Google App Updates Galore: Hangouts, Cloud Print, Maps, Search, and More

If Google decides to push out a bunch of updates to their suite of apps on any given day, Wednesdays are usually a good bet. Sure enough, we are seeing all sorts of apps receive updates today (Hangouts, Cloud Print, Google Search, Maps, Newsstand, and more), most of which don’t have changelogs or haven’t arrived on anyone’s device due to our favorite thing in the industry, staged rollouts for updates. Thankfully, this is the internet, which means that some people are bound to be a part of that initial wave. Some of those delightful people also like to share their treasures.

Below, we’ve started a list of the apps that are being updated, along with download links and changelogs (as we have them). We will try to update this throughout the day.  (more…)

New BlackBerry Messenger Beta for Android Features BBM Voice, Beats Hangouts to the Punch

According to CrackBerry, BlackBerry has released an updated beta version of BBM for Android, which features a nice changelog that users should all enjoy. For starters, it is reported that the update brings a ton of new emoticons to use, improved file sharing, BBM Channels, and more importantly, BBM Voice. With BBM Voice, BBM users can call each other for free over a WiFi network, a feature that we were hoping an update to Google’s Hangouts app for Android would include, but still has yet to arrive. As reference, the Hangouts app on iOS has had Google Voice and calling integration for months now. (more…)

Unofficial Hangouts Widget Lands in Google Play

A developer over on XDA recently released an unofficial Hangouts widget to Google Play, helping all of those widget-happy folks who love seeing their messages on the homescreen. The widget is quite simple to explain, as it only displays all of your Hangout threads in a white and green widget, which sits on whichever screen you place it on. For those who were used to having a text messaging widget back before Hangouts handled SMS, then this should be helpful for you.  (more…)

Google Hangouts Receives Update to v2.0.2 – Fixes MMS Issues, Includes Import Option, Group Messaging Toggle

An update to Hangouts was pushed through Google Play this morning as v2.0.2. It doesn’t bring anything massive like full Google Voice integration, but it does tidy up MMS sending/receiving issues. You’ll also find a toggle for using MMS to send group messages and an option to import other SMS messages that may not be showing in your conversation list.  (more…)

How to: Use Google Voice SMS with Hangouts

When Google finally introduced SMS into Hangouts, an immediate sadness overcame the Google Voice users in the building, as the apps aren’t officially ready to work together. In fact, Google has said that full Google Voice integration is potentially months off and going to take time, because there are some security concerns that need to be addressed first. At the time of SMS launch into Hangouts, only Sprint SMS and Google Voice integration was officially compatible, though we’re pretty sure that T-Mobile customers can now join in on the fun.

What if I told you that wasn’t 100% true and that any Google Voice user can at least send and receive SMS through Hangouts? Whether you answer that or not, I’m here to tell you that you can. Here is how it works.  (more…)

Tip: Changing the Default SMS App in Kit Kat [Beginners Guide]

Shortly before Google released Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” into the wild, they announced that a change was coming to how the OS tolerated SMS apps. In the past, you could have any number of apps on your phone set to receive SMS messages. From the stock messaging app to third party beauties like Sliding Messaging, the whole SMS world was wide open and a free-for-all of sorts. So with Kit Kat, Google has tried to tighten that all up by limiting the OS to allowing one app to essentially send and receive SMS and MMS messages.

As is the case any time a change like this happens, we want to make sure you know how to handle it going forward. Google has actually built in a system setting for Android 4.4 that allows you to toggle between SMS apps that are installed on your phone, you just need to know where to find it. Let’s open the beginners’ guide and take a look!  (more…)

Motorola Connect and Assist Land on Google Play, Connect Adds Hangouts SMS Support

motorola connect

Motorola continued its quest of separating major apps from its 2013 flagship devices by putting them on Google Play. This move is similar to what Google has done over the last couple of years with its services, as it makes updating them much easier. Motorola can bring new features to their best phones now by updating them through Google Play instead of having to push out an entire OTA update that would require carrier approval.  (more…)