UPDATE: The Hangouts 4.0 APK is now available from APK Mirror, so you can sideload it that way if you don't feel like waiting for the update to hit your device on its own.
Two months after we first got a look at a refreshed Hangouts app for Android, Google has announced that the update is finally going to start rolling out.
Google says that Hangouts 4.0 for Android will start rolling out today, August 10. The update brings a more material design with more fluid transitions, a streamlined contacts list, simplified sharing, bug fixes, better performance, and improved battery consumption. Additionally, you’ll be able to reply to group MMS messages in Hangouts using Google Voice and use Hangouts on Android Wear using your voice (try “Ok Google, send a Hangouts message”). Finally, custom status messages are making a return.
Google is updating Hangouts Dialer for Android today, too, adding Outbound Caller ID so that your number will actually show up when calling others instead of a mysterious “Unknown” title.
Hangouts 4.0 for Android looks like a pretty solid improvement for the messaging app. Not only does the update finally make Hangouts fully material, it speeds things up, makes things simpler, and cuts down on battery usage. And if you’re rocking an Android Wear device on your wrist, the ability to respond to Hangouts messages using your voice means that won’t need to pull your phone out of your pocket as frequently as in the past. Some folks have complained that Google has shunned Hangouts for its Messenger app lately, but today it’s time for Hangouts to get some time in the spotlight.