Google is Finally Making Hangouts as Good as it Should Be

By Eric Limer on at

Today, Google held a little event about updates to Google+ which, ok, maybe that's not the most exciting thing. But buried deep in there were some updates to the Hangouts app that are finally helping it follow through on its promise.

First and foremost, on iOS and Android, Hangouts now supports SMS! Hooray! While it's not been confirmed if this will be available outside of the US yet, it does appear that the default Android messaging app is sure to die mighty soon, and no one will miss it. But even thought that might be enough, there's still more. Hangouts now also supports animated GIFs (as well it should) as well as backed in location-sharing through Google Maps. And the app is also getting HD video calls across all device.

There's still no Google Voice calling from inside mobile apps, which is what plenty of us where hoping for when Google promised Hangouts as the future of Google Voice, but hey, SMS integration is a big move that folks have been clamouring for since release. It took to long to get there, but better late than never. And plus the other little additions, Hangouts is more worth using than ever.