Hey, have you heard? Google Hangouts is now a thing. And by a thing, I mean Google's new universal, cross-platform chat solution. Ron's closer look hands-on should give you an idea of how Hangouts works (and how it doesn't). But the launch of Google's Talk / G+ Messenger replacement hasn't gone entirely smoothly, and there remain a few bumps to be ironed out - bumps Google has promised to fix. So here's what we know so far.

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A full rollout of the app is coming over the next "several days."

Google added a note to the app description for Hangouts indicating that the app would not be available to everyone immediately, and that even if you installed the app, opening it might take you to the old Google Talk interface. Here's that quote exactly:

NOTE: If you aren't yet able to install Hangouts on your phone or tablet, or the Play Store "Open" button takes you to the old Talk app, hang tight, we are rolling out Hangouts to everyone over the course of several days. Rest assured Hangouts will be available soon for all Android 2.3+ devices, tablets included!

Dan Morrill, another Googler, clarified the issue further by stating that Hangouts is currently set to roll out to only 1% of eligible devices, using Google's new staged rollout system. The rollout will expand greatly in the coming days.

Tablet support is MIA for many, but should be coming "shortly."

At the time of this writing, none of us here at Android Police have been able to get the Hangouts app to actually open on a tablet. It won't show up to install, even from the Play Store web interface. We know some of you have been able to get it up and running, whether by sideloading the APK or just being a lucky son-of-a-gun, but this issue is still affecting a lot of people.

Google Employee Randall Sarafa promises that Hangouts is totally tablet-optimized, but there's been some problems getting the tablet version rolled out. He said yesterday that the issue "should be resolved shortly[.]"

Once again, Dan Morrill provided more info, and the issue has now been tracked back to a telephony-related permission causing the app to appear incompatible with tablets. An update to the app will fix this soon.

Again, we'd expect this to be sorted out in short order, and is probably more of a backend issue that needs fixing.

Hangouts will replace the Google+ Messenger app once chat history is migrated over.

Again, we've got a Google employee commenting on the status of this issue. Google Hangouts is indeed intended to replace the Google+ Messenger app for Android, and it will... at some point. Ben Eidelson explains why it hasn't already:

People have been asking about how Messenger will be affected by Hangouts, the new communications product Google launched today. Hangouts replaces--and improves on the functionality of Messenger. We are working quickly to bring your Messenger conversation history into Hangouts. Until then we will continue to keep Messenger available for users in the Google+ mobile apps.

So, you should expect a Google+ app update some time soon[-ish] that will remove the Messenger app, and expect to see all of your old Messenger convo history merged into Hangouts. There's no specific time frame here, but "we will continue to keep Messenger available for users" suggests to me that this is something a little further off just yet.

Hangouts is getting some form of SMS integration at some point.

There's been a lot of talk about Hangouts getting SMS integration, and the word of a single Google Community Manager is basically now being taken as canon that powerful, complete SMS integration is coming to the platform. On top of that, there's now a setting for "SMS for Hangouts" in your Google Account settings page.

Update: The Google Community Manager in question has since rescinded her comment about SMS integration.


Let's clarify this now: the SMS for Hangouts setting has absolutely nothing to do with SMS integration. It's a feature for users in countries with limited mobile internet access (just look at the list of eligible countries) that allows you to receive Hangouts messages as SMSs when your account is idle. It does not foretell full SMS integration in the app. This is a simple notification method for those who either don't have a smartphone, or don't have easy access to mobile web connectivity.

As for the word of the Google Community Manager, well, the Hangouts app does have permissions to send, receive, and read SMS messages. Proof of concept? If you go into the settings menu of the Hangouts app, and "confirm your phone number," Hangouts will send a test SMS to your phone number and intercept before it actually hits your messaging inbox (much in the way the Google Voice app confirms your phone number). Ron found that if you hit confirm, then very quickly uninstall the Hangouts app, those messages will go to your normal SMS inbox.

But why does Hangouts want to confirm your phone number? At this point, the relevant support page says it is strictly in order to help people find you on Google services if you don't have a Google+ profile, or if somebody you know can't remember your Gmail address. They could then type your phone number in when they start a hangout in order to message you. But it seems all too plausible that this could eventually transform this into full-on SMS integration. We'll have to wait and see.

My money is definitely on the "wait" part of the equation.

The Hangouts Gmail web UI is rolling out slowly.

There's not much to say on this one - you may not have the Gmail Hangouts sidebar UI yet. You will eventually. There'll be an option to enable it. In the meantime, if you don't feel like using the Google+ Hangouts UI (which has basically rolled out completely), you can download the Chrome extension.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • portaltonowhere

    i got it working on my galaxy tab 2 10.1 just by downloading & installing the apk...

    • magaman

      Where did you download the apk ?

      • portaltonowhere

        got it from my phone...i backed it up then emailed it to myself and installed it on my tab

  • http://twitter.com/oujog84 TheHeader

    No one yet has talked about how slow this App is..........thank you Google I now get my messages 4 hours later. Google Talk was so much better.

    • John Motschenbacher

      its been rather quick for me on wifi and 3g/4g

    • Gloria Tortorella

      It works pretty well here, it needs a bunch of seconds to sync the conversations between my pc and phone, but messaging is instant.

      • http://twitter.com/oujog84 TheHeader

        So you're okay with a downgrade from Google talk? Google talk didn't need any sync time between phone and PC.

        • IamTheFij

          It's instant for me... Must be having some system issues.

          • http://twitter.com/oujog84 TheHeader

            Nexus 4?

    • http://www.facebook.com/CraigHwk Craig Hawkins

      No such problem here.

  • Moshe Brevda

    I have Hangouts working on my N7. Couldn't install from the store obviously, but the apk worked just fine.

  • Jose Alberto Abreu

    What about being able to set your status?? That's a basic messaging feature!

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      I think hangouts is moving away from IM based messaging. you'll notice that it doesn't emphasize online statuses either.

      • Angelo Allegra

        Well, we can always move away from Hangouts if we don't like that.
        Google will notice we emphasize that need, surely.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          you could....I realistically don't think it'll happen. Some people may be upset but I doubt enough people will get up in arms about statuses

          • abhinav

            status is important.I feel like handicapped without this basic feature we had been fed all along..going ahead I don't even bother to open the hangouts app on ma phone as it wouldn't let me know who is online

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            I think it'll just take time but eventually status won't Matter

          • abhinav

            then it would become useless for me..thers no way i can use it without that feature

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            That sucks

      • TheCraiggers

        Which is silly, given that they seem to be pushing their Video conferencing ability. What is the point of having a button to initiate a video / voice call if you have no idea they're even there to acknowledge the request?

        And before somebody says it, no, this is not the same as a phone call.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          probably because they'll answer however THEY want to and not the way YOU want them to. I believe Google is making it so Only when you and the person on the other end decide to activate or de-activate video should it be done (what I think personally)

          • TheCraiggers

            And that makes total sense. Obviously you don't want people turning your cellphone camera (or any camera) on without your knowledge.

            However, answering video calls are different. For example, they use notification volume instead of ringtone volume and you have to unlock your phone first before answering.

            Both of those would be fixed by a simple online/offline indicator.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            I'm not sure if a simple status indicator would fix the volume issue, but I didn't know that you could answer a call from a locked cell phone even with a regular call. I don't get a lot of calls to begin with and I'm typically on my phone anyway when I do so that's something I need to try out.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            I tested this out and Hangouts does use the regular phone ring. (not the same sound though) as for unlocking your phone first you don't have to do that either (tested that) so all and all sounds like they did a good job so far

        • mrribbits

          It is.

        • Bill

          Who would want anything to be like a phone call in the first place? Making phone calls is for old people who don't know any better.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      This is just stuff Google has commented on specifically. And yes, I agree, WTF. Same goes with showing contacts online / offline.

      • Alwin Crasto

        You can see people who are online. Just see your contacts list from within the app. The contacts that have brighter images are online. The rest faded out.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          You're right, but wow is that ever way too dim to notice.

        • http://profiles.google.com/vdogg89 Victor Stuber

          This is not really the case. I've compared the mobile app with my gmail chat. A lot of the faces that are 'online' on my phone are actually not online when I view them in gmail. Also, it doesnt show the online status of the actual conversations you are in. I'm not going to go to my contacts and scroll down just to see if they are online. I want to see it in my active conversations list.

        • Fifique

          Need to know more than just whether they're online. Need to know whether they're available, busy etc. In my work life, I'm often/always online but that doesn't mean I'm available to chat.

        • Jason Mavandi

          There is the green line under their picture if they are online.

      • John Motschenbacher

        contact are gray if not actve. want to update your status.... go use facebook lol

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          By "status" we mean away / busy / appear offline, all of which are gone.

          • Cody Curry

            This was a cool part of Calendar integration. Being able to say, "I have work every day, mark me as busy automatically during these hours".

            And a status just kind of goes along with that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

            Would be useful if I could make an appointment in my google Calendar, there set myself as "busy" and that automaticly Hangouts shows me as "unavailable". Dont know if that is happening right now but it should

          • IamTheFij

            Wow... I just wrote the same thing and then scrolled down and saw you had the same idea 5 days ago.

            I think it's a fantastic idea! I do something similar with Tasker on Android to mute my ringer and noises when I'm in meetings at work.

          • IamTheFij

            Right, that's irrelevant now. Now you are either reading or not reading. It's more like the Messenger app that was with Google Plus and like BBM.

            Status was relevant in the desktop days when you would walk away from your computer and you needed to indicate you were gone. Not so anymore. Now you will get messages when you get them since they will be delivered to any/all of your devices.

            The green line under a face lets you know the person is "available" though and actively in chat. I think just with desktop. When you "Snooze Notifications" the green goes away (and legacy clients show you as Idle).

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            I understand the philosophy, but it's not about being "online / offline," it's about not wanting to be disturbed, or showing contacts that you are presently engaged and won't be responding to messages.

            Snoozing notifications is a great idea, but it simply isn't a replacement for status settings.

          • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

            It is a replacement since you're shown as "idle" when snoozed as shown by the green "available" bar disappearing from your profile picture in other people's hangouts lists or their picture being grayed-out.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            Please, idle != busy / do not disturb. That's not even an argument.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.montgomery.1978 Christopher Montgomery

            This says precisely how I feel about it as well. Being able to see if someone is available, busy, or only on a mobile device makes all the difference in when I choose to contact them. Just because I'm signed into mail or my phone screen is on, doesn't mean I want to be disturbed by incoming attempts at chat. That's the edge that things like chat software have over a regular phone call, why dumb it down?

          • mrribbits

            But it's not an "attempt to chat", it can be a simple message like you would send as SMS. If you do want to chat, it can become one seamlessly. If you do not, then it's just like an SMS.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.montgomery.1978 Christopher Montgomery

            Sure. I get that and there are plenty of conversations that I'm going to start no matter what because I need to exchange some sort of information. But with the more robust status indicator I can decide if I want to start a simple, idle, "Hey how's it going? blahblahblah" chat which I normally wouldn't send if I'm not as certain someone is immediately available. And from my end, I want to be able to put the status there that indicates "Hey. I'm in the middle of something. Don't bother setting my phone off for something you want immediately." If I turn my phone on in a meeting to search for a work email, I don't want it to appear that I'm available to chat. Having that capability gives chat an edge over other mediums. Why reduce that functionality? That's why I use Talk instead of other means.

          • mrribbits

            There's on online/offline with SMS. You just send a text to the person. It's the same idea.

          • http://profiles.google.com/vdogg89 Victor Stuber

            Not all of my chat friends have smartphones. This is still a real issue for me as I cannot see who I can chat with.

          • IamTheFij

            There is a green line under their icons if they are available on a desktop client.

          • abhinav

            exactly an issue for me too.this seems to b designed some 6 years in advance when everyone would b effectively online

          • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

            Some people I chat with don't have a smartphone and are only connected using a desktop. They need to let people know they aren't in front of their computers.

          • IamTheFij

            That exists with the Green line under their icon. It's just automatic.

          • Tiago Azevedo

            That is not necessarily true! I would like to set a status on my Google hangouts to tell people I'm not responding them because I am in a lecture or working. Now people from my contacts don't know if I am available to chat with. This really grinds my gears!

          • IamTheFij

            That's a good use case and I can see the value. I think it speaks incorporated to the use of Text status messages than the Red, Yellow, Green. If they incorporated an away message with Snoozes that would be awesome. You could then Snooze 1 Hour and say "In Lecture".

            OR! It could use your Google Calendar. You could check a box as Do not Disturb on Gcal and it could auto snooze you and use the Calendar Event name as the Message.

      • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

        I think hangouts is meant to be on the mobile so you are always kind of online. Online/offline is from desktop era when you need to know if the other person is in front of the desktop or not.

        Now you shouldn't have to worry about it as the contact will anyway receive the message when they are connected. Whatsapp and other messaging clients work the same way. You don't look at your online list of friends and chat, you just search for the friend you want to talk to and send him/her a message.

        Setting a status would be very nice though.

        • IamTheFij

          I think you are totally right. I like the implementation too.

          As for status, they should show the latest G+ update like they do in the People app on Android.

          I had some more detailed thoughts written up yesterday: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117075061419629517420/posts/jeazVQn3yWV

        • http://profiles.google.com/vdogg89 Victor Stuber

          the problem with this mentality is this. Lets say I'm on mobile and I want to chat with my wife. She doesnt have a smartphone so she has to be on gmail to chat with me. I now have no idea whether or not I should send a "you there" message. I now have to kinda take a random guess and hope she is on her computer.

          • mrribbits

            "She doesn't have a smartphone" : There's your problem. You're complaining about the latest software not working for someone that doesn't even have a smartphone.

          • Matthew Fry

            Except... this is replacing talk and google+ *on the desktop* so if you use either of those *on the desktop*, the issue still remains.

          • jbx

            what kind of stupid reasoning is this? so suddenly all my contacts have to buy a smartphone and be always online just because google decided to update my gtalk app to hangouts? And by the way, this is a step back not a step forward in mentality. The store-and-forward deliver when the recipient is online approach is 1980s technology called SMS.

            The advancement of SMS to Instant Messaging was supposed to be instant messaging status integrated in the phone's contact book. The status gives you much more information about the recipient. It not only tells you whether the recipient is online, i.e. that you can expect an immediate response, but also whether the user wants to be disturbed. So instead now we have to send a message 'You there? can I disturb you?', the reply will be 'Guess what? you already disturbed me!'. Also, why are we making the assumption that people are always online? People switch off their 3G if they reached their capping or dont want to spend any more, or simply to save battery.

            Lets stop being fanboys and defend stupid company mistakes that show that in this case they dont have any telecoms experience. This is exactly the same like when Apple received the first iPhone which not only didn't have 3G but not even SMS delivery reports. The defense for that by Apple fanboys was hilarious... and guess what Apple introduced it eventually so it wasn't intentional, it was just a stupid assumption by some engineer who never worked in telecoms.

            I am not going to get started about the stupid decision to integrate my whole contact book, with all my old contacts which I keep for reference just in case into Hangouts, polluting the list of frequent contacts I communicate with on gtalk with all the rest of the crap!

          • Blaž Zupan

            Think about this as if you're having a text/SMS conversation. Do you send a "are you there" text before you start texting your wife? No, you don't. You just say what you want to say - she will respond once she gets the message.

          • Xan Bertison

            And if I normally use talk to chat with people past 11 pm who happen to be awake or people early in the morning I know are up? Seeing you is online and away is imperative. We don't need unsocial chat.

          • jbx

            Thats the whole point of the stupidity of this reasoning. If I want to send a message that eventually gets delivered I use SMS. If I want to get an immediate response I check the status of the person and if he is online I send him an instant message, because I know he is going to reply immediately. So effectively hangouts is a step back because it removed the latter, which has been in gtalk and all the IM technologies for ages now.

          • Marat Levit

            Hence why the mobile apps have been released. You wife simply needs to install the app onto her Android or iPhone.

          • David Becker

            You could just send a message like "Are you online right now?"

            People are used to status' and online notifications, but the fact is that the world is changing and people are on multiple devices. Determining what devices people are on is hard to do when people have tablets, multiple computers, phones etc..

          • jbx

            Duh... the whole point of setting a 'status'?!

            So according to you the world is changing backwards back to the SMS way of doing things? Send the message and maybe some day it arrives and the person replies... Whats next in this 'advanced' technology, delivery reports?

        • Fifique

          It's not a matter of them just being online. It matters whether they are available and able to be interrupted. For effective efficient use as a collaboration tool in a business environment, status matters. For social chat, maybe not so much.

          • mrribbits

            I don't think they're marketing it as a business tool are they? Look at their video (http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/). Not very business like as far as I can tell :)

          • SetiroN

            It's not a business tool, nobody ever said that. But people do business and need to communicate and regardless of the nature of such communication time restrained issues require you to know whether a person is able to read your message or not.
            Otherwise we might as well stick with email.
            Status is fundamental.

          • didibus

            I want both. It's 'smart' to have a messenger app be able to send a message and relay it to SMS or EMAIL in case the other person is not online. But, it would be nice that when the person is online, to display if they are active, and also if they are willing to chat or not, and to what degree.

        • thinsoldier

          But 50% of my contacts are just telephone numbers. It makes no sense to fill my hangouts screen with people who have never and will never be "online" and who I would probably never send a message to even if they were.

      • http://www.anglista.edu.pl/ Marcin Mały

        Where is it? I uninstalled as quickly as possible, because I had no idea who was online and who wasn't.

        • Axelord

          same here, as soon i installed the app and saw i wasnt able to check my contacts i uninstalled it and went back to google talk simple as that, i will never use hangouts if the status functionality is not CLEARLY shown for all my contacts, end of the discussion, this is a step backwards if you consider it as a new implementation, but i dont consider it as a new implementation i consider it as an issue someone forgot to give real importance

    • Jaime Lefebvre

      The Chrome extension shows online people with a simple green bar under their photo. The App shows offline people as being greyed-out. Its subtle, but the thinking is that you would wait for someone to have their phone in their hand to SMS them, so why wait to Hangout. Offline messages are fully supported.

      • Tj Hariharan

        IT doesn't show everyone who is online, only the ones who have google plus who are online or something. THere is a defenite discrepancy between my google talk/gmail (35 online/away contacts) vs hangouts (2 contacts with green bar)

    • Eric Archer

      Why would you need this when Google has implemented a real time status notifier. Not only can I see when someone joins the chat, but I can see when they are typing, and also the last spot in the message they have read. I think i'd rather have that then "AFK".

    • mikeym0p

      I dont think they will because of watermarks.

    • pb

      yes wtf,dont want sms integration, most important is to view/set status !!!!!!!!!! surprising...incredible..

    • Mikel Martin

      For those that say status doesn't matter, here is why it does. When I send a message to someone that I believe to be online, I will often wait for a reply, if they don't reply then I just assume they are busy and move on. If I don't know if they are online or not, then I am either waiting for no reason or I have moved on to do something else. In which case I likely missed the response. It's kind of hard to have meaningful conversation like this. Also, this is allot of user anxiety for something that wasn't an issue before.

    • Gabriel

      we are in beta with google talk , now we are alpha with hangouts

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    yeah....I installed it on my tab (Transformer Infinity) first and it's working just fine.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Staggered rollout. None of us can get it to yet. Thanks for the heads up, though.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        I was more so responding to the "At the time of this writing, none of us here at Android Police have been able to get the Hangouts app to actually open on a tablet. It either won't install (even from the Play Store web interface), or if it does, it doesn't work." section. Mine WORKS. I know that not everyone has it yet from the play store (I had to cross-pollinate myself)

  • Oranges

    My biggest complaint on mobile - how do I sign out?! I'm not available 24/7 and Google shouldn't assume that I am. I know that there's the option to silence invites for up to 72 hours, but that's insane. I only want to be available when I'm actually available. Especially considering that our organization uses google for our work email, and this has integrated itself into our chat, which was very useful before. Now I have to wade through my google+ contacts AND my phone contacts to get work done. Not cool.

    • John Motschenbacher

      snooze your notifications or just dont use it and go back to talk

      • Oranges

        That's the thing though, I shouldn't have to tell it I'm not available every x number of hours. It should only be on when I want it to be on.
        It's going to overwrite the app eventually - they need to fix this before a wider roll out.

        • IamTheFij

          It's more like SMS. You don't sign out, you just don't answer.

          Anyone with a chat client will see you as idle.

    • Steven Schoen

      Settings - (account) - Sign out.

  • Waveblade

    Maybe they could integrate it into one app for the next version of Android? It seems it simply wasn't ready in time (same reason why g+ messenger is still there)

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    The first issue I solved by deleting the Google Talk app through Titanium and reinstalling the hangouts through the Play Store, but I understand that not everyone has root, so yes, google needs to solve the problem.

    • Gloria Tortorella

      You can't update Gtalk from the phone (yet), but if you install the Hangouts app from the web Play Store it replaces GTalk and works perfectly.
      It worked for a lot of my friends so it should work for everyone.

      • Vardan Nazaretyan

        When I tried to do that, the app in Play Store showed Hangouts, but after clicking the "open" button, it took me to GTalk so I used titanium.

  • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

    Now I need confirmation for voice chat & status!

    • http://tinyroar.com Cats-R-Friend

      There is voice chat, just open a new hang out and turn off your camera.
      You can even set the speaker to the ear piece

      • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

        Thanks. Didn't know that :P

      • IamTheFij

        Oh good! Moving the speaker output didn't really work in old Hangouts. This is great news.

  • QwietStorm

    I noticed that it says installed in the store, even though I never installed it manually, but it's nowhere on my phone to open.

  • Gloria Tortorella

    I can't understand WHY people would want to merge SMS with hangouts... I don't.

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      To have an app that unifies every type of messaging. Because some of our friends maybe don't use smartphones and WhatsApp or facebook, so we can contact them all with a single app, and not jumping from one app to another to answer different friends.

      • IamTheFij

        Yea, it seems more of a replacement to SMS than a client for it.

        I can see the potential value, but I think it's a smaller market that Google isn't as concerned about. They want people with smartphones to sign up for Google+. That's how they make their money.

        • Vardan Nazaretyan

          You're probably right, the fact, that when you buy a Google sertified device you must use a Gmail account that also creates a Google+ profile shows that they don't pretty much care about replacing stock SMS apps with their own, they just want to make money like all companies and to steal Facebook users (TBH, I like G+ much more than Facebook but I don't like that I need to send invites to my friends on facebook or phone contacts so I can chat with them through the Hangouts app) .

    • http://tinyroar.com Cats-R-Friend

      I can't understand how they are going to merge, if they just added default function to sync sms you would get a notification for the sms in your default sms app and in the hangouts app.

      And yes I know you can disable the notification in your sms app, but that takes a setting change that dumb users will not understand. Therefore they will to make this a hidden setting with a warning about multiple notifications.

      Also for future versions of Android maybe the Hangouts app will completely replace the need for the SMS Messaging app. But then this brings incompatibilities with OEMS having theme and source support for the app.

      Basically adding SMS support would be a mess for any device other than nexus devices.

      • Royal2000H

        Here's the main problem. iMessage (which does unify) is only available on iPhone. So it makes sense to unify.

        But how would Hangouts unify SMS? On your phone it could show the SMS on the phone. But then you log into your computer - and there's no SMS there. So maybe when you get an SMS the hangouts app forwards it to the Hangouts server. But then if your phone is off, you don't get SMS.

        The only possible integration is with Google Voice.

        • Carlos Escobedo

          I don't see the issue really with

          Sending End
          Hangout App(SMS) -> Hangouts Server

          Receiving app
          Hangouts Server ->converts to chat -> hangout app (CHAT)

          The only issue i can find is SMS from phones without hangouts, unless you register your phone number to hangouts and it basically intercepts them.

          So something like

          Sending End
          SMS -> Phone Company

          Recieving End
          Phone Company -> Hangouts Server -> Hangouts App

          • Royal2000H

            Ignore hangouts->hangouts because that's not SMS. If I receive an SMS (not a hangouts) from someone, and my phone is off - then there's no way for the hangouts app on my phone to get the SMS and throw it into hangouts on the server end to send to other devices.

            I can't see SMS integration actually happening. Unless it's Google Voice. With Google Voice, Google is the middle man so it's actually doable. And hopefully will be done soon! Especially with rumors that the Google Voice team was rolled into the Hangouts team.

    • Cherokee4Life

      Thank you, someone else who thinks the same way as me. I understand why you would want all your friends in one location and all that jazz. But idk its something about SMS's and MMS's that I want to keep separate from the rest.

  • http://twitter.com/NoobDeveloper $(‘#Anil’)

    I got Hangout in Gmail just now. It is exactly similar to Hangout app on phone.

    • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

      <---jealous. did you do anything to trigger it? I keep refreshing hoping it shows up.

  • Egin Tollkuci

    I just don't think google would release yet another messaging app without the intention of more unity in the future. Hopefully SMS comes sooner rather than later. Although MMS is just as important and no one is mentioning it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I think most people mentally 'combine' the two. Google Voice doesn't do MMS, though, so I'm kind of on the fence about happening.

  • Bjorn Clement

    What about bookmarks in chats, especially group chats?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      That would be neat.

  • http://bit.ly/TylerHilliard Tyler Hilliard

    My Nexus 10 has hangouts - after searching play store via web, via tablet, clearing Talk data, restarting, etc. it finally is fully Hangouts. First "not compatible" via web and could not find via Store, then Visible on web and store saying already installed but just opened Google Talk, then finally icon and app changed.

  • Kieron Quinn

    Works just fine on my tablet, apk is here if anyone needs it though http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2280184

    • John

      works on my cm9 HP Touchpad too

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      We're aware it sideloads, we're just commenting on the fact that it doesn't update from the Play Store for most people. Thanks for the link.

  • Shay Clark

    As mentioned in other comments, doing a fresh install of the APK works on tablets and for those who have it showing as already installed. Just grab the APK, enable install from unknown sources, and voila.

  • http://twitter.com/amugofjava Ben

    Works fine on my Nexus 7. Installed from the web Play Store no problem. Love the UI and will be great when it replaces Google plus messenger.

  • Yannick Binnenweg

    I'd love to have the "/me" function back, a small thing, but I truly love it!

    • IamTheFij

      /me agrees

  • kumicho

    Really? Still no HD hangouts? That was available back on the original Google Chat Video (or something similar?)....

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You're telling me.

  • Alex Zimmer

    Successfully installed Hangouts on Nexus 7 by sideloading.

  • Michael Kelley

    You mentioned Google+ chat history, but I wonder about Google Talk chat history. That is where I have much more data I would like to have filtered over.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It will be.

  • Leonard Krum
  • John Motschenbacher

    things change people...offline and online is there...status messages arent...who gives a rats ass. if you send someone a message and they dont reply they are either busy or not wanting to talk to you.

    • Fifique

      Obviously you don't use chat in a business environment. Knowing someone's status before you interrupt their work flow is important. Believe it or not, some businesses have protocols stating how staff are expected to keep their true status up to date so they can be available to coworkers. Especially important for businesses with lots of telecommuters. Being that Google touts itself as the be all and end all business communication company, you'd think this would be a no-brainer for them.

  • Spittie

    Sideloading on my N7 worked flawless, Paranoid Settings even allow you to use the "tablet interface"... Too bad that's just the normal interface, with the conversations list always on screen instead of sliding out.

  • András Oláh

    i would like to see a contact list that marks users that have Hangouts installed.

  • Julius Heilman

    Dori Storbeck
    8:44 AM+

    +Nelanka Perera this first version of Hangouts doesn't support outbound voice calls to mobile phone numbers, but calls into your Google Voice number can be answered in Hangouts. Future versions of Hangouts will support outgoing calls along with other Google Voice features.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Wow, I missed that. Nice!

    • IamTheFij

      Do you have a link for that? I'm guessing it's desktop only just like in Gmail.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        The call feature is desktop only, we tested it.

        • IamTheFij

          Outgoing call? I got an incoming call already but I don't see a call button to do it outgoing.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            She said outgoing isn't live in that comment.

          • Freak4Dell

            Well that sucks. I use Google Voice to make calls from GMail all the time. Maybe the fact that I don't have Hangouts in my GMail yet is a good thing.

      • Julius Heilman

        Sorry, it had the links in it before I posted, but then it went txt only for me. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DoriStorbeck/posts/XNRAQThToay

  • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

    Staggered rollouts and not supporting every feature you dreamed up are not "major issues". Ridiculous headline, almost completely pointless article.

    • Nathaniel Webb

      And a good afternoon to you too sir!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I'm sure to those dying for access to Hangouts, and who can't get it (whether because they don't know how to sideload an APK or don't want to), these are "major issues." People want to know what's up with a new Google service, and how the launch if progressing. These are the major issues that are currently affecting that launch.

      As for features we "dreamed up," I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that not meeting iChat, Whatsapp, and BBM on SMS integration is indeed a "major issue" that needs to be resolved with the service in order for people to actually use it as a true cross-platform chat system. Obviously, even Google agrees with that assessment.

      • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

        It's a staggered rollout. We know it's a staggered rollout. That's not an issue. Maybe you don't like that strategy, that's fine - I'm not that big a fan of it either. Doesn't mean it's a major issue.

        And yes, it's completely dreamed up. Nowhere in any of the leaked information about the app did we hear it was going to have SMS integration. Nowhere in the announcement or anything Google has said led us to believe it would have SMS integration. It's a nice to have that Google has said it's working on, but we have a messaging app that does messaging. Calling it a major issue is making a mountain out of a molehill.

        • scrubsfan

          Hi Turk!

  • eilegz

    online offline status, contact status, a way to sort and hide contact, there are a lot of work to do so far its looks like a bloated and feature less gtalk

    • IamTheFij

      How is it bloated and featureless?

      Statuses are bloat. Online and Offline is irrelevant if you can access the messages on your phone. You are either reading or not.

      The concept of being away from your computer and not being able to reply doesn't exist with smart phones.

      • idburns

        Umm, plenty of us use a COMPUTER for im chat.

        • shaftoe

          I only use gchat from a computer, so this is all very alien for me.

          The whole point of using gchat is to have an immediate and interactive conversation. If it's going to be fire-and-forget, I might as well just send an email.

  • http://kylepetz.com Kyle Petzinger

    Just a heads up, that same Googler (Dori Storbeck) who "announced" future SMS support has since backtracked her statement. See the comment posted at 10:13 AM (PDT) on her original post (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DoriStorbeck/posts/XNRAQThToay). If you don't feel like finding it, here's a screen grab of it.

    • Royal2000H

      Oh no :(

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Thanks. Somebody jumped the gun.

      • http://www.kylepetzinger.com/ Kyle Petzinger

        Yeah. She hasn't commented since either. Probably got a slap on the wrist and told to shut up.

        • John

          I imagine she got more than that. But yeah..

    • Peacen1k

      Well this sucks.

  • http://twitter.com/Jug6ernaut William

    What about the forced g+ requirement now...

  • btod

    I think i'll wait a few months before I use this. I don't want to be a Hangouts beta tester.

    • Fifique

      Yup, me too. I'm going to hang on to my Talk app and GChat as long as i can. Will be interested to see how these changes affect 3rd party chat apps like IMO and IM+.

  • Nuno André Catarino

    I was prompted this morning to make the update to the Hangout app. It downloaded everything right, and then gave me the error that it was 'already installed'. There is no app icon in the app menu, and the old companion google talk is still working. Has someone experienced this trouble?

  • Royal2000H

    She also said, in response to there being only video/chat but no voice:
    "We’ll be integrating Google Voice with Hangouts in future version of Hangouts, but cannot comment further on any plans or a timeline for that."

  • beboo

    there isn't a voice call only video call and it always using the loud speakers it's sucks

  • duse

    What about search? There's no freakin option to search chat history in the app! Talk had this. Voice has this. So I have to go to Gmail just to search chats? Does that make ANY sense?

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      Yep. I'm uinstalling the update. Going back to talk.

  • Dude!

    Look at comments and ratings at the Hangout's Play Store page. Those 900 million android users didn't watched I/O. They see it as weird app that is replacing their beloved gtalk and acts more like WhatsApp than the regular IM client that they are used to.

    Google is doing a terrible job communicating what this change is about. This is in no way a smooth, gradual transition and might alienate a huge chunk of users. they nedd to bring back some of gtalk's funcionality (mainly the online status on the app and the list of regular gtalk user, not ALL of your gtalk, g+ and phone contacts mixed together with no rhyme or reason).

    • Chris Carlin

      Including the feature of gtalk being lightweight! Hangouts is killing my phone, wasting screen space with pointless animations, and generally getting in the way of IMing.

  • Robbie Amburgey

    I just want to be able to use a dark background. White on white not only kills my battery, it also kills my eyes.

  • dezz

    How come nobody misses the ability to just swipe left/right between converstions??? NOw you have to go back to conversation menu chose conversation.. WTF?!?

    And where is file sharing???


    • Iván Estévez

      File sharing? Gmail ring a bell?

    • SetiroN


    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      I didn't know there was file sharing but as for the conversation view in most views you can flip between conversations on the side. I guess it is a little inconvenient on the phone but it does allow for more precision Keep in mind Hangouts is now designed for you to keep conversations persistent, not just talking while a couple people are online (my thoughts on their design decision). As for file sharing you can still do that with drive.

  • idburns

    Having to click through the "New Hangouts" button on my Google+ page just to see my chat contacts is annoying as all get out.

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Google Voice integration is the most badly needed feature IMO. I hope they're working on this to truly combine all of Google's messaging products.

  • Jamal Adam

    I was able to install it on my Nexus 7 by first uninstalling Google Talk using Titanium backup and then installing Hangouts.

  • kamiller42

    My phone has had serious SMS issues since installing Hangouts. I don't get messages or notifications. Somewhere they pile up on Google's server(?) and suddenly a flood of texts come in. Nothing is real time. Back end issue? Don't know. I'm using Google Voice/Sprint integration for texting. I have since uninstalled Hangouts and using Talk. We'll see if that remedies the situation.

    • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

      I use GV/Sprint and have not noticed this.

  • Wazzifer

    Can I just have my voice call option back please? Cannot believe they nuked that. That is so stupid.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      you're not the first person to say that but OMG calm down. you can still do that just mute the video. Problem solved.

      • Wazzifer

        And I guess I have to tell the person on the other end to close their video every time right? You're brilliant.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          no, if the other person doesn't want to answer with video they don't have to. I think you are blowing this out of proportion

          • Wazzifer

            There is no option to answer with voice only dude. Stop giving advice when you clearly don't know what is going on.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            you can answer and turn off video. I do this all the time.

          • Wazzifer

            The app was released yesterday and you've been doing it "all the time"? Aren't you awesome.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            OMG rly? Yes the hangout app is new BUT hangouts have been around for a while. The UI is generally unchanged from the way it was before for the most part. HOWEVER yes I can still say "all the time" because the day this was announced ..I did testing. I just happened to have a friend looking for a softphone and I suggested hangout (at the time it was talk) and we tested it out several times. I then tested it out with my brother and my wife so YES "ALL THE TIME"

          • Wazzifer

            Good for you, stop being a tool.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            so I'm the tool Mr. Troll? I simply let you know that your biggest issue with hangout isn't really an issue if you follow my advice, I'm sorry you don't like the outcome but don't blame people for trying to help you.

          • Wazzifer

            You are not trying to help, and I did not ask for your help. Your "advice" is not a solution, so just drop it. You dragged this dead horse too far.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            I didn't say you asked for it I said that's what I was trying to do. and if you don't want to continue this conversation you could also drop it

  • Solust

    I just got the app and I use my phone in Japanese. The first prompt asks to confirm your number for SMS and talks a little about Google Voice so I imagine the new features will be out within the next month or two. My Japanese isn't perfect so I don't know exactly what it says regarding Voice.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I got Hangouts working on my Nexus 7, looks and works like a champ.

  • Mark Greenhow

    There's loads of weird stuff in that video, old icons, devices used upside down, I didn't spot it but a lot of people on Reddit think it's Google trolling.

  • Jason Mavandi

    Google did something that no one was excepting. Instead of updating Talk, they pretty just changed it into a cross platform iMessage with better facetime. More features should be added later, but google never does something all at once, and maybe just I/O was a hard deadline to make. Only us computer people still use "chat", everyone else just text.

    • Chris

      so you don't "chat" while texting? Not sure about you but every time I text someone, I "chat" about stuff...

      • Jason Mavandi

        That is not what I meant, I chat, but it isn't the super quick back and forth with status' that we loved with AIM back in 2000.

    • shaftoe

      I chat with family and non-technical friends on gchat all the time. I don't understand the value of replacing an IM client with something that works like texting. Carrying on an interactive conversation via texting is like drinking with an eyedropper.

  • Victor Loureiro

    One question: why would one be able to search (and see) contacts that cannot be contacted (since they don't have a Google account/e-mail or use Hangouts)? This thing must be ready for SMS.

  • David Li

    Interestingly, when my friend called my Google Voice number today, it popped up in Hangouts on my computer. Soo....

  • brandon daniels

    The sad thing about the roll out is that ios user have it already. Smh... How Google not looking out for there people 1st

    • Duh

      Wouldn't you rather that iPhone losers... I mean users, get to deal with all the bugs so we don't have to?

  • Xan Bertison

    If you're tired of hangouts being an alpha product, not being able to sort your contacts by who is online, or filter out contacts, check outhttps://plus.google.com/communities/100801642922392425537 Join and reshare and let them know we want a finished product or Talk back till this is done!!

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      Agree with ya. But no feedback is gonna do anything. Google will do whatever it pleases.

  • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

    Not reading through 150+ comments so I don't know if anyone has said this. I got to Hangouts to work on my tablet (HP Touchpad running 4.1.2) by using TiBu to uninstall Talk, then using clicking the Play Store widget on the other AP post to install it. Worked like a charm.

  • http://twitter.com/dhruvrks dhruv

    any word on offline/online functionality?

  • chris

    Mine was doing the thing with just opening talk. I got mine working on the s4 be disabling talk and selecting to download it from the web. I was then able to download and install the update.

  • Joe

    I setup my cell phone to receive SMS for Google Hangouts. I just chose Guam as the country because it starts with +1, so I input my area code and phone number. It works fine, I'm on T-mobile. But now I'm finding it annoying because I get an SMS for every single message sent to me on Google +/Hangouts. How can I turn it off?

  • AnthonyRyan

    How do I even get this update the play store says its hangouts but I open the app and its still says talk and the web play store says its installed already any other way to get my talk to hangouts already?

  • mgiusto

    What about the Gtalk applicatiion you install in Windows and run as it's own application? Will they be making a Hangouts EXE like that so you don't have to have Chrome open like you do with the Hangouts extension?

    That is what I am really looking for.

  • Abhinav

    it says hangout replaces gtalk but hasn't been replaced yet on my S4 (att) whats with that?
    atleast in playstore it shouldn't say "already installed"

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/110548678484064473129/about Duarte Molha

    Google gave me the opportunity to upgrade to the new hangouts asp just to discover that after updating the atop refuses to sign on saying my Google account does not have permissions.

    and the latest update has not solved it.

  • domelan

    what about signing out? it doesn't work on my mobile

  • JG

    Will there be a Hangouts update for the standalone version of Talk? You know, the .exe version that installs into Program Files.... All I've been hearing about is a Chrome plugin & the mobile app versions...

  • Apanie

    It kind of sucks that AIM support isn't there anymore.

  • geraldomelo

    Lots of problem with Hangouts. You call someone. YOUR PHONE will be calling. The SOMEONES'S PHONE does not. How can one know rhat somebody is calling

  • disqus_tCQDbz5FhH

    I HATE it. Give me back my Google Talk!

    How about making it simple to see who's online and who's not. I don't need some photo - just a color dot or some way to EASILY distinguish.

    People use different methods of communication for different reasons. I use Google Talk when I'm at work, or when it's not time-sensitive or critical. If I'm logged in, people can message me. Conversely, SMS is reserved for more important things. I'm not going to text someone at 3 in the morning because I know they're sleeping. WhatsApp is for my international friends. It's typical to receive a message at an odd hour, but it's also not usually expected that I'll respond in the middle of the night.

    Google has severely hurt the usability of their talk app and tried to integrate it with other services that I don't use.....I don't need to +1 things, or use any of Google's social media attempts. I want to be able to easily log off so people aren't sending me messages because they think I'm available.

  • Marissa Yturralde-Giannotta

    I hate it hate it hate it. First, every single person you have ever emailed shows up on the contact page. One of the highlighted people is my ex-boss..... thats the last person I want to see every time I open the app. They should make it so you add those you want on your list, like Google Chat did. Second, I cant see if someone is available or not! The only thing that I do like is the video feature. Other than that, they shouldve integrate the video to Chat and left the rest alone!

  • Hitesh Shah

    How can I roll back to Gamil chat? I am fade-up with Hangout. Cant setup msg, cant see who is online, cant see who is available who is busy. Pathetic.

  • Divine soul

    I have the same problem ...if the person online and in front their computer ....or phone ...I will have no choice to switch to another messenger like skype.I hope after so many years of using google this is a step back....I want my online status ....some people in meeting ,,,,you just dont want to message at the wrong time......

  • Efani

    Hangout is very complicated. I have been trying to sort offline and online contact but cant find. There is no option to call on phone as I used to do in past :S


  • ediwitch

    when one is on hangouts and the other is still on google talk, then they cant do a video chat... they can only do messaging. Why it is like that ???

  • willemr

    I just want to be able to turn it off for certain compturs i am actually using, not all that I happened to be logged into . I sign out of one PC, signs out of both. *sigh*

  • Richard Curtis

    how can I turn off the annoying "ringer" when I initiate a video call? the volume controls seem to have no effect on the ringer...thank you

  • pocketdrummer

    Google is ruining every service they provide. Maps got worse, Hangouts is terrible... what's next?

    I miss the days of being able to install a desktop client and chat with friends in a SMALL WINDOWS while I get other work done. What's the purpose of integrating everything into the browser? It's like we're trying to make the browser the new operating system.

  • Anky

    Hangout is useless... it showing my status is "Away" even when i am online... Hangout Sucks... my website is connected with live chat support via Gtalk... & in Live chat support also it showing "Away" :( so i uninstalled Hangout & happy with Gtalk...

  • sanjay

    when i open my hangout in android 2.3 it opens for a while & comes with only white screen & then after 1 minute it returns on my all apps.. nothing shows in hangout..
    hangout is not working for me :(

  • leanne

    hangouts was installed on my Samsung galaxy s3 and now whenever I get a text message my phone freezes and then turns itself off and I have to take the battery out to turn it back on. has anyone else had this problem?

  • ben pickering

    Hangouts won't work at all I have to send invites

  • JennahB

    Hangouts was perfect. Until...... I noticed I had a Google+ ? Unknowingly and that all of my pictures I would send through hangouts would be posted on to Google plus . .like a social network . I was not okay and was NEVER
    notified any of my pictures would go on there!