Google+ Hangouts v2 for Android: SMS, Location, GIFs & Status!
A couple days ago we announced we’re adding a bunch of new features to Hangouts for Android, including SMS support, location sharing, animated GIFs and more.  

Here’s a bit more on what we’ve added 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. 

Starting today, you can check out Hangouts v2 on #nexus5 , and over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling it out to everyone on the Play Store. 

We’re pretty excited about this release (and hope you are too) so hang tight, and we’ll get it in your hands soon enough. Enjoy! 

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117 comments
 
Looking forward to any performance improvements. Whether or not I use it for SMS will depend on whether or not it still murders my phone's performance when it opens. Thirty seconds to open an incoming chat notification has not been cool.
 
i really want it now! i love it already thought i didn't even have the chace to try it yet :)
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Not to sound unappreciative or anything, but I was really looking forward to the VOIP functionality that was added to the iOS version. Why isn't that added here as well?
 
So is it just sms or similar to imessage? Or do we get to choose what "channel" our messages use? 
 
+Jake Weisz that might have something to do with your phone, not the app.  On my Nexus 4 I have no lag issues what so ever.  On my wife's Nexus S, it takes longer (like you said).
 
+Emil Georgiev My phone isn't "new", being that you have to go 18 months back to get a keyboard. But it's running Jelly Bean, and handles pretty much any other app with ease and grace. There's no reason a text chat should nearly kill it, when I can do anything else on it with no performance issues.
 
I look forward to seeing if Hangouts can consume my Messaging app AND Google Voice or just Messaging.
 
Does SMS integration also mean Google Voice integration?
 
+Jarrod Davis Even if it doesn't explicitly say Google Voice support, you could always just point Google Voice messages at your cell number, and you're good.
 
+Jake Weisz The question of Google Voice support is more than just calls. GVoice and its integration with SMS/MMS is a question for me.
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"over the next few weeks"??? But I want it NOW! NOW I say, NOW!  :)
 
+Claudio Ibarra SMS will forward to your phone's normal SMS inbound without a problem. And Google Voice never supported MMS in the first place.
 
+Jake Weisz  "SMS will forward to your phone's normal SMS inbound without a problem" that doesn't convey any real information to me. My intent is to only use my GVoice number for calls, SMS and MMS. Right now, only one person knows my non-GV number because of MMS.

My question about the update to Hangouts and its integration to GVoice is simple:

Right now I have, in my phone's dock row, Messaging, Google Voice, and Hangouts. Will that grouping be replaced with 2 icons (Google Voice and Hangouts) or just one (Hangouts)?

Looks like the answer right now is "I don't know."
 
Does SMS/MMS work on tablets too? Or just phones? It sounds like it just uses your phone service, which a tablet wouldn't have. And what about voice calling?
 
The iOS version has VoIP capabilities. Why is it that Android's does not? 
 
+Jake Weisz 

" Even if it doesn't explicitly say Google Voice support, you could always just point Google Voice messages at your cell number, and you're good."

Hangouts for iOS turns an iPod Touch into a phone. The same is not the case with Hangouts on a Nexus 7.  
 
ya se puede eliminar a mas de una persona a la vez? no se porque se puede solo de uno en uno no le veo chiste
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Will Hangouts for Android at least have feature parity with the iPhone version?
 
I suspect with what we're seeing with Hangouts, there will be an updated Google Voice app that uses the new SMS APIs to drop SMS into the inbound/outbound streams.. But that doesn't really make sense because we can already make inbound/outbound calls from Hangouts on the PC and iPhone.. I can't imagine why it'd be different for Android. 
 
Pretty phucking amazing! So all that's needed on top is voip. Any plans on that? 
 
The Google Voice question asked another way: for those of use who use Google Voice as their primary phone/texting number, will the new Hangouts app allow us to ditch Google Voice's awful awful Android app?
 
location sharing...it's interesting.
usually i use gmail to send a location so my friends can find me easly (yes...thx google map & gmail).

but if hangout can do this also, it would be great.

*i'm expecting hangout for video call improvement. perhaps lower b/w.
 
Coming weeks? :( What happened to 'a few days' that we heard a few days ago? Ah well, can't wait!
 
Lol, the status thing reminds me Windows 8.1 Start button...

users: "We want the status back!"
Google: "Ok, we put the status back... but you can only share it as a message in a conversation *trollface"
 
Would really appreciate if +Randall Sarafa could clarify if Google Voice will be integrated with the updated Google Hangouts app. For those of us that have our primary number ported to GVoice, we would like for this Hangouts app to be our go to app for sms and mms. 
 
I'm assuming MMS includes pictures and such, not just emoji and group messages?
 
+Jack Holt MMS includes pictures and videos and group messages...emoji can be sent over SMS or MMS if you'd like! 
 
I'm sure that there will be an apk for those of you that are like me and can't wait. 
 
I'm sure that there will be an apk for those of you that are like me and can't wait. 
 
does this now replace and completely get rid of the stock messaging app?

I'm hoping so.
 
+Olivier Forget I actually prefer the Voice app. It performs smoother, and doesn't have all the cards crud.
 
Canada. Land of the creators of GrandCentral.

Just sayin'.
 
Randall, you are a scholar and a gentlemen. I don't care what ^ was saying about you.
 
Is there any way to get the app early......? I wouldn't mind testing it....
 
Please tell me you are backing up texts on Gmail like other Hangouts messages and syncing them across all devices? 
 
+Anchal Nigam "how the hell?" Missed d n5 & kitkat announcement. Sorry.
 
Hey +Randall Sarafa, if you have no comment about all the voice calling/iOS questions then say no comment. But over half the comments so far are related to that issue, don't just ignore them. 
 
While you're here +Randall Sarafa, can you advise whether all the existing network SMSs on our phones will be imported into Hangouts once this feature goes live? If not, would the new SMS API allow SMSs to be restored into Hangouts via a 3rd party backup app (such as Titanium or Helium)?
 
Why not releasing it soon? it's ridiculous.
 
Ummm... You said it'd roll out in the next few days on the event now it's a few weeks? If it's on the nexus 5 why isn't it on the play store? 
 
+Thomas Aschemann I hope it works on tablets. It would be great to have bluetooth enabled conversations via my Nexus 7 Gen 2.
 
It frustrates me a lot that they do a gradual rollout of their products! I see the improvement, I see the new features, I see other people having those features and I want them for myself! Immediately :/
 
Is there an SMS pop-up? That has become a necessity for me.  If not, will I be able to still use a 3rd party app for the pop-up while using Hangouts for the primary SMS functions?
 
Is this integration mandatory +Randall Sarafa? I don't use 'hangouts' except when I want to chat with someone who doesn't use anything else, and would rather stick to separate apps.
 
This should be great. Goodbye to many chatapps that's draining my juice
 
SMS does not work on a tablet. Tested. You're welcome. 
 
Hi +Randall Sarafa 

I got to try it earlier and I noticed that SMS messages and Hangouts messages are not in the same stream like in iMessage. I am quite disappointed.  

Implementation should have been such that:  

Show all SMS messages and Hangouts messages in one stream. 

When User1 messages User2 using Hangouts:
If  User1 and User2 are both online in Hangouts, then send as a Hangouts message.  
If  User1 or User2 are offline in Hangouts then send as a SMS.  
 
+Michael Delpach I noticed that in a screenshot myself and was immediately bummed. You've got to think they will be folded into the same stream at some point, maybe when Voice gets absorbed.
 
Can't view or send SMS from iphone, tablet, or web extension


 
+Tyler Ralston thanks very much for that link! I was surprised it didn't sync up conversations between devises. Does it sync them with the browser version in G+?
 
No not at all. Kind of a let down but I'm still happy to get rid of the messages app.
 
when the IOS version will released?
 
+Randall Sarafa Excuse me but what the hell is going on with the voice calling? Am I the only one who thought this would be VoIP calling like it used to be in Talk (and in ios version) and not a stupid, useless shortcut for a normal call that uses up minutes? What is the point of this? Seriously
 
I have SPRINT! Guess it's not so bad after all. And yes, LTE avgs 12-19 Mbps DFW & LA 
 
I'm glad to see this moving forward. I've been hoping for a sort of SMS-sync service in Hangouts, similar to what MightyText or MySMS is doing. GV integration will probably be that answer. That means I'll have to get people to use that number instead...keep up the hard work +Randall Sarafa and don't let the masses bring you down!
 
No multi-part messaging.  When you hit 160 chars it stops accepting input.  you must send the message and then continue typing.
 
+Randall Sarafa How do I access my Hangouts conversations across different devices? I can't see my SMS conversations on Hangouts on my desktop browser.  The benefit for Hangouts as an SMS client for me was being able to access the same conversations anywhere Hangouts is, like Google usually does with its products.  Am I missing something?
 
Hi, please give us an option to make the chat emoji larger? They're too small at the moment. (If it has to be constrained to the font size for design reasons, I'd settle for an option for bigger font sizes)

The size they currently display at for "current mood" next to your status icon would be perfect, that is just big enough to be legible.
 
This is exactly what I was expecting +Vance McAlister and now I'm disappointed. I was hoping to replace MightyText and MySMS. 
 
I don't get why SMS/Hangouts are separated? Can't it see you are sending a message to the same contact and combine the 2 threads? Or is that coming in the future?
 
There are two features I would like to see.  First of all I would like the Android version of Hangouts to ring on my mobile phone when a call comes in.  Secondly I would love to find a way to receive incoming and make outgoing GV calls like I currently can using my Obi device.  Thanks.
 
+Vance McAlister that would indeed make the perfect platform. Then throw in google voice support and the planets would be aligned.
 
FYI MMS is very slow even on WiFi.
 
Why does it have to be rolling out over the next few weeks???? Is it so hard to release it so everyone can get it at the same time???
 
+Ming Xiao Just go fetch the apk from any number of Android websites and download it and install it.
 
This is great, but any plans on Google Voice integration into this app? It's still so clunky that I have to use one app for GV, another for SMS, and another for GTalk/Hangouts. Being on Sprint with GV integration is amazing but this could be so much more streamlined. 
 
An important and insightful comment from someone on another article: "I hope they don't dismantle Google Voice. The name alone sounds a lot more legit than 'hangouts.' I would feel like an idiot telling a business associate that 'you should use Hangouts.'"
 
Personally I couldn't care less what they call it as long as it provides the functionality I'm looking for.  I'm already searching for viable alternatives since we have so much time.
 
I think it should be a simple Google messenger that integrates chat, SMS, MMS, and Google voice support seemlessly by simply choosing a contact or typing their number, etc.
 
disappointing that the hangouts call forwarding doesn't exist on this version on Android. I use my iPhone for work and my Android for personal, my iPhone shows when I get a call to my Android but not vice versa. :(  --- both numbers are sprint GV integrated. 
 
I didn't read all the comments, but I for one, can't send or receive MMS on my Nexus 5. Pictures just no nowhere. Any help?
 
How come the roll out takes so long? The server my google play is on still hasn't seen the new hangouts version. Is this a capacity problem or something? Thought Google had insane compute and bandwidth to go around, atleast for a little apk. :) 
 
It needs to sync SMS's with desktop, you should also be able to send / receive SMS from your desktop via your phone ... if it could do that, then you have something really special! 
 
+Thomas Hegarty - not really. Mighty Text and Google Voice have been doing that for some time. That's part of why I'm anxious for them to finish the integration of Hangouts and Voice. 
 
+Corey Fields I agree.. you can use Mighty Text, but having one solution for IM / SMS within the same ecosystem would be cool. BTW, Mighty Text is really cool!
 
+Zuber Vohra- no! I use it for the features and the free texting and so do a lot of other people. It's many people's primary number, and I think Google knows better than to shut it down. 
 
+Corey Fields It will not be shut down but some current features will be lost that involve using the XMPP protocol.  Personally, since I telework I need outgoing call functionality from a line other than my house phone.  Obitalk previously solved that issue for me but it will be going away as far as GV is concerned.  I have already initiated service with VOIPo, a VoIP provider.  I'm actually getting more features than GV provided but, of course, I'm now paying for them.  For the first two years (paid in advance) it is costing ~$6/month.  After that the price goes to ~$15/month.  Still extremely affordable in my eyes and I'm not dependent on a free service which, as we all know, can change at any time since there are no contracts involve.
 
+Corey Fields  I use it for SMS too, and you can't call it free technically because every year Google releases update that it will be free for another year, you don't know if it will be free again or not. In new update will be able to call out from our iphone/android using google voice?
 
+Zuber Vohra My understanding is that you can already use Hangouts to make GV calls from an iPhone.  I use Android so can't confirm that personally.  Supposedly that functionality will be added to Android as well at some point but I am not sure if it will use carrier minutes or not.
 
+Alan Schneider That is better feedback I was looking for. You pointed out most important point about if it will carrier minutes or not. 
 
+Mitchell Swan I'm having the same issue on Samsung Galaxy S4. I can't even use an alternative SMS app for MMS and Hangouts seems to block it arriving to the other app, unlike SMS messages. I can't find any information on it and have had to turn off SMS integration until the MMS issue is finished, or I get no pictures at all.
 
I like Hangout on iPhone 4 so far. I can remove caller and everything, only thing is iti is very annoying having click confirm every time calling a number.
 
1)  I got a notification about this post.  I don't know if you mean an Android App called "Hangouts", because I tried to download it and my Call Phone said that app is not supported by this device.  Samsung 4 Infuse G OS v4.0+.  

2)  Hangouts where related to Videos on YouTube. Is what you are writing about related to that?

3) I see some posts above about Google Voice.  The Record function KEY press 4 does not seem to record even though I have it Enabled.
 
sooooo.............. are we getting Google Voice integration or not?
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