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Google to roll out Hangouts 2.1 making Android chat app even better

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Google announced that it will be launching the newest version of Hangouts for Android which will roll out the Play store very soon.

In the official post from Mike Dodd of Google, he shared what are going to be the highlights of the new Hangouts 2.1 to make chatting even better. Hangouts 2.1 will feature the following improvements, namely: merged conversations, simplified contact list, homescreen widget, and performance improvements.

With the merged conversations, Dodd said that SMS and Hangout conversations with the same recipient will be now combined into a single conversation. This means that users can now control whether they want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS. Moreover, this will also allow the user to always merge and unmerge conversations if they?d like to.

On the simplified contact list, Google said, ?…now there?s two main sections in contacts ? People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts ? making it simpler to navigate, and easier to use for SMS.?

Moreover, users can now add the Hangouts widget to their homescreen for quick access to recent conversations. Also with the upcoming Hangouts 2.1, users can expect better quality video calls, as well as improved SMS and MMS reliability with the performance improvements.

Current version 2.0.303 features the following:

1. SMS & MMS (Android 4.0+): Send/receive text messages with Hangouts! Import your existing messages, quickly switch between SMS & Hangouts, & start group conversations
2. Send animated GIFs
3. Share a location
4. Status: share what device you’re on, if you’re on a call, or your mood

Hangouts allows people to connect across computers, Android and Apple devices. It offers one-on-one and group conversations with photos, emoji, and video calls for free.

Aside from SMS services, here?s what you can do with Hangouts as described in Google Play Store:

1. Hangouts stay in sync across devices so you can start or continue them anywhere.
2. Choose from hundreds of emoji to help you make your point.
3. See what you talked about in the past, including shared photos and your video call history.
4. Get notifications just once. Once you see an alert, you won?t see repeats on your computer or other Android devices.
5. View collections of photos shared from each of your Hangouts.
6. Snooze notifications at times when you?d prefer to be undisturbed by alerts.
7. Quickly share a location with your friends.
8. Unlike Google Talk, Hangouts does not support “invisible” status.

(Photo courtesy of https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.talk)

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