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.
quick reply Stories January 26, 2016
quick reply Stories April 29, 2015
Google has updated its default Messenger app (not to be confused with the Facebook-made app by the same name) with a feature Android users have been awaiting for a very long time. Now, with version 1.3 of its Messenger app, Google has now introduced an official means of quick replying to text messages… expand full story