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Google Hangouts – What’s Special About the New Free Update

One of the things that most app users put off until they cannot anymore is updating their downloaded apps.

Whether they’re too busy, or just don’t see the need for it, it seems that downloading updates is at the bottom of the to-do list for many people. And quite frankly, this is understandable. Why? It’s because many people have noticed that most updates are not really better than the not updated versions. There are many updates that—would you believe it—work worse than the old versions. There can be different factors that could be causing this. It could be that your system just can’t catch up to the update. But whatever the reason, whenever a new update comes, some people feel wary to try it rather than excited.

But if you’re using Google+ Hangouts – or you aren’t, in which case you should – then you might want to update it as soon as you can. The latest update may give you the improvement in Hangouts that you’re looking for. Still hesitant? That’s understandable. But people who have updated to Hangouts do not go back to Google Talk. And here are the reasons why.

Messages you send are merged and Color-Coded

Google has just made available the new Android update to Hangouts this week at the Play Store. Aside from fixing some minor bugs, version 2.1.0 gives in to customer demand by bringing in the Merged Conversations feature. Users have found it troublesome alternating between windows when sending Hangouts messages and SMS messages, especially when they are all just being sent to the same person. With the new update, you don’t have to go through so much hassle anymore. All of your SMS and Hangouts messages are now combined and grouped for each recipient, so you can easily read and understand the flow of your conversations. You can switch between sending Hangouts messages and SMS, and it’s easy to tell them apart because they are color-coded. Hangouts messages that you send are in green blocks, while text messages are in white blocks. You can also tell the messages you receive apart. A small “via SMS” caption appears under messages you receive via text.

If you aren’t a fan of this feature, Google gives you the freedom to merge and unmerge your conversations as well.

Home screen Widget Boosts Convenience, and much More

There is also a new home screen widget available with the latest update. Now, you can instantly see your most recent messages on your home screen, allowing you to conveniently access them. With this new feature, you won’t have to worry about missing out on a new message anymore.

Other new features include a simpler segregation of your contacts – your Hangouts contacts and Phone contacts – so that you can easily search through them when sending messages. There is also a promising improvement of SMS and MMS reliability and better quality video calls.

Users also notice a new and better-sounding notification sound, separate tones for voice and video calling, as well as more status update options. You can now share your mood to express how you feel, show what type of device you are currently using with Hangouts, and also let people know if you’re in a video or phone call at the moment.

There are probably even more cool upgrades and changes made with the new version, and what better way to find them than to see them all for yourself? Downloading and updating Google+ Hangouts are all free, and will only take a few minutes of your time. Try it out and you be the judge on whether the new Google+ Hangouts is a hit or miss.

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