Google has repeatedly reiterated that Hangouts will remain as an enterprise-focused messaging solution after Allo and Duo’s release. Version 13 is rolling out now to Android with support for Chrome Custom Tabs and other minor tweaks.
The “Browse in Hangouts” toggle can be found in Settings and is enabled by default. To match the rest of Hangouts, the Custom Tab’s status and app bar is appropriately colored green. An overflow menu allows you to open the page in Chrome and a Share button opens up the system share sheet. The browser chrome convenient hides when you scroll down a page.
There is now also a warning at the top of Settings that reminds users merged conversations are no longer available. The option was removed in version 11 and use to allow SMS and Hangouts chats in one convenient thread.
It has a taken a few updates, but Hangouts finally supports all major Android features, including Direct Share on Marshmallow and Nougat’s updated Quick Reply. However, the latter feature could stand to add the Google Messenger implementation that allows for persistent notifications even after sending a reply. The app also just received the ability to send videos and added unique links to invite people to group chats.
On the web, Google recently updated the Hangouts Chrome extension to a design more similar to the Android tablet app.