Google Voice Receives Update to V0.4.3.8, Not Much to be Seen

Google Voice received a minor update today on Android to version 0.4.3.8, up from version 0.4.2.82. As you would expect with a minor jump in build number, there isn’t much to see here. This does not appear to be a massive make-over or bring full Hangouts integration or produce unicorn tears.

The only thing I’m noticing that could be new, is how Google is handling international calls. After updating, Google Voice shows a pop-up that leads you to this support page with an explanation on whether or not you are correctly making an international call with Google Voice.

Seeing anything that we aren’t?  (more…)

Google Hangouts Updates to V2.1.223 – Introduces Custom Sounds and Ringtones for Conversations (Updated)

Google Hangouts is receiving a new update today to version 2.1.223. The update, which is a jump from 2.1.100, appears to be pretty minor. So far, all I am seeing are a couple of new options in conversations that allow you set custom sounds for messages, as well as custom sounds for Hangouts calls. Otherwise, that is about it.

To see these new options, open a conversation, tap on the Menu button (“action overflow”), hit “People & options,” and then set your custom sounds.  (more…)

Hangouts 2.1+ Drains An Excessive Amount of Battery, Google Working on a Fix

SMS in Hangouts may have come a long way since its initial integration, but it is still quite rough around the edges. Case in point? A few users on Reddit and the Hangouts Google Group have reported experiencing higher-than-normal battery usage – as high as 30% – caused by excessive wakelocks, potentially as a result of having a large number of saved conversations.

A Google employee acknowledged the issue and said engineers may have found a fix, but was unable to provide an ETA.  (more…)

Google Services Experiencing Issues – How are Yours Holding Up? (Updated)

We are hearing a number of reports from readers who are experiencing issues with Google services. From Google Play to Gmail to Hangouts to Maps, many are not able to access information, receive messages, login, or install apps.

We are experiencing some issues in Gmail, but not in our Google Apps Droid Life account. The Google Apps Status Dashboard is showing green lights across the board.

Let us know in the comments if you are experiencing issues as well. We will update this post as we have more.  (more…)

Hangouts Voice Calls Via Mobile on Android Sort of Works Already

So, this is interesting. A user over at reddit figured out how you can jump on a voice call through Google Hangouts on Android. This minute. Right now. Using your phone (with a little help from your computer). It works, for the most part, but clearly needs some final touches.

This is the deal – we have been waiting for Google to fully build voice calls into Hangouts on Android for some time. We know it’s coming – Google has said as much. In March, a report claimed that within a couple of months, Google Voice should be fully killed off in favor of Hangouts. Unfortunately, until Google flips the switch or releases an update with call integration baked in (like it has been on iOS), this feature will remain on our list of must-have features.  (more…)

Report: Google+ to be Dialed Back, Fate Unknown, Hangouts Team Moving to Android

The minute Vic Gundotra informed the world that he was leaving Google after eight years, the first thing most of us asked was, “What does this mean for his baby, Google+?” That question remains unanswered at this point, but a report out of TechCrunch gives off the impression that Google is viewing Google+ quite differently today than it did only a few months ago. Sources of TC would’t go as far as calling the social network “officially dead,” but did hint at its importance being drastically reduced.  (more…)

Google Hangouts Updated to v2.1.075 – Simplified Contact List, Merged SMS Conversations, Widget

Google Hangouts on Android received a major update today to version 2.1.075. The update introduces a merged conversation list that combines SMS and Hangouts from the same recipient. Through that conversation, you can tell Hangouts how you’d like to send new messages to that person via switch. You can also tell the difference between messages that are sent via SMS or as a standard Hangouts message.

The update also includes a simplified contact list with two main sections for phone contacts and people you Hangout with. Google even included a Hangouts widget for your home screen and improved performance throughout things like video calls.

The full changelog is below, along with an .apk download link.  (more…)