The well-connected Derek Ross took to Google+ last week to tease the latest update to Hangouts, version number 5.0. And while 4.0 — the update that brought a long-awaited visual overhaul — hasn’t even been around that long, this version makes a lot of improvements to the app’s performance, brings full-working GIFs, a splash screen, and more…

While we haven’t gotten our hands on an official change log, we do have the things that Ross noted last week:

  • Sending messages lag: Gone.
  • Loading conversation lag: Gone.
  • Main screen conversation update lag: Reduced.
  • Hangouts splash screen: Included.
  • Pop-up ‘signed in as’: Now in white.
  • GIFs: They work!
  • Dogfood icon: Removed.

I’ve spent a few minutes with the app now, and can confirm that these changes have all been made as far as I can tell. Performance definitely seems to be snappier in every way, there’s definitely a splash screen, and GIFs seem to be functioning as they should. Visually, though, this major version bump doesn’t seem to bring many changes.

Google is rolling the app out now by way of the Google Play Store, but if you’re impatient and/or want to get the update right now, you can head over to APKMirror and install it manually from your device.


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Stephen Hall

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