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Google Hangouts for Android gains video messaging, loses SMS merging

google hangouts

Google vehemently denied at its I/O 2016 conference that it would be ditching Hangouts in favour of its two new chat apps. And good news, because it doesn’t seem that it was lying. The company has now added video messaging to Google Hangouts, which puts it in line with some of the other major chats apps.

And speaking of major chat apps, the iOS version of Hangouts has had this feature since 2014.

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According to 9to5 Google, a non-official APK is currently available for those brave enough to dally with video messaging. The feature works similarly to sending a voice note or image, and can be enabled by tapping on the bottom bar.

Related: Google Hangouts won’t be culled, will remain ‘a standalone product’ – report

Videos seem to be limited to a minute for now, but this could change once the app reaches Google’s Play Store.

Additionally, the new Google Hangouts also does away with SMS and Hangout thread merges, largely because users didn’t use it all that much, according to Google.

You can install the new Google Hangouts over here, but do note, installing non-Google Play Store apps does come with risk.

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