An update to the Hangouts app for Android is starting to roll out today, and it brings the app up to version 5.0. As for what’s included, so far the changelog doesn’t appear to be as exciting as you might expect from a 5.0 update.
So far, it looks like Hangouts 5.0 lets animated GIFs work as intended, which might be the most exciting change. Also found to be included are some minor animation tweaks, a splash screen — complete with the new Google logo — support for composing group MMS messages for Google Voice users, and the end of the Hangouts widget.
Considering how popular animated GIFs have become lately, it’s good to see Google getting them working in Hangouts. There’s also some good news for anyone using Google Voice with Hangouts, though for those two good things, there’s the trade-off of losing the Hangouts widget. If you’re a fan of the Hangouts widget and haven’t yet updated, at least now you know to stay away from this new version of Hangouts if you don’t want to go widget-less.