Pushbullet Update Adds Quick Replying Via Computer to Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Other Services

Pushbullet issued an update this morning that brings even more phone-to-computer-back-to-phone-again integration, similarly to how their previously introduced SMS-reply function works. In the latest update, the Pushbullet team added direct replying via computer to your Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Line messages. So now, when messages from those apps arrive on your phone, you can reply quickly through Pushbullet on your computer.  (more…)

Google Eyeing Virtual Help Desks at Retail Locations, Has Been Testing in Google Play Since November

The idea of a Google retail location would be nice, but since the company does not really have much to sell (besides a couple Nexus devices), we are afraid it might be a waste of rent. However, the company is reportedly working on two things currently, one of which has already been under testing since last November.

According to TechCrunch, Google may want to bring virtual help desks to retail locations in places where their products are for sale. As purely an example, since no retailers have been rumored yet, picture a kiosk inside of a Best Buy, where you can chat via Hangouts with a trained Google rep who can go over products such as the Nexus 9 or a Chromebook with you before purchasing.  (more…)

Thanks to Update, Hangouts Dialer Now Knows It’s a Dialer App

An update hit the Hangouts Dialer app this morning, bringing a much-needed and highly requested feature for the application – the ability to recognize itself as a standalone dialer app.

Previously, when you would hit a phone number link on your phone with the Hangouts Dialer app installed, you would be directed to your stock dialer application. Now, with the update, you are given a choice to use either the Hangouts Dialer or stock dialer.  (more…)

Hangouts Update Introduces Stickers, Smart Suggestions, Timestamps and More (Updated: APK)

Hangouts for Android is receiving a solid update today that introduces stickers, smart suggestions in conversations, timestamps, and more. Announced in the early hours of the day, the Hangouts team mentioned that the update will begin rolling out at some point later day, along with a few extras they want us to discover on our own. One of those unmentioned features must be an app makeover, which you can clearly see in the action bar in the screenshots above.  (more…)

New Hangouts Chrome App With Floating, Bubbly Interface Arrives – For Windows and Chrome OS

Google released what appears to be a really attractive new Hangouts app for Windows and Chrome OS this morning. Sorry Mac OS X users, you got left out this time.

It floats your conversations to the side of your desktop in bubbles, sort of like Facebook’s Chat Heads, keeping them out of the way, but also easily accessible. You will have easy access to your full contact list or currently running conversations with notifications and syncing across all platforms. The app even has full video and voice calling features, all of which is available from your desktop.

Looks neat – wish I could test it myself. Have fun, Windows and Chrome OS users!  (more…)

Tuesday Poll: SMS in Hangouts or Separate SMS App?

Google introduced SMS to Hangouts back in November of last year, a move that seemed to pave the way for users to be able to specify a default SMS app in Android 4.4 and give us the option to use a single app for all messaging. For someone like me, who rarely sends text messages because I have fully adopted Hangouts messaging instead, the integration of SMS into Hangouts has been beyond helpful. Gone are the days that I need to manage conversations in multiple apps. I can now carry on the few text message (SMS) conversations I have going in Hangouts, right next to my Hangouts conversations.

But after talking with friends and family who were somewhat forced into using Hangouts as their default SMS over the last year, whether that happened through an update or as an out-of-the-box experience, I get the feeling that not everyone is excited as I am about the integration. For example, a friend of my wife’s missed a half-dozen Hangouts messages that my wife sent her the other day because she said she “didn’t like Hangouts and turned it off.” Why that is, I do not know. But she isn’t the only one.

So I’m curious – are you using Hangouts as your all-in-one messaging platform with SMS integration or are you using a separate SMS app? If you are using a separate SMS app, which one and why?

Do you use SMS in Hangouts or Separate SMS App?

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Tip: Send SMS and MMS in Gmail or the Chrome Hangouts Extension Using Your Google Voice Number

With the Google Voice and Hangouts merger in full swing (again), most of you who use a combination of the service are now noticing an added benefit – SMS and MMS through both Gmail and the Chrome extension for Hangouts. If you have a Google Voice number that has now been associated with Hangouts, you can choose to send an SMS to contacts, assuming you have attached a number to their contact information.  (more…)