Today, the Hangouts team has announced a new version of the app for Android. The app primarily focuses on improved SMS integration, but also on a few other areas. This includes a better homescreen widget, merged contacts, and a simplified contact list. It's going to be a great update for those that are texting and messaging the same people but have two different threads for them. One of those people are me. For those interested we have the full changelog down below, and should have the APK link in a little bit, for those that want the update ASAP. Other wise it is rolling out in the Play Store through a staged update. Our favorite method of updates, right?
Are any of you excited for this update? Too bad there's still no Google Voice integration - hopefully that comes soon. But this is better than nothing, right? Let us know your thoughts on the update in the comments down below.
Hangouts 2.1 for Android: SMS improvements and a homescreen widget
Today we're launching the newest version of Hangouts for Android, rolling out to the Play store (http://goo.gl/6Sv8V) over the next few days. Highlights include:
- Merged 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.
- Simplified contact list: now there's two main sections in contacts â€” People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts â€” making it simpler to navigate, and easier to use for SMS.
- Homescreen widget: add the Hangouts widget to your homescreen for quick access to your recent conversations.
- Performance improvements: today's update includes better quality video calls, as well as improved SMS and MMS reliability.
The new version will be available in the Play store (http://goo.gl/6Sv8V) this week, so download or update and let us know what you think!
Download: Hangouts v2.1