Blog Post

Google Hangouts for iOS just got better — maybe better than Android, even

Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Die hard iOS(s aapl) fans are likely heavy duty iMessage users and for good reason. Don’t overlook what Google(s goog) is doing with Hangouts, though: Hangouts 2.0 for iOS brings some nifty new features, making the messaging app even better on an iPhone than on Android!

Google’s Frank Petterson shared news of the updated software on — where else? — Google+ Thursday evening. Hangouts 2.0 for iOS is completely redesigned. It looks much better than the old version includes new features and is optimized for iPad users who install it.

For starters, Stickers are like a type of animated emoji that can be added to any message. You can also record and send short video messages to contacts. And location sharing with your peeps now includes map embeds, which is handy for getting a group together outside of the matrix. Hangouts still supports free audio and video calls, so those features haven’t gone away.

Will Google pick up a ton of new Hangout users on iOS from this redesign? I doubt it will see a significant bump. But for those who like to use Google’s services on Apple’s hardware, this is a welcome update sure to have Android fans greener with with envy.

8 Responses to “Google Hangouts for iOS just got better — maybe better than Android, even”

  1. Laura

    does the new version of hangouts on the iphone show when friends are making a phone call or on their phone still? (still showing non-hangout actions)

    where it shows when a friend is typing (…) the old version use to pop-up with a telephone when they were on a call or a cell phone when doing something on their phone.

  2. A Non-E-mouse

    Hilarious complaints about Hangouts on Android: It’s likely that (until Hangouts SMS integration takes off) there are more Hangouts users on iOS than Android. This probably seems counter-intuitive, given Android’s comparatively enormous market share, but many Android smartphones are very low-end hardware that either can’t run the new Hangouts app because their OS version is too old, or can’t run the new Hangouts app because their hardware is too weak.

    Not to mention the fact that an increasing number of people are buying smart phones not to run apps or look at web pages, but because of the large, clear and bright displays and ease of use of smartphones compared to feature phones with fiddly menus, tiny text and numeric keyboards.

  3. Jason Scott Webb

    I’m so upset now! Crossing my fingers that Google brings this update to Android in the VERY near future! I have a Nexus 5 for God’s sake! Dont forget Android! 👍

    • If calling through hangouts on Android does not happen by the time the next iPhone comes out I may just go back to iOS. I have a low minute plan and unlimited data. I need a phone I can make calls over data. Skype is a pain to use, hangouts works great on the iPad mini.

  4. The new features are great but It would be nice if they would include CallerId for incoming calls on IOS. I think I have seen that feature requested a hundred times in the past year.

  5. This looks great. Slightly disappointed that iOS is leading on functionality and design. I’m still waiting for Google to bring “Hangouts to Phone” calling on Android.