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hangouts

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Google Is Rolling Out New Custom Invitation Options In Hangouts

Hangouts does some things well, but letting you know when someone new is trying to contact you is not one of them. Google is rolling out several new invitation options to Hangouts that will make things much clearer. What's more, it looks like they're already live in the Android app.

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[Update: Hangouts 4.0 Not Required] Hangouts 4.0 Leak Shows The Ability To Start Conversations From Android Wear Actually Working

Hangouts 4.0. We want you. And that desire has only grown after Phandroid's latest leak. It looks like users will be able to initiate Hangouts conversations using Android Wear once the latest update comes around.

As some readers have pointed out, this feature does not appear to require Hangouts 4. People are having success initiating Hangouts messages from Android Wear using the version currently available in the Play Store.

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Hangouts On The Web Gets Slick Drag And Drop Image Sharing

Google has a little treat in store for you the next time you sign into Gmail or Inbox and want to share an image over Hangouts. Just drag and drop the file into the chat window to attach it to your message. A circle will pop up with the words Drop image to attach written underneath.

Hangouts

The picture won't send automatically, so you have time to add a message or change your mind. Also, you can't send multiple images at once.

The functionality is already live, so if things aren't working for you, try refreshing your tab or restarting the Chrome app.

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Google Celebrates LGBT Pride Month With Several Custom Animations In Hangouts

The month of June, also known as LGBT Pride Month, is nearing an end. But that doesn't mean it's too late to enjoy a few celebratory animations in Hangouts. If you type the words "happy pride" into the instant messenger, you will get a visit from a number of emoji standing in front of a rainbow or waving a flag. Some may even be making out.

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Earlier this month, Google updated Androidify to version 4.0 and included plenty of prideful accessories to adorn your robot with. More importantly, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, giving gay people and supporters ample reason to celebrate.

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Google Hangouts Passes 1 Billion Installations On The Play Store

Not many Android apps can say they've been installed a billion times. In fact, before today there were only ten - and out of those ten, only three of them were non-Google apps (and all owned by Facebook). Today Google's first party messaging client, Hangouts, joins this elite group of billion-device apps... notably behind its competitors, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

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A billion installations doesn't mean a billion users, it means one billion different Android devices have downloaded the app once. (Phones and tablets now out of service count, multiple downloads and updates don't.) That said, Hangouts' daily users probably number in the hundreds of millions at this point, if only by virtue of its inclusion as the default SMS app on many Android phones.

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Hangouts On Desktop Gets Full-View Screen Sharing

Hangouts may not be as ubiquitous as Skype, but as Google sells more devices, people are increasingly turning to the company's built-in method of video chatting. Today the search giant announced an addition to the desktop Hangouts experience that we Android users may encounter as we hop from our phones to our laptops. Now when users share their screens, others can view it in fullscreen.

Google says the video will use as much visible area as possible. Attendee thumbnails will overlay the content at the bottom of the screen, and a new button will appear on the control bar that allows viewers to hide these images and focus entirely on the presentation.

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An Exclusive Peek At Hangouts 4.0 On Android Wear

Yesterday, we took a look at the upcoming Hangouts 4.0, a yet unreleased update that promises to clean up the Hangouts interface in many ways. But there was one thing we didn't cover in that post - the Android Wear app that will apparently come with the update to 4.0. Since yesterday we've been playing with the app and thought it would be good to follow up with a quick overview of what it does.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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An Exclusive Early Look At Hangouts 4.0

Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.

It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app.

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Touchless Chat Lets You Send And Reply To Messages On Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, And More Using Just Your Voice

joaomgcd's apps are usually about pushing your phone to do more with just your voice and some Google Now command integration, and Touchless Chat is no exception. The app takes the idea of interacting with your phone via voice commands and applies it to one area where I personally wished Google Now and Wear were better: sending messages to your contacts (ie initiating a conversation instead of just replying).

There are many layers to Touchless Chat and many ways of initiating a chat with a contact, but before we get into that, you'll need to give the app some permissions, mainly for accessibility, notification access, and device administrator. That's a lot of leeway, but it's the only way the app can work, so just be thankful that it doesn't require root as well.

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Some Chrome Users Can Now Cast Tabs Directly To Video Hangouts Sessions

Google keeps patiently improving the ecosystem surrounding the Chromecast and its various software tie-ins. But the latest trick is casting not to a gadget or screen, but to a conversation. At least some users are now able to cast tabs to a video Hangouts session, allowing the recipient to watch the video (or whatever else you've got in that tab) without a cumbersome link. It doesn't seem to be live for everyone, but check out your Chromecast extension if you'd like to try it out.

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The system seems to prefer an active conversation. It won't let you cast to a Hangouts conversation that only includes you, for example, and it won't go for a Hangout which someone has opened but not yet joined.

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