Google has updated its Hangouts app for Android to version 2.1, where it merged the hangout with SMS conversations in a single page.
With the new version of the messaging app, the user can choose between Hangout and SMS for sending a message. Apple has this approach through iMessage, where Facebook also has this feature on its Messenger application.
The user can easily differentiate between Hangout messages and SMS messages within the application. For received messages, there will be an indication “via SMS”, except this everything looks the same. For the sent messages, the Hangouts are displayed in green while SMS are in white color.
Ever since the rename and launch, Google Hangouts app was pretty awesome with integration of an SMS app, but users had to go through separate pages for SMS and Hangouts conversations. However, with this true integration, both the conversation can be merged into a single page. If the users doesn’t want to use merger, they can revert to old version keeping things separately, users can prefer to merge or separate the conversations.
The Google Hangouts app for Android has been pretty awesome ever since it was updated to serve as an SMS app, but it wasn’t true integration of Hangouts and SMS. It just put them into one app, separating them between different pages. However, with this latest update, true integration has come. SMS and Hangout conversations are now merged into one screen.
In Hangout 2.1, the contact list is also simplified. There are two categories – People with Phone Contacts and the Hangout – to make navigation easier. And for the quick access to recent conversations a homescreen widget is also has been added. The new version has been updated with improved video call quality and better SMS and MMS reliability.
As of writing this article, the 2.1 version of Hangouts app is available in U.S. only, rest of the world could still see the 2.0.3 version of the app, which would be replaced soon. However, it’s also possible that the app has been updated, but Google hasn’t updated the changelog. Download the latest version of the app from this link (Google Play Store) or update your app on your smartphone/tablet.
Here are the latest changelog posted in Google+ by Google’s software developer, Mike Dodd:
- 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 — People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts — 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.
Have you updated your Hangouts app today? If you are the residents out of United States, let us know whether you received the latest app or not, in the comments field below.