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Google Hangout now supports SMS, GIF and one-tap location sharing

Google has hosted an event in San Francisco to talk about what's new in Google+. Part of the event was dedicated to introduce new features that are rolling out to Google Hangout -- Google's effort at unifying messaging services.

hangout sms
Photo Credit: The Verge

Google has hosted an event in San Francisco to talk about what’s new on Google+. Part of the event was dedicated to introduce new features that are rolling out to Google Hangout — Google’s effort at unifying messaging services.

SMS Integration

Mentioning that this is one of the most popular request from Google Hangout users, Google’s Vic Gundotra announced that an update to Hangout app will now support text messages. This will enable users to send and receive text messages via carrier as well as through Hangout with other Hangout users providing them with a one-stop app for all communication.

One-tap Location

Another feature this new update is bundled with is one-tap location sharing. When it’s in your hand, the next time a friend asks you where you are, you can simply tap that button. Google Hangout app will get your location using Google Maps in coordination with your GPS and share that information with the friend you are chatting with. This effectively saves time and makes it a whole lot easier to answer that much asked question.

Support for GIF

If you think GIF is part of your everyday life, you can now bring that to your conversation. Starting with the updated app, you can now use animated GIF to express your emotions, troll a friend or just have fun. Beware, though, that excessive use of GIF may end up more data consumption as GIF file sizes are usually much larger than an emoticon or a sticker that’s built-into the apps like that of Facebook Messenger.

Video call now goes full screen, HD

On devices that support Hangout feature, you can now have full screen video chat as part of the updated experience of Hangout app. The default resolution will be HD for each chat. And Google will work to fix lighting of the webcam as you are live with your friend.

These little updates — when combined — do make a greater experience with Google Hangout. If you’ve been a user of Hangout, Google hopes that you’ll love these new enhancements. If you haven’t yet, I recommend you give it a try and let us know what you think.

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