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Confirmed: Google+ Hangouts will get SMS and outbound calling support "soon"

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Confirmed: Google+ Hangouts will get SMS and outbound calling support
As you would (sadly) expect when a new product is released, people tend to move past the good points fairly quickly and focus on what is missing. When Google announced its new Google+ Hangouts integrated messaging system yesterday, there was a few minutes of people saying "Cool!" before the outcry became, "Where is SMS support?" Well, good news is that Google has confirmed that SMS support is coming "soon".

Dori Storbeck, Google's Community Manager for Hangouts and Chat had the good news in the comment thread on her Google+ post announcing the release of the new app. She said, "SMS integration is coming soon - it is one of our most requested features!" So, Google fully understands what the users want, but just couldn't get it ready in time for launch. The code is there though, as users have confirmed that both read and send SMS are listed in the Hangouts permissions page.

Storbeck also clarified what is happening with voice calls in Hangouts, saying:
This first version of Hangouts doesn't support outbound voice calls to mobile phone numbers, but calls into your Google Voice number can be answered in Hangouts. Future versions of Hangouts will support outgoing calls along with other Google Voice features.
Google has a history of pushing updates for new products fairly quickly, so we wouldn't be surprised to see the features added soon. Storbeck didn't speak directly to what users on iOS should expect, but we would assume that SMS would not be able to be integrated there because of restrictions by Apple. It is still possible that iOS could see Google Voice integration though. 

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posted on 16 May 2013, 14:34 1

1. datsyuk (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Jan 2012)

This is great news. I don't think they'll do it because they don't want to mess with stock android but baking it into the default messenger would be amazing. Sign in with your google account and everyone will automatically get that sweet messaging interface and you'll be able to see when they're typing and it'll be so easy. I have a feeling like a lot of my friends who aren't tech savy will just use standard SMS and it would be awesome if every android phone would automatically get the Hangout SMS/messaging

posted on 16 May 2013, 15:16

2. Kjayhawk (Posts: 294; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)

UPDATE: Dori Storbec took back her comment about SMS coming soon


posted on 16 May 2013, 20:28 1

4. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)

She just got smacked by Google PR, because she let something slip that she shouldn't have. That's what "we have nothing to announce at this time" means.

posted on 16 May 2013, 17:03

3. jwoody86 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 May 2013)

Absolutely loving Hangouts...the cross platform integration and group messaging/video messaging on phone/computer is fantastic. Google dominates.

posted on 17 May 2013, 17:26

5. thekalbo (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Jun 2008)

There is a mobile number validation component to this app - which requires the ability to send/read sms so this permission does not prove anything (unfortunately).

posted on 29 May 2013, 00:45

6. pocketdrummer (Posts: 32; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

What are the good parts again?

It clunky compared to the minimalist GTalk.
It lacks SMS and calling.
It KILLED THE DESKTOP CLIENT (and with the desktop e-mail notifications)
It basically requires Chrome unless you want to log into Google+ (which nobody uses).

There are no good parts.

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