In yet another sign that Google is drawing back the reach of its social network Google+, the company delivered on a promised update that drops the profile requirement for Hangouts. On desktop and mobile, Google Apps account users and those without a Google+ account can now start and join Hangouts calls of up to 15 people. (more…)
This morning’s Hangouts update on Android finally began the process of merging Hangouts with Google Voice, something Voice users have been waiting well over a year for. We know that not everyone has seen the prompt to initiate the merge process, but for those who have (and those who will soon), we wanted to make sure you got everything setup correctly after the fact. Since you likely still have Google Voice installed (you may not be able to uninstall it all yet), there are a couple of boxes here and there that need to be checked or unchecked to get this whole situation in order.
Now that Google Voice and Hangouts have merged, we are starting to dive in and see how things have changed and if new features have been added. The first thing we tested was sending a text through Hangouts using our Google Voice number. After that went through just fine, it was time to see how MMS messages work. For those new, Google Voice has never really built-in MMS (multimedia messages) capabilities, outside of a carrier partnership here or there that allowed them to arrive as emails. In today’s update, though, MMS is fully working, though it is still a bit different than a normal MMS message. (more…)
Last night, we were prompted to merge Google Voice with Hangouts, which we assumed meant that the day of Hangouts becoming the app we always wanted, was here. Google confirmed as much this morning, announcing that free voice calls are now a part of Hangouts on Android, the web, and iOS. They also introduced a new dialer application for Hangouts that should aid in the call making process.
Hangouts calls are free when you call other Hangouts users and when you call to the US or Canada. International rates are also low, just like they have been in Google Voice.
The update for Hangouts will start arriving today (.apk below). The new Hangouts Dialer is already available for download through Google Play, linked below. (more…)
Tough to tell exactly what’s going on at this specific moment in time, but a number of our readers (me included), are seeing a “Migrate Google Voice to Hangouts” message in Hangouts on Android. The box is a familiar prompt that was discovered as a debugging option a couple of months back, but at the time, it didn’t work. Tonight, it appears to be semi-working. (more…)
Over the last couple of days, Google issued updates to YouTube, Android Device Manager, and Google+. In tow with the new versions are little more than minor usability improvements and minor stylistic enhancements. Complete design transformations are probably a ways off – closer to Android L’s finalization, most likely – and there aren’t any overt signs that certain highly anticipated features are nearing the implementation stage. Still, we’ll take what we can get. (more…)
Emu, a messaging client on iOS, announced today that Google has acquired it. The company, which is led by ex-Google, Apple (Siri team), and Yahoo employees, pushed their app out of beta earlier in the year. However, as of August 25, it will cease to function, meaning users will no longer be able to send, receive, or download messages.