Apr 21 AT 3:21 PM Dima Aryeh 15 Comments

Hangouts update merges SMS/Hangout conversations, adds widget, more


The Google Hangouts app for Android has been pretty awesome ever since it was updated to serve as an SMS app, but it wasn’t true integration of Hangouts and SMS. It just put them into one app, separating them between different pages. However, with this latest update, true integration has come. SMS and Hangout conversations are now merged into one screen.

Hangouts update

With the new system, you choose between sending a Hangout message and a text using the button on the bottom left. Outgoing Hangout messages are green, while outgoing texts are white. Incoming messages are all white, but the timestamp will have “SMS” written next to it if it’s a text. I was never a huge fan of the idea of merged conversations, but it works really well. And if you don’t like it, you can always unmerge the conversations.

There are also other changes. The notification sound has been tweaked. It’s a similar notification sound, but higher pitched and more tinny. Then there’s a homescreen widget, something many people have been begging for. The rest of the changes have been detailed in this changelog:

  • 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

It’s a significant update that added a lot of functionality, and I’m sure Hangouts fans will be very pleased. Next, Google needs to add Voice integration; then everyone will be happy. The update may take a few days to roll out to everyone, as per Google’s tradition, so if you don’t see it now, wait a little while. If you did get the update, tell us what you think of it in the comments!


Via: Android Police

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • renyo

    But voice integration waaaaaahh… :(

  • jamal adam

    I’m finally glad that they were merged because it was annoying that I couldn’t continue conversations from sms and hangouts. I’m now impatiently waiting for Voice integration.

  • Liuxin

    I wonder whether my SMS will be sync to my gmail as hangout does. If so it’s a good way to backup sms.

  • thel0nerang3r

    I’m waiting for Google Voice integration, then I can just pop in a local SIM when I go to another country and keep the same number for texting and the odd voice call. It seems that texts still go through your carrier? or did I miss that part? (I rather it go through data for the different SIM use).

  • w00x

    It seems that if you have another default SMS app, the messages do not appear in Hangouts at all and the “Switch” to change whether or not to send an SMS or Hangouts message is not there.

    Either this, or I can’t find both the “switch” AND my SMS messages in the Hangouts app.

    • thel0nerang3r

      Google Hangouts asks you if want to make it default. If not, you need to make the default. Depending on which OEM/Custom ROM you have, the process may be different. It usually is in settings and “default SMS.”

      • w00x

        Yes, I am aware of this. I was referring to the case where you have already set another APP as the default for SMS, update to Hangouts and try to look for the new and cool features. They are not there. SMS messages will be visible in the default app only. The Hangouts app will be simply a Hangouts app, as it was before.

    • Salvador Cano

      Try updating through the apk link that someone posted here in the comments. Worked for me.

  • AnonGuy

    No company should be sending SMS to their servers for propagation onto other devices. That isn’t even logical. Google isn’t a carrier. They don’t own the SMS service on the device and they aren’t the service provider. I do not want them adding in SMS Sync to this service.

    And I don’t think Google Voice, a paid service, should be shoved into the IM client, either. The only thing they need to do is add Sickers and VoIP Calling which they removed in the transition from Google Talk to Hangouts.

    Hangouts Mobile Video Call quality is terrible and I’ve pretty much given up on taking them seriously when they say they’ve improved it. Why can Samsung deliver ridiculously good HD Video Calls (in ChatOn) while Google flounders all over themselves is beyond me.

    • That guy

      It’s not a requirement, just an option for those of us that want it and have been begging for it. Options are good things.

  • Michael F

    Incoming SMS messages sent to my Google Voice number no longer show up in hangouts since this update… outgoing messages sent directly through GVoice *do* show up, so it’s just the incoming that are the problem. I’ve even tried re-confirming the phone numbers in hangouts, but still nothing. Has anyone else had this problem or have any advice?

  • donger

    About time.

  • Rohan Mulay

    I have a dual sim phone. How can I identify on which sim among the 2 has the incoming sms received on.?? Is there any thing in hangout by whichi can identify it?