Oct 29 AT 12:30 PM Brooks Barnard 28 Comments

Google’s Hangouts app getting several new features including SMS integration


During Google’s ‘A Morning with Google+’ livestream this morning some fantastic announcements were made regarding the Google Hangouts app. Here are the new features:

SMS Integration

Finally. I think we’ve been waiting for this for a LONG TIME. Finally, we’ll be able to just have one app where we can write to phones and computers in a seamless experience. Hangouts will now have SMS integration and it can be used to text over SMS or data. Thank you Google. I’m really excited about this.

Location Sharing


Google also announced location sharing via the Hangouts app today. If a friend is trying to find you, or if you’re trying to find a friend, the pin button at the bottom of the Hangouts app will easily locate you and share your location with your family and friends. Note: You don’t HAVE to share your location, but the new feature is that you easily can. It’s all simply built in.

Animated GIFs


Who doesn’t love animated GIFs?!? If you don’t love GIFs then you’re probably not human. With this new Hangouts update we will now be able to share GIFs which is the perfect addition to go along with Google+’s auto awesome feature. I have tons of silly GIFs of my kids created by Google+ that would be awesome to share over Hangouts. I’m thrilled about this new feature and can’t wait to try it out.

So what do you think of the new announcements? Which one is your favorite? How are you going to use the new features? What GIF are you going to send first? Let us know by sharing in the comments below!

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • Chris Shores

    Can’t wait. Is it dropping today?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I didn’t hear anything about a release date. Even after it’s released, I expect one of Google’s slow roll outs…

  • R.S

    Looks like I’ll finally be updating Google Talk to Google Hangouts.

    I especially love that we’ll be able to send Gifs. No more sending the link to them!

  • Instrumentals

    SMS integration HYPEEEEEE

  • uzunoff

    The most important piece of information is missing. When is the new app being pushed out?

  • h8emilian

    Although i do hope they implement a good backup feature for all of us root users that could maybe restore sms as well as mms messages. Maybe :)

    • Steve Barry

      While there’s a bevy of apps out there that can already do this well (Titanium Backup being one), it would be a welcome change to have it be done well natively

  • Josh

    What about MMS and Group chat with iPhone users? Without that, I won’t be using it.

    • Baaa

      Lol. Buy an Android you sheep. I love it how iOS users complain about missing out on Google features when they could be using a Google operating system. Most iOS users integrate to Google Apps on a regular basis such as Gmail yet they continue to play with a technology for babies.

    • Steve Barry

      This is a valid question. I’m guessing Josh isn’t an iOS user, but an Android user who has a lot of friends who use iOS. Last rumor that was going around was regarding how they were going to integrate SMS into Hangouts with the next version of Android. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work…

      If you had one person using only Hangouts (as there is no Messaging app in 4.4 from the screens we’ve seen) while the other person still had their Messaging app on their phone, what happens? Does it send 4.3 guy a SMS text message and does 4.4 guy get it all through Hangouts? Does it know whether to go through data, and when? If it only works well with people who also only use Hangouts (ie, not iOS users) then it won’t work too well in the long run.

  • mike

    I hope the SMS works with a Google voice number too… If so, slam dunk.

  • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

    I’m a little disappointed I haven’t seen more GIFs in the comments. Come on guys!

  • MisterLee

    Google Voice integration? and if so does that mean we’ll be able to receive MMS ??!?!?!!?

  • bhake

    No eta. No mention of Google voice (which ios iPhone has voip). Vic did not elaborate on this sms feature at all. Seems similar to whatsapp sms integration. No traditional mms, just IM platform, which has images. I wonder how that will show up if image sent to sms number without hangouts app?

    This is the direction I think google wants to go. Away from carriers cell/voice radios, and more on wifi/LTE/data radios. IM and VOLTE appears to be the future. Just wondering when it will get here on a mass scale.

  • Alexander
  • bhake

    ETA = next few days. Per Vic on Hangouts, “The Android app and video calling features will be available in a few days, while the On Air improvements will roll out over the next few weeks.”


  • jamal adam

    I can now do some serious hangouts. I can’t wait to have it. Hey Google, give it to me.

  • Ajith

    I want an option to sort the contacts by status.. I need it more than anything.

  • donger

    Go google.

  • anon


  • M

    How do you create a GIF?
    Never used Hangouts in my life & neither have friends or family. Don’t know what it is or how to use it

  • da9el

    how cool is that?! :D

  • aranea

    I welcome the news and need more details on how sms will work.

  • rhY

    What about filtering out the NSA? I don’t really want to use any google products between my wife and I until I’m sure the NSA is not receiving it. How did he not even address this during the demo? Has he been threatened into silence?