Google talk just got a much needed makeover with the latest “Hangouts” update. Google Hangouts now replaces the old Google Talk with a cleaner and smoother interface which is in line with Google’s other apps such as Google plus and Google Keep. Apart from the cleaner interface there are a few new features such as turning conversation into a video call up to 10 friends, sync across devices to continue conversation anywhere or on any android device, more cooler emojis, share and view photos among friends, view call history and enable snooze notifications to be undisturbed by alerts. It should be noted that users cannot stay “invisible” after this update.
The reaction from Google Talk users to this update has been mostly positive. Users are loving the buttery fast UI. However, Hangouts still misses two key features demanded by the users- SMS integration and Google Voice. Google has already announced that it will bring the SMS service in the upcoming update and maybe Google voice will be included as well.
From the user feedback, I have compiled the following list of features that Google may want to add to Hangouts:
- SMS and Google Voice integration
- Better offline and online indicators for contact status
- Allow users to change their status. (currently you can’t stay “invisible”)
- Show new messages in the notification bar and support quick reply from the notification
- Customizable contact list
- Status Message
- Chat heads like in Facebook Messenger
- Message forwarding (like in WhatsApp)