Google Hangouts update will bring SMS integration, animated GIFs and location sharing

by: Andrew GrushOctober 29, 2013


As expected, Vic Gundotra took to the stage today for a special Google+ event. Alongside several other Google+ related announcements, Google unveiled that it is bringing a few new features to Hangouts for Android, including SMS integration! This is without a doubt the most exciting change coming to Hangouts, but the update doesn’t end there.

Hangouts will now allow you to share your location with your friends using a location button tap, will bring the ability to share animated GIFs through messages, and is even adding video call enhancements.

What kind of enhancements? Not only will Hangouts now offer full-screen video chats on all devices, Hangouts will also automatically enhance webcam lighting and will bring a few other special video effects as well. Finally, Google also revealed that Hangouts video and sound will now be set to HD by default.

According to Google, you can expect all of these changes to start rollout sometime today. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if and when we learn more!

  • Marcellus111

    Was waiting for this! Was also hoping for Google Voice integration like the iOS users got a week or so ago, though… :(

    • Mrkud

      I cant see the point in their strategy. Why iOS is always first? We are, android user, your children, not iOS :D

    • Marcellus111

      Just read that the Hangouts update is a couple of days away still. The other apps updated per todays update (i.e., G+ and Snapseed) have the updates available now. I’m wondering if the updated Hangouts app will coincide with the announcement of KitKat and/or Nexus 5, and if the Google Voice integration will be announced at that time. Here’s hoping!

  • Karolis Morkūnas

    And what about SMS Cloud Syncing and ability to send SMSes though Hangouts app for Chrome?

    • iamtravis182

      Would be nice, but at least we have Mighty Text!

    • thewafflehouse

      Likely not going to happen, at least not yet. That would require a massive change to the OS (possibly 4.4) and wouldn’t sync SMS, just messages sent through hangouts. If you SMS’d someone on hangouts, it would automatically convert it, and then that conversation would work on the Web/Tablet/Phone.

    • adam evans

      I hope so, 3rd party does a pretty good job at this, but SMS in hangouts in gmail would be the balls!

  • MasterMuffin

    Meanwhile stock gallery still can’t play animated gifs…

    • adam evans

      i feel stock gallery may be dead now! long live G+ photos

      • MasterMuffin

        It’s photos now after the latest update, but yes :)

        • adam evans

          Needs some serious work though, its not up to scratch yet !

  • a

    nexus 5 in google play store already

    • a

      just kidding

  • Android Developer

    Could it be that even Google puts apps on IOS before on Android?

    What’s going on?

  • Oli72

    my nexus 4 will be waiting on tmobile.

  • voltz

    Still no Hangout support on other platform ? wp, bb, s40 ?
    I like Hangout but it’s limited platform and proprietary protocol make Hangout less useful for me.

  • deepen03

    iMessage just got OWNED.. thank you Google!

  • Ric

    animated gifs!!! YAY!!!

    i still wonders why less friend use it :/
    hangout now has quite fast video chats (since the update “I Feel The Speed”)

  • Maccabird

    Still no update :(

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    Anyone got it yet?