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Google+ Hangouts v2 for Android features explained, to launch in the coming weeks

The features of the new Google+ Hangouts app have been further explained by a Googler, with the app expected to hit the Google Play Store in the coming weeks.
October 31, 2013
Google Hangouts v2

Google+ Hangouts v2 for Android has received an important update that brings SMS/MMS support to the app among other features, although they will only be available on the Nexus 5 initially.

Google’s Randall Sarafa took to Google+ to further explain the features of Hangouts v2 (images included), adding that non-Nexus 5 Android users will get the app at some point in “the next few weeks.” However, a more precise roll out has not been offered.

That said, here’s what Sarafa had to say about some of the new features in Hangouts v2:

  • SMS/MMS (Android 4.0+): send and receive text messages in Hangouts! No more chasing conversations across apps, texts will now appear in Hangouts and you can reply right there. We also let you import all of your existing text messages into the app, send/receive group texts and even text emoji to your friends on Android, iPhone, etc.
  • Animated GIFs: view and send GIFs in your Hangout, you can even send your Auto Awesomed photos (and kitten GIFs, of course).
  • Location: you can now quickly share your location into conversations.
  • Device, in-call, mood status: share what device you’re using, whether you’re on a call, or your current mood. Status appears in conversations right alongside the “read up to here” indicator.
  • There are also some general improvements we’ve made: it’s quicker to start new conversations, you can now attach photos from other sources like Google Drive, and we added some butter to make the app faster & smoother.

We’ll also remind you that while Hangouts will be the default SMS/MMS app in Android 4.4 KitKat, users will be able to replace it with an app of their choosing if they so desire.