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The latest update makes it easier to share stuff on Hangouts
One of the nicer features of Marshmallow is Direct Share, which lets app developers put shortcuts to frequently used contacts right into Android’s share menu.
Ironically, Google, the biggest Android app developer of all, has been slow to adopt this new feature. Hangouts, for instance, has only received the capability this week.
Version 10 of Hangouts, now rolling out to users, brings one main user-facing feature: Direct Share. After you update the app, frequently used or recent contacts from Hangouts will show up in the share menu.
The change should make life easier for heavy Hangouts users. It eases the small friction that occurs when you have to search for and select a specific contact from your list. It doesn’t look like a massive improvement, but with app design – as with everything else in life – the devil is in the details.
Hangouts doesn’t have a stellar reputation among Android users and its market share has taken a beating due to brutal competition from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Asia-based services like WeChat and Line. Even Google seems to be losing faith in Hangouts, the service that was supposed to bring unity to its disparate messaging efforts. That said, the company insists that Hangouts is here to stay and that the new Allo is no existential threat to it. At least for now, we might add.