Nearly two months after we first saw the in-progress Hangouts 4.0 update, we were starting to worry it would never make its official appearance on the Play Store. But recently our collective wish was granted and Hangouts got a big update. Google says this is Hangouts' update to material design, but what exactly does that mean for the app? There's more here than just a new FAB, so let's take a closer look at some of the notable design changes in Hangouts 4.0.
The journey to material
Despite what the change log may suggest, Hangouts didn't suddenly arrive at "material" with the 4.0 update. Read More
We've seen Hangouts 4.0 for Android before (and also on Android Wear), but that was two months ago. Suffice it to say, then, that Hangouts 4 hype has been building up tremendous pressure since, and now Google is finally delivering. Hangouts 4.0 will be available on the Play Store starting today, and of course, almost certainly will roll out in stages.
We already have a good idea of what's new in Hangouts 4.0, but here are the changes Google is offering up specifically:
- Hangouts is sleeker. Now updated with material design, Hangouts has a new look and feel: items respond to your touch in more intuitive ways and transitions between tasks are more fluid.
- Hangouts is simpler.
Have you ever been stuck in the middle of the woods with no way back to civilization, no laptop, and your boss expects you to deliver a spectacular presentation to your investors in 15 minutes? Neither have I, but it could happen – life is full of surprises like that. If you ever do find yourself in this situation, all you need is your smartphone, a half-decent wireless connection, and the latest version of Google Slides. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.