Google Hangouts 11 update drops merged conversations, gains video messaging



Google has its fingers in lots of messaging pies, and having added SMS support to Hangouts on Android, it wasn’t long before the merging of text and chat conversations was introduced. With the release of Hangouts 11, this changes.

With the new release, merged conversations are now gone — SMS and chats are kept separate, but you won’t lose anything — perhaps in a bid to push people to its Messenger app to take care of texts. The same release also sees the addition of a long-awaited feature: the ability to send videos in a message.

In an updated Hangouts help page, Google explains that merged conversations “caused user confusion and had low usage”. It is still possible to use Hangouts to send and receive texts (on your phone — sadly it can’t be done on your computer yet), although Google would much prefer you used Messenger for your SMS needs. The company says: “For the best SMS text messaging experience, we recommend using Google’s Messenger app.”

The arrival of videos in messages for iOS users is rather more interesting — although perhaps not as interesting as full-on video messaging. Just as you can send images within a message, so you can now send videos as well. What took you so long, Google?

You now just need to wait for the update to rollout to you.