Google Hangout for Android now comes with a record and send video feature. This means, you you will soon be able bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free using the Hangout Android 11 app. This option has been exclusively available in the iOS version for about four months now.
In February 2014 Google first allowed iOS Hangouts users to record and send a short video of 10-seconds only. Later this year in March, it was now upped to a full minute. Sadly for the Android users they were still left out, having to make do with updates like the feature Google Voice conversations to send stickers.
Meanwhile, to enjoy the new video messaging option, users ‘ll have to give up a core messaging feature—merged SMS and IM conversations. Users can still send and receive SMSes with Hangouts, but each contact now can have two (or more) separate conversation entries—one for SMS messages and one for Hangouts messages. Hangouts used to merge all conversations under a single contact without worrying what protocol the message used.
At Google I/O Google announced Allo, yet another Google instant messaging product. Allo seemed like a reboot of Hangouts, which itself was a reboot of Google Talk, but Google later stated that Allo and Hangouts would exist side-by-side, which will no doubt fragment the Google IM user base. It’s unclear if Allo will be taking over SMS duties on Android, but even if it was, tearing down Hangouts before Allo arrives makes little sense.
Google still seems to be making better apps for iPhone than for its own operating system, but the new update should at least make Hangouts more equal as Google pushes it live across various stores this week.