Hangouts 11 adds video messages and gets rid of merged SMS conversations

Google says merged SMS was confusing and rarely used, so out it goes. At least we go the video messages that have been on iOS for awhile.

While we’re all waiting for the next-generation messaging apps from Google, Allo and Duo, Google is hard at work making sure it updates its many other messaging apps. Apparently, Google’s just going to keep making new messaging apps without retiring old ones, forever. The company just released version 11 of Hangouts, it’s combined over-the-top and SMS client for Android.

So what’s new? First, Android users get a feature that has been available on iOS for quite awhile now: video messages. This isn’t video chat, it’s sending a recorded message. While Google didn’t mention how long the messages can be, the limit is 2 minutes on iOS, and we’d wager it’s the same on Android.

The other major change is that Google has disabled the ability to merge SMS and over-the-top (OTT) messages. The explanation from Google, via it’s support page, is as follows:

Merged conversations used to let you see your Hangouts messages and text messages in the same conversation. We have decided to remove it, because it caused user confusion and had low usage.
For the best SMS text messaging experience, we recommend using Google’s Messenger app.

Hangouts 11 is rolling out now via the Google Play store.

The impact on you: If you were really into merged conversations on Hangouts, this is a bummer. It’s good that we’re finally getting video messages, but Google’s scattered history with messaging apps is a mess. Messenger continues to be popular because it’s needed in areas where users may not have a Google account. Hangouts does the same thing, but not as well, and also provides OTT messaging. Allo is on the way this fall, and it looks awesome, but will it catch on? If Google is to combat Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, it needs a single united front.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MessagingHangouts

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jason Cross

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?