There are tons of messaging apps for Android available out there, and Google’s very own ‘Hangouts’ service is one of the most popular ones. If you’re an Android user chances are you’ve used Hangouts at least once, and if you’re a regular user of the app, you’re going to love the new update Google just released, well, probably. We’re looking at Hangouts 11 here, and the update brings along one big feature, and it also makes a change in app’s functionality that some of you might not like all that much, read on.
So, most of you are probably wondering what is the biggest change here? Well, the addition of video messages! Yes, you can finally send video messages through Hangouts both on Android. This feature was supposed to arrive a long, long time ago, but ti did not. Well, it’s finally here, for those of you who are interested. Now, in order to fire up this feature, you’ll need to hit the small video camera button at the very bottom of the Hangouts app window, and the app will start recording, once you’re done, confirm you want to send it. After you complete all these steps, the app will start processing and you’ll be set to preview the video if you want, though you’ll need a separate app for that. Yeah, you read that right, you’ll need a separate app (video playing one) in order to play back a short video clip you’ve recorded within Hangouts, which is a mind-boggling choice by Google, but there you go. This feature basically works like it does in every other similar app which offers such an option, though in most of those apps you can actually preview your video inline.
Now, this is not the only change made to Hangouts' functionality in Hangouts 11. The new version of the app actually doesn’t allow you to have merged conversations (Hangouts messages and SMS) any longer. You’ll still be able to send SMS messages as normal, but you won’t be able to switch between Hangouts and SMS within the conversation window, which is an odd choice by Google as well. All you get now are separate threads for Hangouts and SMS, and even Google Voice SMS, though that feature is limited to specific regions, so most of you won’t even have it in there. Now, Google did try to explain the situation by saying that this feature was not ‘widely used’, and that it has created a lot of confusion, so that’s why they decided to remove it. That is more or less it, if you’d like to download the .APK right away, follow the link below, though do keep in mind that this .APK is only for 64-bit devices, so you won’t be able to use it if you have a 32-bit handset. The 32-bit version will, presumably, roll out in the near future, but it is not yet available.