• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Google Hangouts gets iOS7 redesign, can now send direct video messages

Google Hangouts is a pretty nifty app. We’ve seen how well it handles video chat between individuals and groups of people, with the ability to record, stream and share those chats with ease.

The iOS app, though, has been in desperate need of an iOS7 update, and it’s finally here.

Besides some new menu and loading screens, the iTunes’ app description says you can expect these new features in version 2.0.0:

  • Fully-optimised for iPad, including picture-in-picture video calling
  • Animated stickers for you know, when words just arent’ enough
  • Add a map of your current location to a conversation
  • Record and send video messages up to 10 seconds long

That’s right, with this new update Google seems to be taking a stab at Instagram Direct, which was introduced late last year and lets users of the social photo-sharing platform send photo and video messages straight to each other.

google hangouts iOS7

After Google lost out on the recent acquisition of Whatsapp to Facebook — even after it asked to know about any approaches Whatsapp had — Google Hangouts’ importance as its instant messaging contender becomes all the more pressing.

Despite Google Hangouts’ prevalence thanks to Android’s penetration in the market, we’ll have to see whether it has enough to compete with not just the popular services in Facebook’s arsenal: Instagram and Whatsapp, but also the plethora of other instant messaging apps such as WeChat, Line and Snapchat. It will be interesting to see which messaging service takes a dominant foothold in emerging markets such as Africa and Asia, where the next one billion people to be connected to the internet are predicted to come from.

Author | Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter

Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter
Ronan Steyn has a love for all things technology, with a particular focus on startups, gadgets and games. When not writing the good write, he can be found making films or purveying the latest gadget, game or film. At night he attempts an MA in Screenwriting at UCT. A... More

More in Google, Mobile apps

Google wants to teach everyday folk to interpret data

Read More »