Google Hangouts is officially on the way out
The Google Hangouts shutdown will begin October 2019.
The Google Hangouts shutdown will begin October 2019.
Google’s multi-platform messaging app Hangouts received a major redesign today. Windows and Chrome OS users now get Facebook-like “Chat Heads” that can be dragged around the screen. It’s much easier to read and minimize messages than with the old chat windows.
Google is experimenting with floating chat bubbles for its Hangouts (Android | Chrome| iOS) messaging service in a leaked experiment. Screenshots show floating bubbles which expand a chat with a contact when clicked on. This feature resembles the Chat Heads feature found in Facebook Messenger for Android and iPad.
Google is making using Hangouts even easier by building it into its Chrome browser. I reported this feature would be coming, but it has finally arrived in the experimental versions of Chrome.
One of the biggest criticisms about Google Hangouts was the removal of the status indicator. While today’s update for Gmail doesn’t bring back the status feature, it does make it easier to see which friends are available to chat. Previously, friends who were able to chat were underlined with a thin green line. With today’s update, the line is replaced by a more obvious green bubble. Moods are new to Gmail, allowing you to set one of eighty emojis as your status. This is a fun way to let your friends know what type of mood you’re in, similar to Skype. Unfortunately there’s no way to set text as your mood. The update is rolling out today to all Gmail users. If you’re not using Hangouts in Gmail yet, you can enable it by clicking on your profile picture above your chat list and then try the new Hangouts.
Google Hangouts for iOS received a major update this morning, bringing animated stickers and Vine-like video messaging. The previous version of Hangouts for iOS lacked many features of its Android counterpart but has now surpassed it. There’s no word from Google about when Android users can expect to see these new features.
Google Hangouts with SMS integration for Android is now available to download in Google Play. Google showed off the app two weeks ago at its Google+ event in San Francisco and debuted it with the Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat. Now other Android users can download the app, which combines Google Hangouts and your SMS messages into one app.
Google announced an update to its Hangouts app for Android at an event in San Francisco today. Hangouts will be getting location sharing, animated gifs, and SMS integration. These features were popular requests from users.
Over the weekend, Google updated its Hangouts messaging app for iOS with free voice calling within the United States and Canada. If you’re a Google Voice user, you can now send and receive phone calls directly from the Hangouts app.
Hangouts was always supposed to unify Google’s myriad of messaging apps but so far it has only replaced Google Talk and Google Messenger. This could be changing soon as a leaked build of Hangouts 1.3 shows SMS and MMS integration. This will likely get rid of Google’s current Messaging app, which only handles SMS and MMS.
Google is slowly rolling out HD Hangouts for its Google+ social network. Lucky users who have received the update can look forward to 720p resolution video. This update marks a move toward something bigger than just great video fidelity. Google is planning to abandon the H.264 codec in favor of its own VP8 codec. The codec was acquired by the company in 2010 and has since been open sourced.
Hangouts for Android is already a solid application but there’s still room for improvement. Version 1.1 doesn’t have any major new updates but the company has polished up the responsiveness of the app as well as adding more emoji icons.
Google’s Hangouts messaging app already includes 850 different emoji icons but what if you want something a little different? Well you’re in luck since the engineers at Google have built in some hilarious Easter Eggs into the app.
At Google I/O 2013, Google revealed its solution for the fragmentation of its messaging services. Before Hangouts was announced, users had to use multiple services like Google Talk and Google+ Messenger, along with Google Voice if they made calls. Google Hangouts was previously the name of Google+’s video conferencing feature, but now the messaging services are all integrated into one app.
Google has shown a new Hangouts real time communication app at I/O. Released today, it’s for Android, the web and iOS, it stores all your conversations, with photos organized automatically in albums. You control your history, but there’s never any reason to lose anything unless you want to.
Google+ Hangouts On Air allow you to broadcast live video via Google+ and YouTube. Now the service has been updated to include a rewind feature, so your viewers don’t miss anything if they join late. As soon as a Hangout On Air is over it will be processed and available for viewing and sharing too.
Google’s rumored unified messaging system Babel will actually be called Hangouts. A user on The Verge Forums has made the claims, and he has some credibility after predicting all the major announcements by Google at last years October 29th event in New York.
Google+ users have a couple of exciting updates to look forward to today. Comments from the social network will now be integrated into Blogger with Google+ Comments. Users can share comments they make on Blogger blogs directly with Google+ without having to leave the page. This also means that any comments made on Google+ will show up automatically on your Blogger post. Blogger users will have to enable this feature in their dashboards so Google isn’t forcing Bloggers to use Google+ Comments. Google hopes this will help Blogger users spread their content more easily.