Google Hangouts update to bring SMS/MMS integration, report says

by: Chris SmithOctober 7, 2013

Hangouts updated for phone calls

A new report says that an upcoming Hangouts update will finally bring one of the features users have been asking for since the service was launched – SMS and MMS integration.

The news comes from Android Police, which has been apparently able to confirm with a couple of sources that Hangouts will indeed get this feature – the publication has also included a few images that reportedly show Hangouts version 1.3, as well as a mockup for the SMS menu.

What’s not clear yet is when this Google Hangouts update will arrive, and whether it’ll be included in the upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat OS update.

In addition to SMS and MMS integration, the messaging app will also get a video sharing feature, in case that’s also something you’re looking forward to. However, voice integration is apparently not coming in Hangouts 1.3.

Hangouts 1.3

Purported Google Hangouts 1.3 images | Image credit: Android Police

In Hangouts, SMS messages will be clearly marked “via SMS,” so users will be able to easily tell the difference between different types of messages. As you can see in the images above, delivery reports will also be supported, and there’s also a feature that will let users retrieve messages automatically when roaming.

Finally, it’s not clear what will happen to the Messaging app once this new Hangouts version is rolled out, so we’ll just have to wait for Google to announce the update. Android Police speculates that at least on Nexus devices, the Messaging app will be replaced by Hangouts – the same thing was suggested on Google+ a few days ago, when a first version of this rumor was initially posted.

Hangouts 1.3

Google Hangouts 1.3 – SMS menu mockup | Image credit: Android Police

That said, we’ll remind you that this is just a rumor, and even if it comes from a trusted source, it should be treated accordingly.

Related: What is SMS?

  • Dino Rodriguez

    I’m hoping Voice will be integrated some time in the future as well.

    • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

      do you mean normal voice calls? i don’t think

      • Daniel

        Google Voice:

        • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

          ok, thank you

  • Richard Borkovec

    As long as Voice let’s me keep my Voice Number separate from my regular phone number (it comes in handy when trying to sell things on Craigslist and don’t want to give out your real number), it can be included into Hangouts ASAP!

  • dogulas

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! Oh please have Voice integration. Hangouts needs to swallow Voice whole.

  • Mayoo

    Next app title in the Play Store : “Hangouts (Replaces Talk … And Messenger … And Messaging)”

    • ROFL

    • MasterMuffin

      “… and Voice soon)”

    • Alex Ohannes

      You forgot Voice! :)

  • dogulas

    From Android Police. I think this says it all.

  • iTriune

    Maybe it’ll have Voice integration just for text. If it asked for you to view verify your # and you input your Voice number, I wonder if you can text from it?

  • Anynomus who can’t speel

    Will the next step be adding ads to Hangout and Voice to screw us up? :P

  • jeddo45

    I hope there is separation between Google voice and your regular number.

    • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

      me too

  • barla

    A few days ago i heard something about hd calls on hangouts. I waited for the update but i received one without hd calls. Can anyone explain me please what happened? I have a samsung s3. Thanks!!!

    • Terence Smith

      The HD video calls are for pc video calls not mobile

      • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

        yes, but i think it’s not so good that hangouts is able to do only videocalls and not calls as skype does.

        in fact my gts5830 has not frontal camera, so i’m not able to do voice call

  • Anthony Tran

    Sorry if this is a really stupid question, but does this mean that SMS sent via Hangouts will, or will not count against your carrier’s monthly limit? For example, if I have a 500 text/month plan, will texts sent via Hangouts deduct from my 500?

    • patrick

      I have VZW 500 text/month. i think SMS over Hangouts uses up data and would not use up your monthly text limit. I use Google Voice all the time and that doesnt eat my carrier’s text at all. I dont see why it would be any different when Voice gets integrated into Hangouts.

      • Anthony Tran

        That would be awesome, as I plan on hopping on a month-to-month plan with Straight Talk or the like once my contract with VZW is up. I’m usually around wifi, so if I could send texts via Hangouts and not eat up text usage, that would be so convenient.

        • Terence Smith

          I’m sure it’ll be that way since this just means voice will become hangouts just as talk did

        • needa

          i dunno about the other replies. i know with att. even if you dont open the text… you are still charged for the text. whether you have a text plan or not. my girlfriend back in the original flip razr days caused me to get a $200 bill. things may have changed over the years. but if someone sends you a text. it goes through the carrier servers and then is sent to you. just because hangouts is picking it up doesnt necessarily mean you are free and clear. and when you use hangouts to send a text…. it will still be sending a text from your number to their number.

          i could be totally wrong. im just more or less thinking out loud.

      • frhow

        This will be handled just like iMessage except you dont have to be on wifi just have to have access to the internet, if the recipient you are texting has Hangouts installed it will send the message via Hangouts (IM) and will not count against your text limit but if the recipient doesn’t have it installed or is not online then it will automatically revert to SMS and will count against your carriers text limit without you having to do anything. It will combine both Hangout (IM) and SMS messages into one thread. If you don’t have internet it will still send the message but only as an SMS. once voice is integrated into Hangouts then that feature what you speak of will exist in the Hangouts app. Voice sms does not flow through your carriers servers.

        • blanco112

          Imessage doesn’t require Wifi either.

    • eric10234

      My understanding from this whole rumor would be:
      Hangouts will be able to send both Hangouts Message and SMS, depending on the recipient. If the recipient has Hangouts, it will be sent as a Hangouts Message, otherwise, regular old SMS.
      This will be consistent with how Apple’s iMessage handles both free iMessages and SMS.
      Of course, until it all rolls out and is announced, it is all just a rumor.

    • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

      yes, it’ll be counted in your carrier, cause anyway they are SMS!

      with hangout you will be able to send SMS instead of using normale SMS app, but they’re SMS anyway, so they will be counted in your carrier limit.

  • Ger

    Rumor, rumor, rumor. I’m telling you, this freaking site does about 75% rumor than facts. It seems that these writers wakes up in the morning, roams the intersection for rumors that they can find, writes about it, quotes where they found the rumor and tries to do land the story to probably give their article a tiny bit of sense that it’s their own. No originality. If I can’t find anything or think of anything original to write about, I’d rather not write anything. If I’m writing about a rumor I found from another sites article, then I’d rather just provide my readers a direct link to that article vice trying to repeat what the other site wrote about in my own words. REDUNDANT, USELESS, WASTE OF TIME.

    • Anthony Tran

      Get over yourself. 98% of tech blogging is this type of thing. There aren’t always going to be official announcements. Until there are, readers will have to settle for leaks/rumors. And yeah, a lot of the info is rehashing, but that’s a lot of what reporting styled journalism is… it’s the writer’s job to add some insight or opinion to differentiate it from other sources. If you don’t like how AA handles their articles, go somewhere else. Not that you’ll have any luck since, like I said, this is what the majority of what tech blogs do. BTW, it’s common practice for one source to cite another article… after all, only one person can break the story, unless you want to plagiarize.

      Edit: Also, not everyone may follow Android Police. Then what? AA is supposed to completely omit reporting this rumor because some of the readership may already be followers of Android Police as well?

      • Siggi

        Check the hangouts app permissions, mine has permission to read and send SMS/Text messages

    • [A]dri[A]n

      Please show me a site that doesn’t write articles on rumors? Like 90% of all tech articles are based on rumors. Get over it. If you don’t like this site, then don’t come on here. Simple as that.

    • Terence Smith

      I’ve actually heard about this for awhile. It’s just now that there’s leaks. It’s an imessage alternative without needing wifi so I’m sure it’s going to happen

  • Ger

    I meant interest for rumors.

  • Ger


  • Clarkkent113


  • deepen03

    makes sense.. the one thing I miss from iOS after switching to my S4 from an iPhone 5 is imessage.. if Google can find a way to integrate this into all Android devices, we may finally get unified SMS/MMS on Android!

  • needa

    i just got my replacement moto x in the other day. when i got on hangouts and signed in. it asked for me to register my phone number with it. i had never seen this before. i have to think… that this rumor is legit and coming soon.

  • APai

    how I wish, the damn thing had a simple feature – invisible status.
    also, hangouts is terribly unreliable these days

    • needa

      works great for me. i conversate on it 2-3 time a day.

      • APai

        it does indeed work well. however, some of the messages are late at times, or some of the chat is not archived. I can’t seem to have trouble searching some of the chats/ hangouts at times. so the reliability is definitely down – at times.

        • needa

          i definitely will second the motion on the ‘late at times’. i dont really go back to see what all i typed. but i understand where you are coming from now.

  • Abbas Mustafa Bhaiji

    photo is of nexus 4 (2013)

  • Dario 753 a.C. .ex androidiani

    i think it would be nice to have only one app to check hangouts and SMS.
    so i can finally delete preinstalled sms app on my galaxy ace that it’s becoming really slow

  • Marty Cameron

    I really hope so, I am sick of the touchwiz messaging app
    Yes I am aware I could root my device and get rid of touchwiz but I love it all the other features it has

    • David Jeffers

      then just install one of the plethora of other SMS alternatives on the play store

  • David Jeffers

    Sadly it doesn’t look like Google Voice SMS integration, only stock SMS integration :c iOS got voice calling to phones, why can’t android Hangouts at least get Google Voice SMS integration