best alternatives to FaceTime on Android

Google Hangouts has received tons of useful features over the past couple years, but one of the most popular ones might soon be removed. According to a new rumor from Phandroid, Hangouts will lose the ability to send and receive SMS and MMS messages in its next big update.

This feature made its way to Google’s messaging platform back in October 2013, and to be honest, it was pretty buggy when it first launched. Since then most of the major bugs have been squashed, making the overall experience quite pleasant for most users out there. At this time it’s not clear as to why Google has plans to remove this feature, though it wouldn’t surprise us if the company wanted to simplify the messaging experience on Android. After all, Google surprisingly released a new SMS application called Messenger back in 2014 with the launch of the Nexus 6, leaving users confused as to which messaging app they should use.

According to the report, Google employees are currently testing this unreleased build of Hangouts. It will supposedly have a prompt urging users to try out the Google Messenger app. After all, Messenger is pretty customizable, and in my experience, a much more bug-free application. The report also states that Google Voice users will still be able to message within Hangouts. Only carrier SMS messaging will get the axe.

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It’s not all bad news, though. This new version of Hangouts will reportedly also gain a few new features that have been requested by users for quite some time. For starters, Hangouts will supposedly get quick reply functionality from notifications in the new update. This feature has been available on Google Messenger for some time, and it just rolled out to Hangouts for iOS not too long ago. The new update will also bring with it the ability to place a shortcut to a specific Hangouts conversation on your home screen. It’s not the most groundbreaking new feature, but it’s still nice to have.

Since this is just a rumor for now, we need to remember to take this news with a grain of salt. It’s certainly not the best news we’ve heard in the past, though if you think about it, there’s nothing wrong with Google wanting to simplify the messaging experience on Android. So with all that said, does this rumor have you upset? Be sure to speak up in the comment section below.

Download Hangouts from Google Play

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Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee and music.
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