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Google Announces New Hangouts Features: SMS, Location Sharing, and Animated GIFs

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During this morning’s Google+ event, Vic Gundotra announced that they will introduce three major new features to Hangouts on Android. The first is SMS integration. Yes, “IT’S HAPPENING.” Gundotra didn’t say MMS, but at least you’ll finally be able to integrate the text experience on your phone with Hangouts, something you have been asking for since Google I/O.

We’ll also get the ability to share our location with friends through a simple location button tap, and share animated GIFs through chats. There was no mention of Google Voice or calling integration.

All of the slides during the presentation say “today,” so the update should go live later on. We’ll be sure to pass it along as soon as we see it.

Update: ┬áThe official release timeline out of Google is “in a few days.”

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  • “NEW TODAY!!! but yeah, in a few days.”

  • Tomek G

    Will it bring back features from gTalk? Online statuses? and useful contact lists?

  • droid

    Why does people want SMS and MMS integration in hangouts when you can already instant message and post pics?

    • Brian Himes

      Because the vast majority of people use sms and mms. Both are universal and all phones use them. It is also rather easy to have them added into hangouts.

  • Laurence Eckert

    I really can not wait until my hangouts application gets SMS.

  • Brendan Owens

    I really hope it supports MMS group messaging, so I can continue to send group messages to all my friends using iMessage or dumb phones.

  • Cyrildz Akh

    What is so particular with the MMS thing? here in Germany it is a paid service… and for postpaid customers it is more expensive.

  • Stacey

    So iOS gets voice calls only, but Android gets texting only? Can’t both platforms get both things?

  • JT

    They’re probably gonna release it with Kit Kat when it comes out in a couple of days!!!!!