Google’s Hangouts is getting updated to version 7.0, bringing with it a new quick reply feature, a conversation shortcut, and some additional material design changes.
As a quick overview, the quick reply feature will let you reply to a Hangouts messages from whatever application you’re currently in. Another new feature is the conversation shortcut, which will let you add a specific conversation to your smartphone or tablet’s home screen for quick access. This can be helpful, particularly for conversations you frequently respond to, as it would reduce the amount of steps it takes to get to that conversation.
There’s also been some rumors circulating that Google will soon get rid of SMS and MMS abilities in Hangouts. The search giant hasn’t gotten rid of those features, but there’s an interesting pop-up within this new Hangouts update that now encourages users to download Google Messenger, the company’s dedicated SMS application. With that in mind, this further indicates that we could see Hangouts lose SMS or MMS functionality in the future with the search giant encouraging its users to switch over to Google Messenger.
Finally, there’s been a handful of material design changes throughout the application. Nothing too big, but some checkboxes have been replaced with material sliders, the font has been altered in the search function of the app, and so on.
If you’re interested in taking an early look at the new Hangouts version, you can download the APK mirror below or keep an eye out on an official update from Google on the Hangout’s Play Store product page.
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