At the I/O 2013 held in San Francisco, Google announced a unified messaging service called Hangouts. This app will finally unify all other Google messaging platforms like Google Talk, Google+ Hangouts and Messenger into one single platform. It’s already available on iOS, Android and for Chrome (as an extension).
On the start screen, the Hangout app shows a list of recent text conversations instead of a contact list, which is usually found on other messaging apps. Google’s taking a new approach here, more of like chat rooms style, each conversation gets its own name and the conversation can get an image or any Google emoji. The company has created 850 new hand-drawn emoji specifically for Hangouts.
Of course it’s Google, so it has to be all in the cloud. All your conversations are stored in the cloud which allows one to visit past conversations. Google+ Hangouts video chat is a popular product, and as expected the new Hangouts App will also allow video calls with up to 10 friends. Hangouts App will bring a new ‘watermark’ feature that allows users to show when someone else is typing, and indicate how far others have read in a conversation. There’s notification sync across all platforms. Once you see a notification on one device, Hangouts will clear it from your other Android devices and computers. You can also snooze notifications when you don’t want to be interrupted. The app will support multiple Google accounts too.
In a market crowded with many messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, BBM, etc., Google’s Hangouts lags in terms of few features. It allows users to share text, photos and live video chat (G+ hangouts) with each other. Location sharing, contact sharing, voice chat, sms integration etc. are the features missing. But we suspect future updates will bring these features to the app.