Google Actually Recommends That You Use Messenger for SMS Over Hangouts

For months, we were confused as to why Google created and introduced their own Messenger app when we were all expecting Google Hangouts to become the standard for all messaging needs throughout Google’s services. From instant messaging to texting and MMS to in-document chats, Hangouts is supposed to be the guy (or gal). Remember that almost two years ago to the day, Google told us that Hangouts was the “future.” It even looked like they would deliver on that statement for a while, after introducing SMS into Hangouts and starting the integration of Google Voice. But again, here we are years later and that future sure is taking its sweet time arriving.

After digging around in Google’s Project Fi support site last night, I think we now know why Google created their own Messenger app – Hangouts just isn’t ready for prime time yet when it comes to SMS, MMS, and group messaging. In fact, Google recommends Messenger over Hangouts.  (more…)

Switching From Google Voice to Project Fi – How It Works

After looking through the Project Fi sign-up process that was posted to reddit earlier today, we came away feeling more knowledgable about a majority of the service’s features, but also left feeling a bit worried about how it would play with Google Voice. Because certain features were noted as being left out, we were wondering if Project Fi would even be an option for some of us long-time GV users. Thanks to a great find by one of our readers, we now think we know exactly how Google Voice will transfer over to Project Fi.

The biggest thing to understand here is that when you transfer over from Google Voice to Project Fi, you are essentially leaving your Google Voice life behind. Because of that, you get to keep some of the features and lose others.  (more…)

Google’s Two New Project Fi Videos Help You Decide a Data Amount, Text and Call From Any Device

Look, the Nexus 5 2015 in all white!

Now that I have you attention with that placeholder device, let’s talk about a couple of new videos that Google added within the last 24 hours to its FAQ for Project Fi. The two videos focus on deciding how much data you should choose to start with on your Fi plan and how you can use your Fi number to call and text from almost any device, including tablets and computers.  (more…)

You Can Finally “Send a Hangouts Message” With Your Voice in Google Now

That title isn’t clickbait. I’m not even kidding with this one. You can say “send a Hangouts message” in Google Now, with your voice, and it will actually send a message in Hangouts with your voice. I don’t know when this went live, but it’s live. It will ask who you want to send it to, then what your message is, before confirming that you want to send. We aren’t talking SMS here – this is legitimate Hangouts messaging with your voice.

You still think I’m joking, I know. I get why you would think that I’m joking. Seriously, though, go try it.

You can finally send a Hangouts message with your voice in Google Now.  (more…)

Some Google Services Seem to be Struggling at the Moment… (Updated)

Google Play, Hangouts, and Play Music all seem to be having issues this morning. More specifically, the Chrome Hangouts extension and Android app, Google Play on mobile, and Play Music in the browser, were all having their own issues. Many of us are also getting weird “unusual traffic from your computer network” errors with included CAPTCHAs. So, no, it’s not you.

Let us know if you are experiencing anything unusual with your Google services at the moment.  (more…)

Google Looks to Break Down Google+ Into Three Areas; Hangouts, Photos, and Stream

In a recent interview between Forbes and Google’s Sundar Pichai, the Google+ service as we know it today may change drastically in the near future. According to Sundar, who currently oversees everything in relation to Android, Chrome, Google Apps, Maps, Google+, and other sectors at Google, Google+ is currently seen as a single area, but the company hopes to break it down into three in the future.

Sundar stated in the interview, “I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos, and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.”  (more…)

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…)