Google announced a major update for its Hangouts app for android today, adding up a number of fun-to-use features. The update is centered towards making it easier to find your friends using location service and making the overall experience a bit more user-friendly.
Google vice president Bradley Horowitz debuted the new features on stage at LeWeb 2014 in Paris, promising that more features will be introduced soon.
Once you install the update, your chat windows will display a “last seen” time stamp similar to Whatsapp, making it easier to know if your friends are around. Instead of uselessly texting and confirming if the user at other end is online, you can just have a look at the time stamp.
Google has spared no expense to make the application fun loving. The application will now have 16 new sticker pages that might bring a new environment of texting. These stickers are not just the static ones, the things they do is a must watch.
Another new feature are filters that change the style of Hangouts’ video chat abilities. People can now add real-time effects like Sepia, B&W and so on. Filters can be an incredible way to give some expression to your content.
Hangouts already lets you share your location by hitting the attachment paperclip icon, choosing Location from the options, and then hitting send. Now, Google has added smart suggestion location sharing which lets you do this in one tap: When someone types “where are you,” the app will prompt you to drop a pin on the map.
Horowitz, explaining the concept of adding this feature, said-
This is one of the most familiar experiences — people are trying to connect in physical world. It’s cumbersome for people at movies, in conferences and in the rain to leave their messaging app, retrieve location information, then move back and share it. We use machine learning and natural language processing to give an assist. With one click, you can share your location.
It has also been made easier to find your friends and add them to your hangouts contact list. The new app also has performance and reliability improvements and moves to Google’s current “Material Design” styling.
For now, the update is available only for android devices and will come to iOS platform in the coming days.