A month after introducing app shortcuts, version 15.0 of Hangouts for Android is rolling out with support for sending GIFs through image keyboards in Android 7.1+. Additionally, the update brings a fix for a bug that listed the sender’s name twice in notifications.
Unfortunately, the GIF image keyboard only appears for regular Hangouts and not in Google Voice messages. After selecting the emoji button on the keyboard, the GIF button will appear to the right of the space bar. The identical picker seen in Google Messenger appears with the option to Search for GIFs or select from a carousel of popular ones.
This update also fixes a notifications bug introduced in version 14.0 of Hangouts. Notifications from a single person would inadvertently feature the sender’s name twice: once at the very top and again next to the actual message. This view is usually reserved for group messages and has since been rolled back to the proper way with this update.
Image keyboards only work on Android 7.1+ or above and require app developers to manually add support. This Hangouts update comes as the first Nougat maintenance update will be released this coming Monday to current Nexus devices. Otherwise, this update is pretty minimal and fits with the app’s new enterprise audience.