There is no arguing that the new Hangouts Android app, which replaces Google Talk and aims to unify several communication methods, has had a rough start. One of the main issues we've run into from the very beginning was wonky tablet support. In fact, most people couldn't install it at all because instead of the Update button, only a lone "Open" button would show up on tablets. Dan Morrill, one of our favorite Android engineers (HOLOYOLO! No really, he yelled that at yesterday's Android Fireside Chat), has explained that this happened due to an unfortunate bug with telephony-related permissions, and that a fix would be rolling out shortly.

With this morning's changelog-less Hangouts update to v1.0.1.678536, the tablet compatibility seems to be fixed, and the new app can now replace the old Google Talk (I'll miss you, trusty Talk). You can head over to the Play Store on your tablet or just methodically push it straight from the web to all your tablets one by one (especially if your Play Store app doesn't see the new update or the Update button yet for some reason).

wm_Screenshot_2013-05-17-11-47-48 wm_Screenshot_2013-05-17-11-47-19 wm_Screenshot_2013-05-17-11-50-11 wm_Screenshot_2013-05-17-11-50-58

With one issue crossed off the list, the Hangouts team will have its hands full for quite some time. Google+ Messenger integration and Gmail web UI are on the horizon, but Voice/SMS integration, setting your status, text formatting, swiping between conversations, and other much desired features are yet to be seen.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://twitter.com/peteriles Peter Iles

    Anybody getting double notifications through hangouts and talk?

    • Metallinatus

      Didn't the Hangouts replaced the Talk?

    • spacekobra

      No I haven't, but that's a sign that things are switching over.

    • abhisahara

      The framework files for Talk in GSF (Google Services Framework) are not replaced completely by Hangouts hence double notifications. Just clear the data of GSF and reboot and then see. It should fix it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1364483151 Keith Valdez

      Same here... Kind of annoying since pressing on the Gtalk symbol in the notification does nothing.

      • Josh Flowers

        long press, disable Talk notifications"

  • Marcus

    I just asked to switch to Hangouts in Gmail.

    • spacekobra

      You are definitely the first I've seen, congrats!

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

        I also have it, I think it asks for you to try it after downloading the chrome extension

      • ranova

        refresh gmail, tap on your picture in talk, and click "Try out the new Hangouts"

        I did that and got it

        • John

          Yep. Worked for me. Thanks

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

          Thanks. That worked.

        • Andrew

          Worked perfect... thanks!

    • Kaushal

      I deleted cache and cookies in Chrome and logged back into Gmail and there it was: Option to try out Hangouts when I clicked on my status icon on G Talk :D

      • Bill Stebbins

        That worked for me too. Thanks!

    • BBpost

      So where exactly is the Make a Call option for Google Voice Voip?

      • boogie_monster

        There is None. I don't like this! I reverted back to Google Talk because of this.

        • Jennifer Drucker

          Same here!

    • http://profiles.google.com/atlbaird Evan Anderson

      Mine kicked on last night now if they get on SMS/MMS I'll be in heaven

  • eres

    I like dan. Have you guys asked what hes doing now actually? All he said was "not in dev relations" as you know..

  • Joshua

    Interestingly, I have the Hangouts app but it still has the Talk icon. Anyone else experiencing this or am I alone with this mildly annoying mistake?

    • Bill Stebbins

      Same on my tablet. I manually changed it on Nova but it still shows the Talk icon in the app drawer

      • Dominic Powell

        On nova you need to use system defualta for icons not. Stock jellybean. The icons will switch. Happened to me too.

        • Bill Stebbins

          That was it! Thank you! That was driving me nuts.

        • Andrew

          Fixed it for me... thanks!

    • rabbit827

      Had the same problem. Workaround is to find the app in the play store website and install it from there

  • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

    I had that same problem on my GS2... The app said it replaces gtalk, but there was no update button... I finally got
    it to update last night...

  • Brian Menius

    I've decided to give this thing a try, and I'm not happy with what I'm seeing re: "Get notifications just once. Once you see an alert, you won’t see repeats on your computer or other Android devices." This is a feature straight from the Play Store description.

    If I am logged in to Hangouts on my phone and gMail on my computer (with Talk/ Hangouts logged in within gMail) and I receive a message in Hangouts, I answer it through my open gMail session- but the notification on my phone doesn't go away. This was one of the reasons I stopped logging into Talk on my phone and tablet- notifications were dumb.

    Is anyone else seeing the same thing? How long is it supposed to take the notifications to go away? I had one stay even through a refresh of gMail's inbox on my phone, which tells me it shouldn't be a sync issue.

    I expect that, if I have active log-ins as outlined above on my computer and my phone, I can answer on the phone and have the notification in my gMail window stop flashing (and update with the text I sent from my phone) or answer on the computer and have the notification disappear from the status bar on my phone.

    I've checked settings on my phone in the Hangouts app, and I'm not able to find particularly deep controls over notifications- but frankly, there shouldn't be any, anyway. It should just "work."


  • Dylan Yaga

    Having FC issues on my CM10.1 Xoom. Ah well...

  • Thomas Steinbrüchel

    App is nice and quite ok. But just ok, not good.

    Installed it on my n7, n4, ipad and on my desktop the chrome hangouts plugin. Syncing is pretty well, all messages i've sent arrived immediately.

    Must fix in near time:
    * The current UI for the status of a person is just a no go. Mobile is really hard, desktop ok, but also not good. Change to a bullet.
    * Contacts page is a mess. Please work on it and GROUP the contacts, like g+ users and circles just under a google+ label, phone book contacts, online offline etc...

    * Drive integration

  • mart

    Not backwards compatible, you will loose the ability to talk to "talk" users..

    • Ben Freund

      Not for me...

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

    Good. Now wait for new Maps begin.

    • mauric

      thanks, subscribed aswell :)

      • Eric Jones

        I think they are rolling it out to Chromebook Pixel owners first. I got in right away, as did another friend that owns one, but two other friends that signed up at the same time didn't get in yet. If you want the new Google Maps, just go buy a Pixel. :-)

        • ins0mn1a

          actually i got the maps invite yesterday, and i don't own a pixel or any chrome os device. i was terribly excited to try out the new maps, so you can imagine how pissed i was when i realized the 3D effects are not available on linux, even if you have the damn graphics drivers that support webgl.

          • ChavaM

            Aw man that's too bad. I've been use the webgl beta for a while now.

          • Eric Jones

            Guess it was just a coincidence then.

        • Ramit Suri

          I got it the next day. Don't have a Pixel or Google Glass. And I'm in India, which is pretty low in the list to get latest services from Google. So was surprised when got the mail to check them out.

    • abhisahara

      Already have it :) Got it the next day of I/O :)
      And I don't have a pixel nor i was at the I/O. Was in the very few first who signed up for it. So enjoying it ;)

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

        Damn. Lucky you :).

        • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

          Also have it - typed the address in as soon as they said it at IO and got the preview email the next day :) Had a stoll around Blackpool pleasure beach using streetview which under the old style of maps I would never have known even had streetview. (It's a UK themepark)

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

      I did yesterday and got an email granting me access less than 24 hours later.

  • http://www.baguje.com Saša Stefanović

    I got this error ""Couldn’t sign in, possibly because there’s a problem with Google account permissions" from first hangout versions. Same with 3rd update now

  • sahilm

    I think the lack of an online list is an issue that isn't getting much attention.

    Also, google removed all formatting like *bold* and _italics_ which used to be in gtalk.

  • yahyoh

    i'm still not sure why they released hangout and replace Gtalk with it ?? and its worse in most ways IMO

    1- no way to see if person is online or offline or busy

    2- the UI feel little confusing

    3- no SMS integration

    4-no audio call ??

    and now Android have 3 - 4 services from google for communication !!
    ( G voice - SMS app - G+ messenger - hangout )

    oh good work google -_-

    • boogie_monster

      Apparently you are not following the news:

      1- On the mobile app if the contact picture is greyed out it means they are offline if not they are online. On the web tho, if you can a green line under your contacts it means they are online. Google said (it's on the app description on Google Play) "Unlike Google Talk, Hangouts does not support "invisible" status." which in my opinion is stupid.

      2- It's a personal opinion some like it some don't, for me it's not confusing.

      3- As I said apparently you don't follow the news, http://www.droid-life.com/2013/05/16/sms-is-indeed-coming-to-google-hangouts-according-to-google-community-manager/

      4- This one I have to agree with you, it's pretty annoying that you either have to text someone or Video call them!

      and now Android has 2 services from Google for communication!!

      (G Voice and Hangouts -- G+ Messenger will be removed from the app drawer in the next G+ update.) the stock SMS app has nothing to do with Google services although it's built in android but don't forget it's a carrier feature. but it'd be nice if we could see an integration of G voice, Stock SMS and Hangouts from the beginning.

      • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

        3. She retracted her statement later. Check her G+ post.

        • boogie_monster

          the reason might be because Google didn't want to put it out there since they might not have a time frame but if a Google employee says so even if they remove it I think it's true. Maybe we won't see it in a week or so but I'm pretty sure we'll get it by mid to late summer.

    • Markus Ala-Juusela

      Video can be turned off so it will be like a voice call.

      • eilegz

        too bad it wont work that way at least i tried here i have no voice but only video

    • http://twitter.com/naysayer1111 naysayer

      To be fair, the SMS app isn't "a service from google".
      I agree with you on some points though. I'm a bit baffled that I can't make voice calls. I don't understand why I can't see the online status on mobile.
      I also don't get why they don't allow me to pick the persons I want to see in the chat list by myself.

  • QwietStorm

    Anyone else repeatedly get a can't confirm phone number message when setting up hangouts on your phone?

    • !xY !

      I've been having this error since I installed it. Couldn't find any solution so far.

      • QwietStorm

        Oh ok so it's not just me.

        • dmcomp

          Maybe you guys have another app that is intercepting the SMS before Hangouts?

          Check if you are using Facebook, SMS backup app, etc. If you are, you can just force close the "interceptor" app and confirm your phone number.

          • QwietStorm

            It's not being intercepted. I receive the text from Google with a verification code, and within a few minutes I get a notification saying could not confirm number.

          • !xY !

            I'm not receiving any verification sms from Google. Even though I haven't allowed sMS/MMS to be consolidated in fb. Could viber or whatsapp be the culprit?

          • dmcomp

            hmm.. Then maybe your operator can't receive Google's SMS? Can you receive SMS in any other Google service? (e.g., Gmail account verification?).

            I had the problem of not being able to verify my phone number, but I figured out it was because of a SMS backup app I use. At that moment, Hangouts could not receive the SMS, but I was receiving it as a regular message.

          • !xY !

            I've turned on two step verification but for quiet sometimes I'm not receiving any verification sms from Google side.I've asked from my operator of Google service is blocked but it isn't. I tried with my brother cell no and he received sms but not my number.

            How you able to solve it?

  • mauric

    I hate the UI.... Why cant they just sick with simple tabs, instead of replaceing overlaying tabs... which make you archive your message 9/10 times instead of returning to the chat screen...

    also missing the ability to reply in a popup or on the notification bar. If it just had that, i could leave whatsapp behind...

  • BBpost

    I'm a big Google fan, but there are about 25 things wrong with Hangouts that will force me to not use it. They are overlooking obvious things these days. For instance, the new maps does not have an email option.

    • terminationshok

      It wasn't overlooked. They are deliberately trying to force people to use "social media" rather than email. This is because email is a federated system that they don't control. If you use social media, they can force you to accept their terms.

  • Chris

    I was just able to switch to hangouts in gmail.

    I followed these directions: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3115176?p=upgrade&rd=1#

    Just clicked my profile pic in the chat in my gmail and there was an option to try the new hangouts.

    • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

      thanks for the hint

  • morbidz

    why are they forcing me off gtalk?! I refuse to join google+

    • MJ

      You do NOT need to join Google+ to use the new hangouts...

      • duse

        Yes you do, otherwise you can still technically chat with people but you're stuck in legacy Talk land. That means no photos, no groups, no video, and no iPhone app. If you try to install the iPhone app you will be forced to sign up for Google+.

        • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

          Actually you get the photos in legacy Talk.... or rather you get a clickable hyperlink to the photo. Also I got notified about a group chat on Jellybean before it updated to Hangouts - so it may work I didn't check, I do know that on Gingerbread and I think ICS Group chats caused Talk to force close.

  • Brian Menius

    Give back bold and italic formatting NAO, Google! If I sound like a whiny brat, it's because you took something functional away that was already there. You could call me unreasonable if I were demanding something new, but this? This is foolishness.

  • VictorBoissiere

    IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THE NEW HANGOUTS in Gmail YOU HAVE TO : delete all your chat history AND delete again all your chat history in the trash and refresh the page and here we go : you can switch to the new hangouts system ! :)

    Tell me if it's worked !

    • Ivan Petkovic

      Not true, you don't have to delete old chats, neither empty history. I hope no one listened to this "advice". Click on avatar in chat part of Gmail offers "try new Hangouts", and it works. Didn't even clear cache or cookies, and that's all that is maybe needed.

      • VictorBoissiere

        Yeah but in my case there was no "Try new Hangouts" button :/ So I had to do that to see it !

  • Paulo Fidalgo

    Too bad google is dropping XMMP... google is starting to being EVIL

  • drbobb

    Not terribly relevant to me, as long as essentially nobody I know ever uses Hangouts. Just like they never used Talk before, by the way.

  • Simon Belmont

    Ouch. A rating of 3.4 already on the Google Play Store.

    I noticed the update notification to this on my phone, N7, Nook Color, and TouchPad today, but I'll mess with it later. I will kind of miss the voice chat and invisible status.

    • Nick

      I'd imagine that a lot of that rating is leftovers from GTalk

      • Simon Belmont

        GTalk was never in the Google Play Store was it? I don't remember ever seeing it, at least.

        From what I know GTalk was always prepackaged with all Android devices. Hmm.

  • duse

    I will keep saying this - why is no one mentioning search in the missing features list?? This is huge! Anytime I want to find some piece of text I use the search feature. Voice, Talk, etc. all offer this. Now with Hangouts I have to hop over to Gmail to search chats. No one cares about this?

  • JonJJon

    I'm a little disappointed with the photo quality of images sent through the app but hopefully they'll get better. As it stands the only updates I hope come to it is better quality image quality of sent and received photos, ability to zoom in and out on received photos and SMS integration.

  • nick

    How come the hangouts app doesnt show up in the app drawer?

  • kazza

    Crashed Within One Minute On My RAZR I. Uninstalled

  • Shoogy

    My problem with hangouts is that I dont want to see my entire contact list. I want a way to select just the people that I have invited to my talk contacts.

    Also I think the new UI is a bit wonky and could use a bit of revision

  • Jennifer

    Nope sorry... Runnnig Ice Cream Sandwich on both Samsung Galaxy Nexxus and Google Nexxus tablet and neither the message option or video option work.. period. Same issue if I switch over to it from Computer interface through Gmail.. Nothing.. Waste!

  • be

    I cant update to hangouts it stll give error
    to uninstall old ver.
    to instsll the neW one