Group chats can get confusing, especially if you've got a bunch of big talkers in the thread. If you need to get someone's attention in Hangouts, there's a handy little trick for doing it. Just long-press on the user's avatar and you get an @name reply.


This will work with the profile image next to any message that person has sent in the thread previously. It won't specifically alert that person any differently than a regular message, but the name should make it clear you're talking to them in particular, and not the entire room.

We checked it out, and this seems to work fine with regular Hangouts conversations and group SMS in the Hangouts app. Now go forth and reply.

[Thanks, Paarth Desai]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Simon Belmont

    It'd be really nice if they could fix the whole not showing my contact's picture in the notification pull-down bug. Instead it just shows a generic contact icon.

    The other bug is that it's saying I have two recipients in a thread even when there's only one. The thread's picture is split in half with that same generic contact icon on one side and the other half is the contact that I'm actually talking to.

    • tlogank

      agreed, the blank icon is really annoying in the pull down

    • remister

      For me the pictures show up when it's a person you message often. But from time to time, it doesn't have the picture.

      • Simon Belmont

        Reversed for me. It mostly doesn't show the picture for a few contacts, but sometimes it does.

        I identify whose texting faster just by looking at the picture, so it's a bit frustrating. Hopefully Google addresses it in the next update to Hangouts.

    • senor_heisenberg

      Yeah, it does that in the widget sometimes too,

    • Henrique Persechini

      I figured via "sms backup & restore" that when you send an sms it gets registered at the exact format the contact number was written down, but when its received it's registered as from the full international number. SMS apps usually compress all versions of the number (e.g. +551199999999 and 11 99999-9999 and 99999-9999, the later being the common way to store local numbers) in a single conversation, and this last Hangout update messed this up, to as all my contacts numbers are stored as 99999-9999, none of them gets matched with the +5511999999999 numbers the app uses for incoming messages

      • aaronfg

        Nice catch. You should file that bug so they can fix it.

        • Henrique Persechini

          Sent it via the in app feedback venue, let's hope this gets fixed soon

  • http://shywim.fr/ Matthieu HarlĂ©
    • Hard Gay

      Hay gays it's me!

    • Simon Belmont

      Maybe it's in regards to Marcia Gay Harden. The actress.

      See: http://powergrid.thewrap.com/sites/default/files/marcia-gay-harden-02.jpg .

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Actually we're an organization dedicated to pronouncing "gif" with a hard G, not a soft one.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Fun fact: this is how we pronounce it in Russian language


      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

        I was just going to comment that I saw your team name, and it's JIFF Peanut Butter! ;) (which is why I'm not on the team! Bob's on the Jiff team with me, though.)

    • supremekizzle


  • Bill Anderson

    Shouldn't this be +Name and not @Name?

    • Daniel

      I just did it on an SMS/MMS group conversation. It does @FirstName_LastName for what I have in my contacts. I think it makes more sense this way because the other way implies that is their name on Google+.

      • Bill Anderson

        Good point!

  • ranova

    this is kind of useless... they really need this to specifically notify that person. I turn off notifications for a lot of my group hangouts due to unnecessary notification spam. I would gladly take a notification if something was directed at me.

    For people who used IRC; this would be awesome

    • USiT

      /me slaps ranova


      • ranova

        /trout USiT

        • USiT

          You gave me flashbacks :)

          The funny thing is that i havnt left IRC. We are around 11 people in our channel

      • nxtiak

        Hey guys FYI, /me actually works with the Desktop Chrome Hangouts Extension. It doesn't work or show up within Hangouts app though. :(

  • Mike Evans

    I wish it didn't put the full name, only the first name

    • nxtiak

      I'm doing it now with my co workers group hangout and it only shows first names

  • Randy Strye

    i found this out last week on accident

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    That hangouts name though

  • supremekizzle

    TIP: You can do a page search from the omnibox in chrome mobile!!!!

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah. Neat trick.

      AP posted about it a month or so ago. I use it a lot.

  • Mskina

    Let's hope they fix the notifications don't appearing u.u

    • krudl3rx

      I hope they fix having to select an account every time i want to share something, even though only one is signed in.

  • Karan Shrof Karan Shrof

    i just tried its working, thanks for sharing

  • Marcel

    This would really be nice if the addressee would see that message in - for instance - light red, so it will attract the attention of the user mentioned in the @reply.

  • Florin

    I really hope that insering a contact in a SMS message will be introduced. It's very annoying to try to insert an agenda contact in SMS with Hangouts now.