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hangouts

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Google Helpouts Is Shutting Down In April 2015, Android App Already Removed From The Play Store

Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.

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[I Know What You Did Last Tuesday] Blinq Overlays Your Contacts' Social Updates On Top Of Your Messaging Conversations

Oh my. This is creepy. And cool. Very cool. It has stalker-like potential and unequivocal convenience. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Imagine you get a message from a contact, through SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or other apps. You start talking to said contact and they go on blabbering about some very important event that happened in their life. You haven't the faintest idea what that is because, let's face it, you do not have the luxury of spending your entire day checking Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Google Hangouts Rings In The New Year With A Dancing Emoji

One of the best things about tech companies is that they believe in having a little fun around the holidays, and there's no better time to take a beat to enjoy the festivities than New Year's Eve. Facebook just featured a themed selfie frame in its Messenger app, and Google is matching with a dancing emoji when you type the words "Happy new years" to somebody.

This easter egg has actually been around for a few days, but we thought today was the perfect day to highlight it.

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[Hallelujah] Since Hangouts 2.5, You Can Now Listen To Voicemail In The Background Or With The Screen Off

Ever since Google integrated Voice with Hangouts, listening to voicemail has been a highly-focused affair. Unlike traditional voicemail, which we're conditioned to hold up to our ear like a phone call, voicemail in Hangouts comes with a play button that encourages us to treat it more like the audio file that it is. This is the same way Google Voice has treated it on the web for forever.

The downside is that turning off the screen or backing out of Hangouts has, until recently, caused the message to immediately stop playing.

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Hangouts Dialer Can Now Start Calls When You Tap A Phone Number In Another App [APK Download]

There's an update to Hangouts Dialer rolling today to make those Google VoIP calls a little more useful. The dialer's new trick is that it can handle phone call intents from the system. That makes it easier than ever to place calls through Hangouts with your Google Voice number.

2014-12-17 12.08.16

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Hangouts Status Messages Are Now Available In The Chrome App And On The Web

Are you eager to communicate your current hung-over status to your entire social circle without having to tell each and everyone of them to stop messaging you? Then you'll be thrilled at the latest update to Google's Hangouts messenger service. Actually, "update" might not be the right word - I suppose "retrofit" is more appropriate. On the Chrome app and the Hangouts portion of Google Plus, you can now set a semi-permanent status that appears to all interested parties.

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[Update: Dialer] The New Hangouts App For Chrome Now Works With The Desktop Browser's Notification System

Update: Even more stuff! Mayur Kamat posted yet another Hangouts for Chrome update, this time showing off the new link to the Hangouts phone dialer. You can see the phone icon on the top ribbon of the main interface, accessible by pressing the green quote icon. From there you can make domestic calls for free, just like on Android, or make international calls if you have available credit. If you don't see it right away, try disabling and then re-enabling the app in Chrome's extension menu.

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Woohoo! Animated Emoji Easter Eggs Overload The Latest Hangouts With Their Cuteness, Hehehehe

First there were ponies and pitchforks, and now Hangouts has added more cuteness to the app in the form of animated emojis. The team had teased these easter eggs earlier in a Google+ post, but they remained mum about the way you trigger them.

If you have the latest version of the app, simply typing any of the words below will result in an emoji popping up from the bottom of the screen and either celebrating, laughing, or wishing you happy birthday.

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Hangouts Now Allows You To Switch Between Voice and Carrier SMS Within Conversation Screen

Among the feature additions in the latest Hangouts update is the ability to switch between Google Voice and carrier SMS without diving into the app settings. All you have to do is tap on the "spinner," the toggle in the conversation window that already allowed you to alternate between Hangouts and SMS. Now, provided you have a Voice and carrier number, you'll have two SMS options. 

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[Update: APK Download] Google Hangouts Update Adds Confirmed Numbers, Video Filters, Contextual Tools, And Stickers

Google just announced its biggest update to the Hangouts Android app in some time, introducing a bevvy of features not seen before on the platform. In terms of utility, the biggest addition is probably confirmed phone numbers: like competing SMS-style message services, this will allow people who know you to search for your Google+/Hangouts profile with your cell phone number. It's an addition to the app that will be particularly useful to international users, who are used to this kind of contact lookup.

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