This week, Google Hangouts has received a major update for Android! For some Android users, Hangouts app hasn’t always been a pleasing experience to have. It has always had its lags and bugs here and there. But lately, it has shown some signs of life! In this new update to 7.0, you’ll notice some changes right away. Some users will be seeing a message appear once they open the app for them to try using Google’s Messenger app for SMS and MMS messaging. Others may not see this message at all. But, everyone will get the Quick REPLY feature that will appear in the notification shade once a hangouts message comes through! Now this is the major feature that has been asked for and been missing since forever! Yes! Google Hangouts just became better!
No More SMS and MMS in Hangouts?
This has been one of the biggest rumors for some months now and it has finally coming true, for some, somewhat. With this new Hangouts update, you soon won’t be able to use SMS and MMS for messaging to cell numbers. So, you will need to check out another SMS and MMS app in the near future down the road. This is where Google will encourage users to try out Google Messenger app. Google Messenger already comes as default with most Android devices now including the Nexus phones. This app really isn’t bad at all. So, if you don’t have the Google Messenger app, give it a try now. Eventually, the SMS functionality may go away (except the Project the Fi users will have full access to SMS and MMS).
Project Fi Users Rejoice!
Although most Android users are seeing the SMS and MMS functions and features going away from Hangouts app soon, a surprise that in the addition to the Project Fi users are still able to keep this function in Hangouts! Google is actually wanting Project Fi owners to use Hangouts for pretty much everything now. Fi users can send SMS, MMS, and see voicemails in the Hangouts app. Some may see it as being a clutter, but to each its own. With keeping all the main functions for Fi users, this app is close to being a beast of a chat and messaging app. This could put the app over the top of Apple’s iMessaging app and system. So all Fi users, rejoice!
Google Voice Users
Google Voice users, this is also a benefit to you all as well. Hangouts had already brought Google Voice to the app also. You may even notice that in the Google Voice app, it will notify you that you will receive your SMS in Hangouts. But you can still access your old messages in the Google Voice app. The Google Voice still works. Just don’t expect any major updates to come. Not only this but if you are a Project Fi user, you can make your Project Fi number also your Google Voice number as well.
New Features and Functions!
This is really what you all came here for. The major enhancements and improvements. Yes, Google finally brings Quick Reply to your notifications shade. You all now can reply faster and easier to your hangouts messages. Yes, it was a long time coming for this and waiting very patiently for this to happen. What a hassle it was to just reply back to message when you had to open the app all the up! No more of that at all. So with this major update release, things just became easier.
Pros and Cons
The good news about the update is that improvements, bug fixes and quick reply are here! Project Fi users won’t lose out on anything and more so will gain from it. The bad thing is that users that are locked in on other carriers are somewhat in the near future have to use Google Messenger app since SMS and MMS isn’t going to be supported in Hangouts for other than the Project Fi users.
One more thing, Hangouts is more powerful than you know it. Did you know you can use Hangouts on Tablets and PCs as well? Google hangouts had its own website too. So you won’t have to look down at your phone just to see messages or reply back. While you are on your Pc or Mac, you can respond to messages and call online!
Now, you know all the new features and functions and improvements, will you be updating the Google Hangouts and giving it a spend? If you are already using Hangouts, are these enhancements enough to keep you using the app? Are you on Project Fi and taking full advantage of what Google Hangouts on Android has to offer? We would like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
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