Hangouts for Android update brings merged conversations, homescreen widget and more

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| April 21, 2014

Hangouts for Android version 2.1 update

When Google updated the Android version of the Hangouts app last year with SMS support, I noted that it’d be nice if the IM and SMS conversations could be merged into a single timeline. Well today I’ve got some good news for Android fans that’ve thought the same thing since last November, because Google today announced that an update to Hangouts is bringing that very feature.

Google employee Mike Dodd has announced an update to Hangouts 2.1 for Android, which will include the aforementioned merged conversations feature as well as several other goodies. The full list of tweaks is as follows:

  • Merged conversations: SMS and Hangout conversations with the same recipient are now combined into a single conversation. You can control whether you want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS with the flip of a switch, and different message types will be easy to tell apart in the conversation. Of course, you can always merge and unmerge conversations if you’d like.
  • Simplified contact list: now there’s two main sections in contacts — People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts — making it simpler to navigate, and easier to use for SMS.
  • Homescreen widget: add the Hangouts widget to your homescreen for quick access to your recent conversations.
  • Performance improvements: today’s update includes better quality video calls, as well as improved SMS and MMS reliability.

The update to Hangouts 2.1 is expected to start rolling out to users in the coming days. I know that a lot of Hangouts users have been clamoring for merged conversations for quite some time, so it’s nice to see Google finally adding that feature.

The Hangouts for Android app can be found at the Play Store link below.

Via Droid-Life, +MikeDodd, Play Store: Hangouts