Last week, Google rolled out a version 1.2 update to its official Hangouts app for Android that included the ability to view the online status of friends and better contacts organization, two big features that many users had been demanding for a while. Now some intel on Google's plans for Hangouts v1.3 has leaked out, and apparently the company's got even bigger plans for its next Hangouts update.
Sources speaking to Android Police say Google will integrate SMS and MMS capabilities in the version 1.3 Hangouts update. It's said that SMS messages sent in the app will be labeled as "via SMS" so that users know what type of message they're sending, and SMS delivery reports are also expected to be supported. The option to disable SMS will also be available for those folks that'd prefer to stick to Hangouts instant messages.
On the MMS side of things, it's expected users will be able to send picture messages in Hangouts v1.3, but it's not yet clear if video messages will be supported as well. Speaking of video the Hangouts v1.3 app will also reportedly support video sharing over the Hangouts protocol.
Google Hangouts/Talk is one of the more widely-used instant messaging services around thanks to its cross-platform support that includes the two most popular mobile OSes and Gmail. I'm sure that many Hangouts users would agree that it can get kind of annoying jumping between the Hangouts app and Messaging apps when trying to hold conversations with friends, though, and so it'd be great to see Google integrate SMS/MMS into the Hangouts app and cut down on the amount of app switching that users go through. Of course, not everyone will want to get their SMS mixed into their Hangouts, so the ability to turn off SMS in hangouts would also be a nice inclusion.
Overall it sounds like Hangouts v1.3 is a pretty spiffy update to Google's instant messaging app for Android. The bad news? There's no word yet on exactly when it'll roll out, so for now we'll just have to ogle these leaked images and imagine what we'll be able to accomplish with the time saved by not constantly hopping back and forth between the Hangouts and Messaging apps.
Via Android Police