Improved Hangouts is one of the most common requests from Android users. According to a rumor late last year, Google is working on making it a better chat client by removing SMS capabilities. It now appears that as a part of that Hangouts will use a peer-to-peer connection when possible.
Hangouts February 4
Voxer is a relatively popular messaging app for Android and iOS, and has long been considered one of the best solutions available for those looking for a great PPT (push-to-talk) experience on mobile. It received a ton of funding a few years ago, and while it never really took off in the mainstream, it’s still being updated even today with new fixes and features for its dedicated group of users. It has somewhere between 10 and 50 million Play Store installs.
George Kola, a software engineer that was most recently Chief Technology Officer of the company for more than a year, has now joined Google according to his LinkedIn profile. While it’s of course possible that Kola could have joined Google on his engineering merit alone and could be working in just about any department within the Mountain View company, it’s still worth asking: Could Google possibly have its eyes on bringing some walkie talkie features to Hangouts?..
Hangouts January 27
Hangouts January 26
According to a rumor last year, Google would remove the ability to send SMS from Hangouts in a future update. While version 7.0 released today is not that update, it advises users to switch to Google Messenger for SMS. It also adds quick reply to notifications and the ability to add message shortcuts to the homescreen.
Hangouts December 17, 2015
The well-connected Derek Ross took to his Google+ profile yesterday, sharing a post entitled “Things that’ll piss people off”. In said post, he details something that — indeed — will piss people off. According to Ross (who has a pretty good track record when it comes to Google software), the Mountain View company is planning to strip SMS support from Hangouts in an effort to make the app better at its job… expand full story
Hangouts November 13, 2015
In the wake of some absolutely tragic and terrifying events tonight in Paris, Google has made international phone calls to France free on Google Hangouts. In other tragic past events, many companies that offer calling services have offered similar opportunities.
In a related initiative, Facebook has tonight launched a feature called Safety Check, which allows you to “quickly find and connect with friends in the area” and mark them safe if you know they’re safe. You can also let your friends know if you’re in the affected area.