Software // Social
News
2/28/2014
01:52 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Google Updates Hangouts For iOS

Google redesigns mobile messaging app, adds a handful of new features following Facebook's acquisition of rival messaging service WhatsApp.

Google on Thursday released a new update to its Hangouts app for iOS that introduces a handful of new features and a redesigned interface.

"The app has a brand new look and feel, is super easy to navigate, and includes a bunch of performance improvements," said Google's Frank Petterson in a Google+ post that announced the changes. "You can still make free voice and video calls, of course. Or send a quick photo. But we're adding a few more features we think you'll love."

More than 40 "stickers" are new to Hangouts 2.0, which are big, animated emoticons that you can add to any message. "Think of them as emoji, but even more awesome," Petterson said. The updated navigation includes tabs on the bottom to quickly archive conversations, mute messages, send videos, and access your contacts.

You can also embed a map of your current location in messages, as well as record and send short videos up to 10 seconds long to everyone in your conversation. Tapping the shutter button snaps a photo, and holding down the shutter button captures a video. You can share images from your device's camera roll, but you can't yet share prerecorded video.

The new version of Hangouts, available for download now in the App Store, is fully optimized for iPad users, Petterson said. Changes to the iPad app include picture-in-picture video calling -- which supports up to 10 simultaneous users -- and a split-pane design, which lets you both chat and scroll through your contacts or other existing Hangouts.

Hangouts 2.0 is the first major update since it added phone calls late last year, and helps it compete in an increasingly crowded mobile-messaging market.

[Mobile messaging gains momentum. Read Facebook's WhatsApp Buy: 10 Staggering Stats.]

Just last week, Facebook announced its blockbuster $19 billion acquisition of popular messaging service WhatsApp. The app, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted wasn't as popular in the United States as it "should be," is particularly hot in Europe, India, and Latin America, boasting more than 450 million active users.

Reports said that Google once offered upwards of $10 billion to purchase WhatsApp, though Google's Sundar Pichai denied that claim earlier this week at Mobile World Congress, calling it "simply untrue."

Engage with Oracle president Mark Hurd, NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle, General Motors CIO Randy Mott, Box founder Aaron Levie, UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh, GE Power CIO Jim Fowler, and other leaders of the Digital Business movement at the InformationWeek Conference and Elite 100 Awards Ceremony, to be held in conjunction with Interop in Las Vegas, March 31 to April 1, 2014. See the full agenda here.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Madhava verma dantuluri
50%
50%
Madhava verma dantuluri,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2014 | 11:35:16 PM
Finally
Good that Google is bringing updates to the Hangouts which is an very good app.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 10:40:03 PM
Re: Hangouts app users?
The pros is that Google Hangouts are rather easy to install and take into use. The cons is that, Google Hangouts seems to be more senstive to network bandwidth. If there is fluctuation in bandwidth allocation in an unstable environment, sometimes Google Hangouts cannot even stay online. I think a stable network environment is quite important for the large-scale deployment of Google Hangouts.
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 8:50:17 PM
Re: Hangouts app users?
What were the pros and cons from your experience? Anything in particular you think it needs for a broader enterprise adoption?
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/2/2014 | 8:21:36 PM
Re: Hangouts app users?
My company have tested Hangouts meetings with both internals and external parties. It seems that Hangouts are convenient and easy to use but is not so feature-rich. It's good to hear that Google did updates for Hangouts in iOS and we are happy to test it. However, there is no final decision yet about whether to adopt it widely in my organization.
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2014 | 6:41:19 PM
Re: Hangouts app users?
I hear a lot of people experimenting with Hangouts -- we have here for internal and external discussions, and another company reached out to me about doing a broadcast-style discussion. But I don't have a good grip on how widely it's being used. Anyone putting Hangouts to use in their company regularly? 
Kristin Burnham
50%
50%
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2014 | 5:49:36 PM
Re: Hangouts app users?
I couldn't find specifics about how many downloads the Hangouts mobile app has, though I'd guess it's well below WhatsApp's 450 million.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2014 | 5:11:04 PM
Hangouts app users?
Any idea how many people are using the mobile Hangouts apps? The web version is nice enough but I haven't really needed to use it from a mobile phone. Is it anywhere near WhatsApp in terms of popularity?
Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A UBM Tech Radio episode on the changing economics of Flash storage used in data tiering -- sponsored by Dell.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.