-round improvement on the reliability and performance of messages and video calls.

For the time being, the upgrade will only work on Google-powered phones and tablets, meaning that those who use the service on a computer will be missing out on the update. This will, no doubt, be next on the company’s to-do list as it seeks to match rival Apple and its iMessages system, which has the capability to be used across all platforms – including Macs as well as all iOS-powered portable devices.

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