Google integrated a lot of their communication services including Google Talk and Google+ Messenger into the new platform they called Hangouts a couple of years ago. Today, after some leaks regarding this app, Google has officially announced the changes and improvements that the version 4.0 would bring. The update will start rolling out today and the most noticeable change are the redesigned visual elements, making some functions easier to work with. Of course, this version also fixes some bugs and its optimized so it's faster and more reliable than ever, plus less battery is consumed by the app. Also included in this update is a feature that will please many users of Google Voice.
They will now be able to use group SMS in Hangouts, so now if a user has integrated a Google Voice number into Hangouts, they will be able to receive and reply to group SMS with the new version of the app. While this is heading into the right direction, users who are anxious to use this feature as soon as they get the update will have to wait a little longer, as it is not ready just yet. Starting a group SMS will be possible soon after everyone has the updated app, which, as you may know, is being rolled in phases, so it might take a couple of days before everyone gets it.
Users of Project Fi will now be able to get the group SMS functionality from Hangouts and not just from Google Messages. Once the new functionality reaches Hangouts, it will be activated in all of the different platforms supported by the app including Android, iOS and the web, so users will be able to use it across many devices. Hangouts already support many functionalities that even some of its rival apps don't, so this is definitely a welcome addition and will make this communication app more competitive and useful. A little more patience is required until the update appears in the Play Store or before we get the APK file so that more people can download it and make the wait a little shorter.