When the Google Pixel and Pixel XL were released, it happened that Google Hangouts had been disabled by default. In its place, users could now enjoy the new Google Duo alongside Allo.
This is one change that Android 7.1 Nougat came with to the Android family. In fact, this change led to speculations that Google Hangouts will no longer be available for smartphone users, but the company moved in to make things clear, saying that this application will focus more on the enterprise world.
Despite taking this stance, the tech giant hasn’t stopped updating this application with new features. Apparently, there is a new version 14 that brings some of the Android 7.1 Nougat goodies on board. When you want to do things like start a new voice or video call as well as send your friend a text message, the latest Google Hangouts 14 allows you to use app shortcuts.
Whether you are on the home screen or app drawer, you can quickly start a text conversation, a video or voice call and you will see each action open a screen associated with it, whether texting or calling. For those with multiple accounts, you will be faced with that “Choose account” picker each time you want to start a quick conversation with a friend via the latest Google Hangouts.
Google has also made some tweaks to the overall appearance and layout of the app that for sure many will love. For instance, in a conversation, the overflow menu is now very simple where the People & Options is now split into two whereas the options to Delete and Archive have been relocated as well. You will also notice that the New group option now appears in the general New conversation page.
Just recently, Google made an update to Messenger, adding the support for Android 7.1 Nougat’s image keyboard. Well, this is still nowhere on the latest Google Hangouts 14, even though it has been integrated into the Google Keyboard. Apparently, this feature needs to be enabled by app developers. Furthermore, there is also no support for sending GIFs in the new Hangouts 14.
To get a taste of these new updates, make sure you are using Google Hangouts version 14.0.136618992.