Update: Here's the official changelog.


● More fixes for sending/receiving MMS

● Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters

The latest version of Google Hangouts for Android, 2.0.303, has begun rolling out to handsets this morning. This new version doesn't appear to bring much in the way of changes; the only thing we've spotted so far has been a new option to enable or disable sending of usage statistics to Google to improve the app. You can locate this toggle under the settings for your individual accounts.


Otherwise, it doesn't look like there's much to see here. Regardless, you can download the new APK from any of our various mirrors below, or wait for the inevitable wide rollout of the app on the Play Store in the coming days.

Download Hangouts for Android v2.0.303

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.

  • Ian Santopietro

    Wonder when we're going to get the Googe Voice integration they said was coming early this year? We're already halfway through early this year!

    • brkshr

      I'm guessing in April. May is the cutoff for other VOIP apps to stop using Google Voice.

      • Christofftofferson

        Seems like a sensible guess

  • brkshr

    Hangouts, Drive, Google Search updated.

    Google search fixed a bug on the N7(13), where after a reboot the right most dock icon/folder would be deleted from the GEL (or now the Google Now Launcher). It also added another column to the GEL on the N7(13).

    There's also speculation that the Google Now Launcher may be released to the Google Play Store soon.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      N7 does not have GEL

      • brkshr

        It does if you side load it and the Google Search updates affect it just the same.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          But that's sideload, so if you have a bug - it means that it isn't meant to be on tablets as of now

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            If Google went ahead and updated the app to fix issues that only showed up if you were to use GEL/GNL on any device other than the Nexus 5, I think it's reasonable for @brkshr:disqus to expect Google to also resolve this bug at some point in time, hence why he's reporting it. :)

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            But is it worth noting this bug if you aren't using GNL on N5 though?

          • brkshr

            It's worth noting it for other people like me that want to side load it. I've already had plenty of conversions this morning with others that side load it to their N7(13).

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            As @brkshr:disqus mentioned and I implied, updates that Google has done on the Google Search app pertaining to GEL/GNL have all affected (and for the most part ONLY affected) how GEL/GNL works on non-Nexus 5 devices. So it seems to be pretty clear they are fixing these bugs for people use GEL/GNL on non-Nexus 5 devices.

          • brkshr

            True, but there are reports that the Google Now Launcher will be released to the Play Store at some point in time (and they're saying soon now). So I have every reason to believe that Google wants to get these bugs ironed out before they launch it officially. Every Google Search update since the N5 was released has affected how the GEL (or GNL now) works on the N7(13) in one way or another.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            It would be cool if Google organized a closed beta for GNL to test on Nexi for now, at least among its own employees to iron out such bugs. If Google actually intends to release GNL publicly (which it will, but maybe not through Play Store, my bet is 4.4.3 or 4.5 Android update). AND if the rumours are true - my bet is that Google is testing the launcher, but with another APK, and not the GEL.apk that people sideload these days

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            As far as I know, there is no GEL.apk, it's just the modified stub Home.apk from the Nexus 5, that makes Android go to the Google Search app for its launcher.

    • Ryan Callihan

      Do you have a weird black bar on the right side of your screen when in landscape mode? I've tried changing wallpapers and everything. I've still got a black bar in my wallpaper where my dock is.

      • brkshr

        I don't, but when I tested it now and went back to portrait, I now have a giant black bar on the bottom of the screen. Guess they introduced another bug.

        • Ryan Callihan

          Thanks for checking. How irritating...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
    • Simon Belmont

      That was an issue on my 2012 N7, too. Glad to hear that was fixed.

      I actually just moved the right most icon out of the dock on my main home screen. Now I can finally put it back.

  • Ken Lemoine

    Ugh. Release the Google Voice integration#%@#%@#%@%@^$%&^$&%^*

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

      I'm guessing that ain't happening before May when Google is supposed to start blocking 3rd party access to voice api.

    • Jeff Badger

      That will probably be announced at Google IO this year after they eliminate third party access.

      • Stephanie William

        I've still got a black bar in my wallpaper where my dock is.

    • Chris

      I'm a little disappointed about this as well. Another thing I kind of expected in this update, was unification of text messages and hangouts.

      I really don't like having two threads with the same person. I don't have an iPhone, but I am pretty sure iMessage automatically converts texts to an iMessage if it detects the phone number it's texting is another iPhone. That is what Google needs to get Hangouts to do. Otherwise, Hangouts is just another, stand-alone messaging service.

      • Mayoo

        So how do you differentiate between the SMS conversation and the hangouts one? You have to be aware that all senders must use hangouts for SMS for your theory to work. So people who doesn't have hangouts would be really lost between the two conversation. Just imagine them receiving "How is the weather today?" in their SMS messaging app and "nah my pizza was fine" in hangouts. Try to follow a conversation after this.

        This has been discussed many times in the past.

        • Chris

          Simple sanity check to verify whether Hangouts is a default SMS application, if the user registered there phone number with Hangouts, and verify whether they are connected to Hangouts. If the user doesn't use Hangouts, they will appear offline thus will be converted text message (with its own thread).

          Let me reword this a little bit: Don't join threads. Keep SMS and Hangouts in there own threads. But figure out a solution to automatic conversion of Hangouts.

          We went to the moon. I'm almost positive they can figure this out.

          • Mayoo

            All of this works for the sender, not for the receiver. Hangouts won't sanity check the person to whom the message is sent.

            By the way, going to the moon required rocket science, fuel, heat resistant materials, etc. This is even remotely connected to this.

          • Chris

            I'm not talking about the sender. I am talking about each end. If both ends use Hangouts as default SMS and have there number registered, it should automatically convert. I'm not sure what's so hard to understand about this.

            The moon statement wasn't literal, it was me trying to say this isn't difficult to accomplish. But I see that went way over your head.

          • Kcls

            This is dedication man. This is how you win an argument on the internet.

          • Chris

            Well, an argument is when individuals exchange opposite views on a specific topic, but apparently I was never clear enough to make it to the topic to begin with :P. Hence the drawing.

            So now: Begin argument

          • cody

            maybe its an apple patent issue.

          • Mayoo

            I sincerely want to understand your point, so I made a paint too of what is in my head. Before you read it, please accept my apologies. The Rocket Science comment was too much and doesn't make sense. I am sorry for this.

            Now here is what I am thinking for the situation above. If I understand right, Jason would see both SMS and hangouts with no distinction between the two? Hence, based on this logic, see the below paint example. The numbers are chronological and could be separated by minutes, hours days, who knows. The result would be Jason wondering if "#5: Yeah sure!" if meant for lunch or for the project.

          • Chris

            Remember, I said keep SMS and Hangout messages in separate threads. The only time a message would be transmitted via Hangouts is when the option is available, which would be determined by Google. You're still stuck on the idea that I think SMS and Hangouts should be merged into a single message.

            What I am trying to say, is that before the initial message is sent from me to Jason, Google will verify whether it can be sent via Hangouts rather then an SMS message. If I am in the SMS thread, Google will prompt a nice, beautiful popup asking if I would rather send this message via the Hangout thread with Jason as opposed to using the standard SMS thread.

            If for some reason Jason doesn't have service and or has decided to no longer use Hangouts, Google will then make the appropriate decision to send the text over SMS.

            What's beautiful about this, is that Google wouldn't have to make any modifications to the framework whatsoever.

          • Mayoo

            Ok then we are on the same page for the "not merging both threads" and hangouts intelligently determining if we send thru SMS or hangouts.

            Then each message sent would need to verify against Google if the receiver has Hangouts capability and will send it via hangouts if so with a verified number (let's say), if not will do it via SMS. I understand you point now. This would eliminate the need to pick "SMS or hangouts" from the name dropdown menu each time since Google would pick the best option available when using a hangouts thread.

            I think it is a great idea, but we need an override. Why? Simply because Hangouts doesn't alert you right away when on Wifi. if Google can fix this, then go for it! Right now I use SMS most of the time only to tell my wife to go look Hangouts because she doesn't responds quickly, since wifi has delays.

            Thank you very much for the explanation.

          • TSON1

            Hypothetically, if Hangouts merged your SMS into the Hangouts thread, then they would appear wherever you used the hangouts app. Meaning, SMS and hangouts would never be separate, and this wouldn't happen.

          • Mayoo

            If the thread are merged, but in this case they aren't, then you are right as long as both sides have hangouts. Then my paint image would apply.

        • ThomasMoneyhon

          No I just want it exactly the same as iMessage,where both the sms and the hangouts messages are threaded together. Differentiate with a different highlight color on the messages, same as iMessage.

          BUT did anyone stop to think Apple may have a BS patent on the way iMessage works and thus this is the best Google can give us? Highly likely.

  • Cesar

    I'll scoop up the APK when they update to integrate Hangouts and SMS into a single conversation. Until then, I won't care enough to grab it in advance.

    • nehpets

      I use hangouts like a normal chat app, but between the multiple threads per contact issue mentioned above and the fact that Hangouts just doesn't bother to get my MMS messages I still have to use the old Messages app.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        Not to mention the fact that Hangouts is insanely laggy on my Nexus 4. I can only assume it's because I have a number of SMS conversations open in tandem with my usual Hangout conversations because on my Nexus 7 (2013) it works fine.

        I wonder if they were to combine Hangouts & SMS conversations with the same contact into one thread if it would help the lagginess.

        • hp420

          It works fine on my N4 using the official (rooted) factory image and trinity kernel

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Running stock kernel here. Just out of curiosity, how big is your mmssms.db? Mine is 1.77MB

          • hp420


          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Thanks for the reply @hp420.

            Maybe the issue is my giant mmssms.db then, like I speculated. I would clear it to confirm but I'm keeping certain conversations on my device for ease of access. :)

            Can anyone else with Hangouts lag on their phone confirm the size of their mmssms.db?

      • hp420

        I'm able to receive MMS sent to my google voice number with hangouts. I don't use my actual tmo number, so I can't vouch for that.

        • nehpets

          I know it works on some device/carrier combos, but sadly mine is not one of them.

    • Woodrowe Bones

      I have to say I'm confused about this integration that everyone wants... If I have talked to my friend "Kevin" over hangouts then its one of the top threads showing in my list and I just continue to use it. His "SMS" thread is so far down the list that I havent seen it in over a year

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        I wish all of my contacts were cool enough to use Hangouts so I could leave SMS altogether but unfortunately that's not the case. Most of them, even though they have relatively recent Android phones, still communicate to me via SMS, presumably because of lack of knowledge.

        I'm assuming the integration everyone wants implemented is something along the lines of iOS's iMessage where it automatically sends the person an iMessage instead of an SMS if it knows the person you're messaging has iMessage.

        Oh and also the ability to see SMS'es on your tablet and/or computer of course, instead of just being limited to Hangouts messages. That would be nice. I don't know how achievable that is though.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Where is Hangouts widget, Google!? It's embarassing when you had one for SMS/MMS but nothing for Hangouts..

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Google posted the official changelog. Article updated.

    ● More fixes for sending/receiving MMS
    ● Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters

  • Jules

    One of many Google apps disabled on my devices. I wish Google would keep their apps out of now becoming bloated G-droid concerning their Nexus-firmware. So people can decide for themselves if they want to install via Play Store. They can then put links to their apps on Play Store on homescreen of new devices/fresh firmware as compromize.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      So it would be like manually flashing Google Apps package upon installing a custom ROM

    • Kieron Quinn

      Hangouts replaced messaging. Imagine an end user without a messaging app when they get a phone. They'd be lost if they didn't know what they were doing

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

      Yes, Google is definitely going to stop distributing its app suite on its phones running its operating system with its content store.

  • Mayoo

    How about fixing the separation of SMS and hangouts. Some of my contacts are recognized separately so I can't "hot swap" between both modes.

  • Chris

    People with Xposed Framework and Gravity Box (or any other GEL modifications) beware... The number of columns is bugged for the time being! Its default for some reason is set to 5 and is unchangeable.

  • http://tech.gtaero.net/ Navarr Barnier

    But when can we call through it like iPhone users can?

  • nvillaco

    Besides the Google Voice integration everybody wants, 2 other smaller features that would be nice to have. Searching through texts and scheduled sending.

  • Brad

    Anyone on sprint having a better time sending MMS? I'm sure it's a network problem since other apps have problems, but I figure I'll dream and hope :-/

  • Android Developer

    Do they have SMS blocking now?

  • wtfsss

    Maybe they could fix the bug that prevents me from receiving hangouts messages while on anything but WiFi. I can send, but messages from the other person simply don't show up. Until I clear the app's data, or restart the phone. It just shows me that their little icon has moved and read what I sent, so it makes me think they're just being a douche and not replying to anything I'm sending them. No response from google on this.

  • http://twitter.com/jaydogg691 Jason H

    Did anyone notice APN configuration? Looks new to me on this update.

  • Xarlos

    Sigh, just like previous version, crashes as soon as I try to open a hangout with my wife. Sucks because we had been using it instead of SMS saving $$$

  • Woodrowe Bones

    Yet another update that "fixes MMS" and I still cant get MMS when using hangouts. Works flawlessly in the stock messaging app but it wont download in hangouts

  • gs

    They still didnt fix the biggest problem with Hangouts, which is that its a shitty app. Uninstall.

  • Bernhard Friedreich

    Hangouts now shows when the other side is having a call :) very useful as while the call is ongoing the message won't be received.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      That's not new to this version, Hangouts has been telling me people were on a call for a while now.

  • Martin313k .

    Actually broke my messaging on the Xperia Z1s, I'll just wait for the push

  • J2B

    The emoticons look stupid when you send them now, to be honest I'm devastated.