Google Hangouts messaging app made official at Google I/O 2013 [video]

by: Bogdan BeleMay 15, 2013


The Google Hangouts messaging app has been announced today at the Google I/O 2013 keynote event.

The app, which had been rumored for some time and was thought to be called Babel and Hangout, is finally a reality and is set to be available starting today for Android, iOS and the web.

Google Hangouts has been introduced during today’s Google I/O keynote by Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering and it allows for cross-platform communication across devices. It will turn Google’s messaging services, like Google Talk or the Chat and Hangouts features in Google+ into a single services.

The app is a standalone one, not part of Google+, and is focused on conversations, not contacts, with the most important people you talk to ranked, so you can add them to a conversation easier. As you can see in the screenshot below, the chat window is very fluent, just like a normal discussion, with the possibility to add images (which are stored in albums, for easy access).

google hangouts

Said conversations will be stored in the cloud, so you can always go back to your archive.

The best part is that clicking the video button will send everyone into a group video call, a feature that’s also available in the app, and it’s free, too. Probably one of the most interesting features it will offer you is cross-platform notifications, meaning that if a notification is removed from one of your devices, it gets removed from all of them.

Will you be using the new Google Hangouts messaging app? Do you think it will change the way we communicate?

  • Cory Miller

    Let’s see if Google has the power to dislodge SMS from the daily lives of the human population.

    • Addison Todd

      I can’t understand why they wouldn’t include it. Are they that closed to the idea? Even Facebook can SMS. It’s how people communicate.

      • gian

        people still text?

        • MasterMuffin


        • Hothfox

          Not everyone has a smartphone.

  • MasterMuffin

    Who needs BBM?

  • Jules Landry-Simard

    Is it me or the Play Store link does not work.

    • No_Hang

      Yup, getting a Not Found page. I’m trying this from Canada BTW

      • Jules Landry-Simard

        Me too, that may be the problem. Google is the only one that make me actually think about moving to the US

        • Gregory Campbell

          Also in Canada: If you go to the Play Store via a browser instead of on your phone, you can install it from there.

  • Matthew Brown

    Hangouts just automatically arrived on my phone..I am Nexus 4 from the UK (England)

    • Matthew Brown

      However it just opens Google Talk instead of Hangouts.

      • Doing the same to me. Icon still says talk and everything, but in the Play Store it says I have “Hangouts” already, and when I try to open it it just brings up Talk. I live in Orlando, Florida, by the way.

      • Leonel Macias

        you need to install it from the web on the play store, not from the phone

  • How is this not tablet compatible? I can’t get it on my Nexus 7. Wow…plus it needs SMS support.

  • Ricot lominy

    I wanna test sms on hangouts!! Txt me 203-243-3291

  • Osvaldo Torrisi

    Ok..How do you know who is online?, it’s basic for a messenger app, i can’t believe Google miss that…Come On!!!…if someone if not online, i can leave it a message. At least Gtalk had that…, and you could see if the contact was online to start a hangout…facepalm Google…

    • KaiserJay

      The picture next to their name is faded out if they are offline, full opacity if they are online.

  • My icon still says talk and everything, but in the Play Store it says I have “Hangouts” already, and when I try to open it it just brings up Talk. I live in Orlando, Florida, by the way. This happening to anyone else? Does anyone know how to fix it? Or even an .apk file I can just install over it?

    • chris

      Same thing happening here on my Galaxy S4! :(