Google Hangouts update rolling out, merges SMS and Hangout conversations

by: Andrew GrushApril 21, 2014


Google is rolling out a new update to Hangouts today, which includes several changes such as a new feature that allows SMS and Hangouts conversations to merge together under one place for each of your contacts. There’s also simplified contact lists and much more.

To get a better idea of what’s different in the latest update, here’s a change-log noting some of the biggest changes, courtesy of Google engineer 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.

In Google’s usual fashion, it may take a few days before the update reaches everyone — though you can always check Google Play just in case. For those that have already received the update, what do you think of the changes? Anything else worth mentioning that isn’t in the (unofficial) change-log noted above?

  • Xavier_NYC

    Finally.. Wondered why they didn’t do this from the beginning.

    • Shark Bait

      totally! me too

  • Phil Rigby

    Just waiting for the little-loved (at least from Google) Voice to get integrated into there too…

  • jrfergy

    Can you use your Google Voice number?

  • Omran Terro

    Seems faster…

  • pon

    I still keep Hangout and SMS separate. Last time I merge I got a bunch of issues.

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  • Ruz

    Google Hangout has very little time to show its talent and really come out with the stellar app. Because i can now see a saturation point for whatsapp and soon it will start losing its market share coz many are not willing to pay for the app

  • Justin

    They need to highlight inbound hangout messages in green and add back the sent timestamps.. It’s hard to distinguish between sms and hangouts and impossible to see when a text was sent opposed to received.