Google Hangouts have become an extremely popular chatting tool. Typing, video calling and even regular voice calls are all available via Hangouts and that’s what makes this app really great. All of those features work great, at least in our experience. Video calls can get a bit sketchy when there are a ton of people included in the call, but only on slower network connections, and even that part is getting better and better as time goes by. I actually enjoy using Hangouts on all of my devices, smartphone, smartwatch, PC… and for those of you who use Hangouts, I believe the service works just fine for you as well, feel free to share your experiences.
We’re actually here to talk about Google’s Hangouts mobile app which is going to get a huge update later today, will start rolling out later today that is. The company’s Vice President of Product for Google+, Bradley Horowitz, announced the news this morning on LeWeb conference in Paris. Most of these features will actually add a layer of “fun” to the app, you’ll find out why in a second. There are of course some other improvements Google is bringing to the table, but the majority of included features are pure fun.
Google is adding 16 new sticker pages to the app, which I’m sure many younger people will appreciate. The company will also include a couple of Easter eggs in there, “woot” or “happy birthday” (for example) will trigger them while chatting. Another big feature that will be added are video chat filters like vignette and sepia, to name a few. These were some fun features that Google is adding, let’s see what else the company will add to the app.
Google Hangouts is getting some rather neat and smart features as well. The app will prompt you to share your location when someone asks you where you are, which is actually quite neat. You can already share your location via Hangouts, the feature has been there for quite some time now, but this is just convenient if you share your location frequently. Another novelty in the new version of Hangouts is the “last seen” timestamp which will be there for your contacts, so that you know exactly when someone is online. This version of Hangouts will also let you to import all of your phone’s contacts if you choose to do so, which is also great for those of you who like to have everything in one place.
When people first heard of Google’s “Messenger” app, many of them were confused because they thought Google is aiming to replace Hangouts with this app or something to that effect. That couldn’t be further from the truth actually, Messenger is just an SMS / MMS app and Google seems to be doing everything in the company’s power to differentiate the two, Messenger is becoming a true chatting beast and I’m sure the app will get even better with time. Anyhow, as I said, the update will start rolling out today and if you’d like a quick peak of what’s new, take a look at the gallery down below.
Update: Here is the APK to install the new version of Hangouts.