Google Hangouts gets smarter location sharing, stickers and more (with lots of sticker pics)

Google Hangouts gets smarter location sharing, stickers and more (with lots of sticker pics)
We knew that a Google Hangouts update was on the way, but we apparently didn't know exactly what to expect from said update. We had seen leaks of the UI changes on the way, but the update to Hangouts 2.5.8 has a lot more to it than that, including smarter location sharing, tons and tons of stickers, and more.

First, in terms of features, the updates are solid all around. There are the more surface level options, like adding filters to your video when in a Hangout video chat, or having a new "last seen" time stamp so you have a better idea of if your friends are actually around to talk or if they've wandered off to do something else. There is also the beginning of what Google is calling "smart suggestions", which is something that we've seen in various Google products like Gmail and Calendar. In Hangouts, the first smart suggestion that you'll get is when Hangouts notices that you're talking about meeting up with a friend, it will automatically pop up a "share location" button, so you can easily let someone know where you are. 

Lastly, there are the new sticker packs - 16 packs in all. Stickers have become huge with messaging apps recently, and Google doesn't want to be left out; so, there are tons of stickers to choose from, including aliens, bunnies, cats, koalas, pirates, penguins, vikings, and even Santa. Most are static images, but there are still the animated yellow smiley guys that were included before, if you want some movement. 

One thing to note is that our fears seem to be confirmed that the update does once again remove the ability to see when your friends are online or not. We're hoping that is a temporary disappearance. The Hangouts update will start rolling out today, but as per usual, it may be a while before it hits your device, so be patient. 


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13 Comments

1. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

What's with the picture?

3. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

It's one of the stickers from the new Hangouts update.

5. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Ah..I see. Thanks

2. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Google hangout is the tortoise in the race.

4. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I'm not interested in fluff. Will the dialer be fully integrated and become a possible default dialer?

6. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

There is a reason the dialer is a separate icon. It is so you can pin that to your main screen and use that as your dialer instead of the stock one. The only way you'll get it to be 100% your dialer is to use GV.

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Google Voice uses plan minutes: "IMPORTANT: ... will use the standard minutes from your cell phone plan." (v. bit{dot}ly/1lEbEtS ) Hangouts Dialer doesn't. If and when the Dialer is integrated into Hangouts, a widget or special shortcut could also be provided to go straight to dialing. Much like the FredomPop app does.

8. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

Finally an update worth installing!!! This version is smooth as silk !

9. Blazers

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Still no quick reply?! Screw the stickers, I want a quick reply feature.

10. Zylam

Posts: 1816; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Whens it coming to Windows Phone?

11. chloeblack

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

It at least improves. Looking forward to the next one.

12. afraaa

Posts: 138; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

amazing

13. carlos5593

Posts: 28; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

It's funny this version is on iPhone but not yet on android.

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