Hangouts on the desktop has an interesting new feature, giving us all the ability to sketch a message out. It’s currently pretty crude, but the ability to annotate pics could come in pretty handy. Just ahead of I/O, Google might have added one of the more useful features we’ve seen in their messaging app in some time.
Google has updated Hangouts for Android, with v2.1 further blending SMS and Hangout conversations, likely much to the chagrin of carriers. Hangouts 2.1 - which will roll out in the Google Play store over the coming days, Google says - now merges text message and Hangouts chat into a single thread, with a toggle to control whether new replies go out over SMS or through Google's IM service.
This morning Google Hangouts is on the fritz. Users across the United States are reporting outages as well as down-time entirely as the service is experiencing difficulty in both sending and receiving messages. This downtime appears to be at a server level as both desktop (web browser) and mobile versions of the ecosystem are experiencing difficulties.
Google has released Hangouts 2.0 for Android, adding in SMS and MMS support in addition to enabling group MMS conversations and embedding animated GIFs. Promised when the incoming update was first revealed late last month, the new app also drops alongside an update to the Android keyboard, also bringing it to version 2.0, though that change has been met with less enthusiasm from users.
There's now one single location users need to work with to talk with video, text, and images in the Google Android experience. Here with Hangouts, Google has made clear that they're updating the system with three new features, the first - and most important - of these being SMS support. This means that the Hangouts app will be able to attach itself to your SMS on your smartphone.
On August 16, Google rolled out an update for its Google+ app for IOS, bringing with it Hangouts and Drive media access. Today another update has rolled out, this time bringing more features to the Hangouts portion of the service, among them being the ability to view animated GIFs and make voice calls to phones.
Google has been working to bring several of its real-time messaging services under the Google+ Hangouts umbrella. Some screenshots have shown up that indicate Google may be taking things one step further in offering Hangouts users the ability to message mobile users from within Hangouts. Rumors indicate that Hangouts will get the ability to send and receive SMS and MMS messages.
There is a serious problem going on currently with messages sent from some users via Google Hangouts. The problem is that some senders are seeing their chat messages sent to the wrong recipients. The problem has reportedly been occurring since about 4 PM EST.
Google introduced Hangouts On Air quite some time back. In fact, this setup was released for all Google+ users back in May of 2012. And while this was a good way for users to go "On Air" there were some features that were missing, specifically in terms of audience interaction. That said, a new Hangouts On Air update has added just that, a feature called Live Q&A.
Starting this month, users will be experience an increased bit of quality in their Google+ Hangouts video chat as result of the company switching over to a new form of video codec. The video codec itself isn't new, it having been released all the way back in 2010, but it's new to this Google system, and just as video chat begins to hit the likes of smartphones and tablets with Hangouts, Google has let it be known that they'll be bringing a higher definition to the web as well. Speaking with Janko Roettgers of GigaOM, Google's Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew let it be known that Google is switching from H.264 to the codec known as VP8.