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Google Announces Hangouts, Their New Cross-platform Messaging Service

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During today’s Google I/O keynote, Google and Vic Gundotra announced Hangouts, their new messaging service (previously codenamed Babel). It works across platforms, meaning it works on Chrome, Android, and iOS. It also utilizes cross-device notifications, which allows you to check one device and have the notifications on others clear away. This is the unified chat that has been rumored for weeks now.

The service should go live some time today.

Update: ย Hangouts in live in Google Play! ย 

google hangouts google hangouts

  • Nagabushan Bengaluru

    crappy thing.. doesnt shows who all online,..!!

  • Kheir Francis

    They Shouldve named it “Google Live”, not to crazy about “Hangouts”

  • mattj78

    Oh come on Google where’s the SMS. If Facebook messenger on my phone can do SMS then Hangouts should. It would mean we could have just one messaging app instead of two and that could be the default on Android. Right now without SMS built in I have to use Hangouts and Messaging.

    Oh and it’s easy to say “Why even use sms when you have hangouts?” but I do like to message my mother sometimes and she doesn’t have a smart phone, same for my dad and my aunties. So I’m stuck using both. So guess which I’ll use the most? That’s right: sms.

  • Brendan Owens

    if you call a google voice number from hangouts, it will ring that person’s google hangouts and can be answered right from hangouts

  • Brendan Owens

    Well, permissions notes that it can read and reply to your sms, so even if it is not a feature now, I would not be surprised to see it replace the messaging app in 4.3 (which I still expect to see roll out in the next fews days even without any notice beforehand from google)

  • Tyler Lawhon

    I can honestly say the only thing it needs now is to be combined with SMS capability for people who don’t have a smartphone to still be able to text us with smartphones. Once dumb phones are more or less phased out, it would be one thing to do away with SMS, but until then it’s kinda necessary.

  • yellowflash94

    This is a bit of a let down Google+ messenger Google Voice, and SMS are still there. Nothing has been “streamlined”. Worst of all no SMS integration pretty much makes this pointless until everyone moves onto Google+. New music app though….AMAZING! Hopefully 4.3 and a new nexus 7 will be shown off soon.

  • duke69111

    Google Talk in my market shows up as Hangouts (replaces Talk) as already installed. App still says Talk.

    Edit: See Ritesh’s comments below to update the app. You could probably also just uninstall and re-install.

  • Biyobe

    I installed it… but there is no noticeable way to tell if they’re online, away, offline etc….

  • Seth Katzenstein

    Anybody else getting duplicate notifcations? I’m getting a Hangouts notification AND a Google Talk notification which apears linked to Google framework. Can I disable the google framework notifications?

    • extermin8or2

      delete talk

      • Mike Contreras

        Still get double notifications..

        • paulmike3

          Reboot fixed it for me.

    • Diane

      I was as well but rebooting fixed it.

  • After i’ve confirmed my phone number, I get a text with a google verification number. Do i have to enter it somewhere? I don’t see a field I can enter it in.
    Edit: Nevermind, it automatically confirmed it after a few minutes.

  • jnt

    MightyText ftw

  • Jason Kahn

    No Nexus 7 support?

  • Ficious

    Download for Android:

    Doesn’t seem to want to support my Nexus 7, though, which is concerning.

    • DoctorJB

      Doesn’t support any of my (3) tablets.

    • extermin8or2

      doesn’t support my S3…..

    • Diane

      It will eventually work on Nexus 7, they’re working on the fix.

  • Stephen Clagett

    Mine says Hangouts (Replaces Talk) already installed…I dunno whats up with that.

    • Same here. PA 4.2.2 on Nexus 4.

      • Neith74

        Stock Nexus 4, no problem

    • genius13

      Mine says the same thing..I cant reinstall it and it hasn’t replaced my Talk app…its still there

      • I managed to push it from the web Playstore and it installed and replaced Talk just fine.

        • Dan

          Me too.

          • AD1980

            When I go to the web interface, it says the app is already installed still, so I can’t force the update (it’s greyed out as an option. Any ideas??

        • duke69111

          Tried that and it worked for me. Thanks.

    • Max

      Same here

  • ehhh

  • uncle paul

    ITS UP~!

  • and its out!

  • kevin

    The way I see it should it not be easy to integrate some sort of imessage like feature to android? When you start using an Iphone the first thing it ask you to do is to type in your apple ID (email address) and this is associated with all of the apps you download and also is what links Imessages together. Now for android when we first start up our phones it ask us for our gmail to sign in and in order to download apps and what not so cant the same thing be applied so we can get some sort of imessages like features into our stalk messaging app?

  • jbdan

    Where is it I wants now ๐Ÿ™‚

    otoh: Thanks DL for all the great coverage!

  • Inquizitor

    Wow, surprised no one has found this yet:
    Live for Chrome and iOS, but not Android ๐Ÿ™

    Also the Verge has a big spread on it:

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Do i cancel my texting plan and just message people from my data? man idk man.

    • DoctorJB

      You can do this already with Google Voice (unless Google kills it off).

      • extermin8or2

        voice is part of hangout now

        • Steve Benson

          No it’s not.

        • DoctorJB

          How do you make a voice call to a cell phone? I know that hangouts is asking for my cell phone but it doesn’t appear to use it for anything.

  • There is no SMS support if you watch the exclusive feature on Hangouts that was just posted on The Verge.


  • No religious name! Yes!

  • It’s Babel, it’s just not what everyone hoped for.

  • Let’s face reality folks, if they didn’t explicitly mention SMS integration, it isn’t happening; they would make a point of mentioning such a monumental feature. Since it doesn’t incorporate SMS, I’m afraid I must echo another poster: this will probably be slightly more successful than Buzz. *sigh*

  • Ricardo Rodriguez

    why SMS? cause not all my friends have bunk ass Google+

  • No mention of what services it combined.

  • This new name was rumored for a while. This is Babel.

  • guys, voice/sms is coming – Google needs to go through this first to remove the carrier middlemen: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/fcc-get-feedback-giving-direct-numbers-voip-providers/2013-04-19

    • Maybe, but it still is upsetting. Android users are left waiting if we’ll ever see anything like iMessage. I don’t see why we couldn’t simply have something like iMessage in the meantime…

    • DoctorJB

      Why not just unify Talk with Voice (which already CAN send sms) or just unify all of those with the built in SMS app on android phones (I’ve got some s***ty AT&T app tied into my phone’s phone interface so I assume the people at google can figure out how to get their messaging app to tie into android SMS).

  • Chris

    this IS babel.

  • I don’t understand the people whining about SMS. Why even use sms when you can use a more full featured chat app that works on everything?

    And I’m a google voice user, myself. But I’d rather phase out using sms at all, if possible.

    • Same reason I dont use Google +. No one else does.

    • Scott Wilhelm

      What Cory said. Almost all of my friends/family use iPhones. There’s no way they’re going to download a new app just so they can talk to me. It’s already annoying that I have to use one service for SMS and another for MMS.

      • Aric Camarata

        Google Voice… integrated into Hangouts? Maybe?

  • fartbubbler

    Baybel be gone!

  • fallsgable

    My Pentile is tingling for MORE stimulation….
    Need MORE input…

    • theguyaboveisprettylame

      that was pretty gay

      • fallsgable

        REALLY gay…or just pretty gay???

    • Needs moar cowbell

  • Sakina Solomon

    What services are integrated please?

  • SomeDooD123


  • NYAvsFan

    I’ll assume GVoice is not integrated in some fashion. Sigh…

    • Probably not, :[

    • DoctorJB

      Is it just me or is Google going backwards on their quest for a unified messaging solution? “Too many services that do slightly different versions of the same thing, well, one more can’t hurt!”

  • Steve Benson

    Yeah, any word on SMS?

    I’m thinking no since nothing was mentioned…

    • I’d put all my money on “no SMS support”. They would’ve mentioned such a major, widely anticipated feature. Back to glaring jealously at iMessage I guess… *sigh*

      • What does SMS support mean ?

        • Emilio Figueroa

          I think he’s asking if google would give users a free text messaging service, so you’d be able to text anyone from hangouts, even if they do not have a smartphone.

    • NexusPhan69

      Umm. So I installed Hangouts. First thing it asked for was to confirm my SMS phone number. I can’t confirm if it sends texts yet tho….
      Edit: CONFIRMED! It supports SMS

      • how?

        it confirmed my number, but i cant send sms message

        • NexusPhan69

          It tricked me. All of the numbers I tried had google talk so it just cross referenced their number with their google account to send it to their google talk. That part works well at least ๐Ÿ™

    • Nick M

      I would suspect that SMS integration for Android Phones will come in the next version of Android, and it will combine Hangouts into Messaging, and will function like Messages/iMessage on the iPhone.

      So now the real question is, when do we get to see our 5.0 Key Lime Pie? Or at the very least, 4.3 Jelly Bean?

  • But can I also use standard SMS through this?

    • why would you need sms? just message people through this.

      • kevin

        majority of people do not use Google + and gtalk so it would be a huge deal if it supported sms

        • This. Aside from my sister, everyone in my immediate family doesnt have a smart phone. I’d prefer to use this for everyone.

      • DanSan

        why do i need to selectively message people through like 4 different apps.

        just built it all into one. i absolutely HATE to say this but apple did it right when it comes to imessages. all ties into the stock messaging app. same reason why i never hit anyone up on GTalk or voice, its just easier to use SMS and not have to dig through different apps.

        Hangouts app should handle SMS/Google+/GTalk all together, like iMessage does. It uses 1 app as the gateway but each message can be delivered in different ways. Texting a non hangout using phone such as a dumb phone would be sent like a normal SMS while a GTalk contact will be sent via data connection. They could even copy the different colors to show whether its SMS or IM services. so it would use SMS as a fallback when someone doesn’t have a compatible account but does have a phone number listed.

        • kevin

          This. Honestly I would not have something like Imessages built into the stock messaging app

        • Nobody cares about Apple

        • So you are saying, apple made cross platform messaging that expands even to any desktop you sign in on? Where is this service? Oh wait…

          • DanSan

            yes it does, shows how much you know, you can open imessages on the ipads, ipods, their computers… yes it may be limited to apple devices but seriously why leave out SMS integration. you had the chance to knock it out the park but instead they hit it deep into right field at decided to stop at 3rd base. this service is basically useless to AVERAGE users as they dont know wtf Google Talk or Google+ even is, thats why imessages is such a hit. you dont have to use separate apps for different chat interfaces… and i hate to break it to you, majority of smartphone users are average users. us “techies” are a very small percentage

            You need to make it dumb person appealing and sadly Google failed to do that on this one. my 55 year old mother can barely turn on her push to start lexus yet alone navigate a smart phone, so theres no way in hell shes using one app for SMS and another for other conversations. way too much going on

          • You said it does, then you proved that it doesn’t. Which is it? Also, i’m sure SMS integration could easily be added in an update, kind of like facebook messenger?

            Also, you are worrying about a group that doesn’t care to try new things. They have what they need and it works so they are sticking to it. These people are usually afraid of change or don’t want to learn how to use a new application. Some people are just lazy. I talk to a lot of people on Gtalk so this service is good for me.


  • cjohn4043

    Please support SMS….

    • NexusPhan69

      It does ๐Ÿ™‚

  • but does it combine GTalk, SMS? Too many questions left unanswered!!

    • NexusPhan69

      These are the only things I actually care about (and I’m guessing I’m not the only one). Without them, Hangouts is the next Google Buzz.

  • Bill Stebbins

    HELL. YES!