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Google Hangouts on Android Receives Update – See Contact Status, Easier Contact Browsing, and More

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Today appears to be Google app update day, as we have already seen updates for both Gmail and Google Voice. Hangouts is the latest to join the party, with an update that makes it easy to see who is reachable. Yes, we’re talking status icons that are either green or grey depending on someone’s availability. You’ll also be able to browse contacts quicker, pinch-to-zoom in photos, find Hangout invites easier, and hide people from the new Hangout screen by long pressing their name.

No SMS or Google Voice integration included.

The update, as always, will be a staged rollout. 

Here are the new goodies:

  •  You can finally see who is on Hangouts! When you start a new Hangout, green icons show who’s on, and gray shows who’s not.
  • Contacts are now organized by People you Hangout with, Suggested People, and Other Contacts.
  • Long press contacts in the New Hangout screen to hide them.
  • Invites are now above your conversations so they’re easier to find.
  • Pinch-to-zoom photos!

Play Link

Or you can sideload it again thanks to @WinDroidGuy. [Download Link] [Mirror]

Via:  +Randall Sarafa

Cheers Mike!

  • DA

    Does hangout still have compatibility issues with Google Voice? Previously when I tried, I wasn’t able to use Google Voice to make international calls.
    Not sure if this issue was fixed!?

  • TimTheK

    Two flaws. The first is one that still will keep me from using it.

    1. You can’t see chat status while you are IN a hangout. So, if someone you were chatting with turns their phone off or logs out, you have no way of knowing….seems like an oversight by the development team.

    2. At least on the tablet version (I won’t install it on my phone until it 100% replaces what TALK can do) there is no intuitive way to jump from one hangout to a list of your existing contacts. The only way to get back to your contacts list is to pres the + button as if you were going to start a new hangout. The back button exits the app and their is no slideout menu to work with.

  • TylerCameron

    Do we finally get notified when we get a contact request? This is what makes Hangouts impossible for the masses.
    “I didn’t get a request.”
    “Oh, you have to tap menu, hangouts requests, and it’ll be in there.”
    “You mean it won’t notify me when I get a request?”
    -.- it’s a huge bug that is on iOS as well as the Android version.

  • ConCal

    Just give me SMS support dammit!

  • mrjayviper

    staggered rollouts has got to go :/

    • John Davids

      you have clearly never been involved in a software deployment before

      • mrjayviper

        I make software in my current role. But never have been involved in worldwide rollouts.

        I thought this would as simple as google uploading the new version to the different data warehouses they ran around the world?

        • John Davids

          the point is: its a great idea to stage rollouts to reduce the impact of unforeseen bugs and to assist in the diagnosis of said bugs, especially considering the raw scope of Android’s user base. if only a certain carrier / region / subset of users experiences an issue, you can revert just that sector rather than having to revert your entire user base while simultaneously accelerating the troubleshooting process because you already know what variables are causing the issue.

  • http://dudek.tumblr.com bdudek

    Is there any way to stop desktop Hangouts from ringing when someone calls my GV number? This is so frustrating.

    • http://JeremyCouch.com/ Jeremy Couch

      Nope. It should have never replaced Chat until it was fully baked. It’s not controllable from the gv settings like it should be, it doesn’t work with click-to-call, and the hangouts window takes way too long to open. Sometimes even when I click to answer a call it’s already gone to vm by the time the window loads so I can answer. I love where it’s heading, but they made a big mistake releasing it too earlier.

  • Tyler Casilio

    Anybody else’s brain put together the name Aaron Paul? I’m to excited for Sunday I think lol

  • yungqb7

    No sending of vids?

  • Daniel

    How about letting us set a status message or arranging BY status like before?!

  • Marco Mendoza

    Got the update and I still can’t video call using att Sim on the nexus 4

  • hfoster52

    Finally you can see when people are on so you are not sending IM’s to space.

  • John

    Stupid question, but what is the point of apps like this when you can just text people? I’m getting my first android phone soon so i’ll use it if it helpful, but i feel like I’m missing something

    • Luke Olson

      messaging on one platform from anywhere, Mobile, desktop, ipad, ipod touch. Just login and all your messages are there

  • cmbeid

    Got the APK that was posted below. However, the status for all my friends is green. I know most of them are not currently online. Still shows green even after I close their hangout and go create a new one…

    • PG

      I think as long as they’re “signed in” to hangouts it’ll show as green. They should change it to the way gtalk was.

      • Robert Macri

        But they’ll still get the message… they are only offline if they won’t immediately get the message.

  • PG

    It would be nice if you can see the contact status in the conversation list also instead of just the new hangouts screen.

  • SecurityNick

    Been hearing reports that people on AT&T w/the Moto X cannot do video hangouts unless they’re on WiFi. Can anyone confirm if this is standard or just a glitch? I’m considering changing to AT&T and this may be a big deal breaker for me if it’s standard practice. Appreciate any feedback.

  • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B
  • cmbeid

    I hope someone posts the APK soon…

  • mustbepbs

    Does it still take 5 years to load and get into a hang out?

    • tharealoc

      if you’re like me, and using a 2 year old phone, then i’d assume so

    • Robert Macri

      They fixed that with the last update.

  • Will P

    Finally. The no zooming on pictures was annoying.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    asketh and receiveth

  • Droid

    Google search also was updated

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Saw that. Did you get either update?

      • Droid

        Only for Google Search

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          Can we have the apk? :)

          • Droid

            how do you do that? :(

          • Luke Olson

            are you rooted?

          • Droid

            no I’m not rooted

          • Luke Olson

            :( bummer

  • duke69111

    Almost a handful of updates from Google today and I have not received a one. Stupid rollout!

  • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

    dont care about hangouts till its gets sms and mms

    • T4rd

      I actually e-mailed their support yesterday asking if they still plan on implementing this. Haven’t got a (human) response back yet and probably won’t or if I do, it will be a canned “We are always looking to improve our software” type of response. Worth a try though.

    • coolsilver

      You can already share pictures through hangouts and youtube clips

      • socarwolverine

        I don’t think you understand what he wants exactly. He wants hangouts to also handle his text messages instead of an entirely separate app.

        • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

          correct… i would like hangout to replace the stock messaging app. like it was originally supposed to do.

        • Michael G

          I live out in the country and I don’t get any cell signal. When I’m at home I have to rely on *shudder* Facebook for texting/instant messaging. If Hangouts would support SMS/MMS I could just text people using that. So that’s why some of us want it.

    • Tim242

      MMS? Really?

      • Eric

        Believe it or not alot of people use MMS.

        • Tim242

          MMS can be sent from an email to a phone number, and vice versa.

          • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

            why would you want to use email when you can use messaging app to do everything? and that doesn’t sort the problem of being able to group text.

          • Tim242

            When I send pics, I want it to be full size, not some compressed mess.

          • brkshr

            I agree with this. The pics/vids also download MUCH faster and I have an archive of them on my email. So I won’t lose them when switching phones/ROMs & I don’t have to back them up or save each & every one of them.

            Edit: My bro sends me pics/vids of my nephews all the time that I like to keep.

          • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

            good point. i assumed when you send pics or videos from email to phone number that it would still downgrade them. when you send from email to phone number does it show up in the messaging app? how do you get the phone number into the email?

          • Tim242

            It will still compress if sent to or from a phone number. My point was that email to email is ideal, but it is possible to do both. Yes, it shows up in the messaging app. The email string depends on carrier. Verizon’s is, phone number@vzwtxt.com

      • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

        i group text more then i send individual texts… so yes… MMS…

  • edmicman

    Still not interested until stock SMS and MMS are integrated.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    And is it still horribly slow?

    • T4rd

      Its always been pretty fast and smooth on my Note 2.

      • hfoster52

        same

    • Anthony

      It was slow on my nexus but its fast on my HTC One.

    • Steve B

      Only on your Galaxy Nexus.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Haven’t used that in a year.

  • hwb

    don’t we all love staged rollouts?

  • Luke Olson

    C’mon apk link

  • randompsychology

    Google…get GV SMS integrated into Hangouts already! How long does it take–seriously…

    • FrankBoston

      4.4 Kit Kat

      • nvitone23

        what makes you say that?

        • jdhas

          I think it just seems inevitable.

          • nvitone23

            According to a source of mine, it may not be as close as we’d all like to think. :(

          • Pedro

            Sarge?

          • nvitone23

            Yes

        • FrankBoston

          I wish I had a concrete reason. seems like the next step – no?

          • nvitone23

            I believe it does but who knows how long it will actually take.

    • Dan

      Am I the only one that’s afraid that integrating GV into Hangouts is going to force more of the social media features from Google+ on what I would prefer to be plain vanilla voice and SMS functionality?

      • Tim242
    • Jaggari

      May be they are saving it for the big KitKat release. It will be available for older versions but only after KitKat is released. Hopefully!!!

  • Mike Hilal

    finally, status!

  • ArrTooDeeToo

    All of the Gapps updates are making me hungry for some Kit Kat bars.

    • JoshGroff

      I’d still rather have a slice of key lime pie.

      • Eric

        chocolate > Pie

        • Adrynalyne

          That depends. In many circles, cherry pie > chocolate.

          • jdhas

            I warrant that’s the case.

          • Adrynalyne

            It is for me ;)

          • joder

            Yay my favorite DL troll strikes again!!!

          • Blue Sun

            I see what you did there.

          • Eric

            If pie at all either french slik or apple.

        • zurginator
        • JoshGroff

          Can we settle for chocolate pie?

          • joseph barrientos

            chocolate cream! yes!

          • Eric

            Yes that’ll do or french silk.

        • sirmeili

          There is no way in hell that chocolate is better than key lime pie in any way shape or form (at least in my opinion). I loooove me some Key Lime Pie.