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hangouts

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[App Roundup] Our Top Seven Picks For The Best New Apps Of September 2014

September was a solid month for new Android releases. The new phone call functionality in Hangouts is easily the biggest news, but in our top picks below you'll find new media app options, new customization tools, ways to improve your videography, and all manner of interesting stuff to do on your phone or tablet. The honorable mentions section has even more goodies for you to check out. Your Android device won't be wanting for new things to do.

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Google Fixes A Bug In Hangouts For Chrome That Prevented Users From Seeing Texts And Voicemails

We were all elated when Hangouts finally gained the ability to make direct calls and text messages on Android. But that upgrade also seems to have broken a few features on the desktop (Chrome extension) version of the service: several users started reporting that they couldn't see incoming Google Voice text messages or recorded voicemails on their laptop or desktop computers, starting on September 12th. Good news, everyone: it looks like that problem is solved.

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Google Continues To Pry Google+ Loose From Hangouts With The Latest Update

That big Hangouts update wasn't just about making it prettier and finally rolling in Google Voice. Google also continued its efforts to make Hangouts independent of Google+, as it previously announced. You can now make multi-way video calls without a Google+ profile on Android.

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Hangouts 2.3 Update Brings Remaining Google Voice Integration And A Big Visual Overhaul [APK Download]

We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issues which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, what's more immediately striking is the new visual redesign.

What's New

With the amount of smudging this post required, I feel like I've been working on classified documents. The new version of Hangouts plasters your email address absolutely everywhere. It's not an issue when using the app, but it does make for some rather swirly screenshots.

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Dedicated Hangouts Dialer App Hits The Play Store With Phone Calling Functionality And Google Voice Integration [APK Download]

Update: Hangouts 2.3 is now rolling out to devices in stages. If you rather not wait, we can help you download it manually. And as it turns out, this Dialer just links to a tab within the new Hangouts app. It is not a separate, standalone piece of software.

Hangout's Google Voice integration is finally happening. We started seeing functionality merge into Hangouts overnight, but there remain a few kinks to work out that we're hoping an upcoming app update will fix.

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Google Voice Integration Is Currently Rolling Out In Hangouts

There have been rumors, speculation, hints in Hangouts updates, and now finally Google Voice is being rolled into Hangouts. The Hangouts app is offering to enable Voice SMS and voicemail via a popup in the conversation list. So check your app now!

hang

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WearResponses Xposed Module Lets Rooted Users Create Custom Android Wear Responses For SMS

It never ceases to amaze me how much rooted users can get done with the Xposed Framework customization engine. The latest add-on module lets you expand the somewhat basic canned responses available on Android Wear-enabled text messaging apps. With WearResponses, you can add in just about any custom message to the list that appears on your watch, which should be handy for specific work replies that are too unique for voice detection.

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Gmail Hangouts Updated With Tab That Puts Online Contacts At The Top, Lets Users Pin Favorites

Google is continuing to shine a brighter light on Hangouts users who are currently online. A few months ago the company brought back the green dot that used to mark online contacts in the days of Google Talk (which was replaced with a subtle green line in Hangouts). Going forward, the messenger in the web version of Gmail will contain a new tab that puts online contacts at the top. It's still possible to message friends who are offline, they're just tucked at the bottom where they're out of the way.

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Google Evidently Testing 'Ultra Violet,' A New Hangouts Experience For Chrome

According to Florian Kiersch (who has uncovered many in-progress Google projects including Google Stars), Google is testing a new Hangouts experience for now codenamed Ultra Violet.

Kiersch says (and shows) that Ultra Violet will present significant interface changes for Hangouts, including a new Chrome extension that would introduce a floating, Chat Heads-style icon on the desktop, which users could move around freely.

ultraviolet-11

Once the circle is clicked, Kiersch says, the Hangouts welcome screen would appear to introduce users to the new experience.

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Tip: Hold 'Send' In A Hangouts SMS Conversation To Specify A Subject

A single SMS message is generally limited to 160 characters, which gives it the potential to be a very concise means of communication. If, however, you feel that the point of your message will be hard to convey in such small snippets, Hangouts has a feature for you.

Hangouts allows users to specify a subject for SMS messages. Simply hold the send button for a moment, and a subject box will appear as shown below.

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