Leaked Google Hangouts update show SMS integration

Google seems to be hard at work updating its Android operating system and some of the core apps found on it, including a notable overhaul of the Google Hangouts app.

Android Police got their hands on some screen grabs that clearly show the updated version of Google’s communication platform. The new Hangouts now offers optional SMS integration similar to what customers get on iOS and Windows Phone. The company had promised back in spring that such a feature would make its way onto Android handsets and now they're finally delivering.

The images show that text is differentiated by delivery method, whether it’s a simple IM or a text received via your carrier. Of course users also have the option of disabling this new feature if they prefer to keep their conversations separate.

What’s not clear yet, is whether this new version of the app will launch alongside the highly anticipated Nexus 5 or whether it’s a feature reserved for KitKat, the next version of Android. Despite this, we know this addition will make a lot of Hangouts users very happy.

Source and Image: Android PoliceThanks V-Tech for the tip!i

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I use the FB messenger as FB messages are my primary communication so SMS and FB Messages in one is much easier so for me this won't help

A little confusing. Does this mean Hangouts will send SMS or MMS to people who are not running the app on a smartphone? Or is this like iMessages where it is built on top of SMS and works seamlessly with SMS (i.e., the end user really doesn't have to know if they are using iMessages or just SMS)?

Shadrack said,
A little confusing. Does this mean Hangouts will send SMS or MMS to people who are not running the app on a smartphone? Or is this like iMessages where it is built on top of SMS and works seamlessly with SMS (i.e., the end user really doesn't have to know if they are using iMessages or just SMS)?

Hard to tell, considering this is just a rumour based on a screenshot.
I'd guess it just merges the functionality of SMS and Hangouts, showing both SMS and chats in a single thread but keeping the SMS and chat sending functions separate. At least it would make sense being able to choose if you'd be sending a chat message or a SMS (first because your contact might not have Hangouts and second because they shouldn't let users send SMS thinking they were actually sending chat messages, as SMS can be pricey in some countries).

I wondered why they didn't offer this from the start. It kinda make sense for Hangouts to be the single hub for Google's messaging and voice services. I'm guessing voice is next.

And soon operators will become dumb pipes! Data only plans for everyone!

Until they find a way to screw everyone over again

LOL. I can see operators being pipes, but what would make them "dumb" pipes? I'm hoping if they're only major business is pipes, it better not be "dumb".

Now a Hangouts Windows 8.1 / RT Modern app would be great. But we all know Google will say that Windows 8 doesn't have enough market share of interest for people to use a dedicated app, but should install Chrome and use the desktop instead. Or we can use the new Chrome OS Metro weirdness.

AsherGZ said,
Lol Android didn't have this from the start?

SMS integration with Hangouts? No, but then it also didn't have Hangouts, it had GTalk and a standalone SMS app.

Hangouts will slowly assimilate all the other Google's communications apps as it has done already with GTalk and Messenger+, and now the SMS. I guess Google Voice will be next.

Are there really lots of more people using Google Hangouts? I don't know anyone that does, while I've at least known a few people with Windows Phones. Most people I see use Facebook or Skype.

Lots of people use it. Just because it isn't obvious to you doesn't mean it isn't popular. In fact I quit Facebook so that cross platform messenger doesn't exist for me since it is a massive resource hog to have on my phone. And Skype is not something I ever used. But my parents love it for communicating on the computer. Again, it is a resource hog to have installed on my devices.

I tried to get my friends to use it but they are archaic and still use SMS to have conversations

Yes, please and thank you! Wonder if there will be Google voice integration as well since that is by fare the worst effort Google has ever put into an app.