Android Central

Much rumored service becomes official, available today for Android, iOS and the web

Messaging has been one of the hot topics leading up to Google I/O, and today Vic Gundotra took to the stage and introduced the all new Google+ Hangouts. A cross-platform messaging service available starting today for Android, iOS and the web. 

We'll be taking a closer look at Hangouts once the dust settles, but one of the headline features is group video chat, available at no extra charge. We're also getting photos stored in albums, the ability to turn off history or save your chats, regular old group messaging, typing notifications, and notifications that will sync across all of your devices. 

A new messaging platform has been one of the most talked about items heading into Google I/O, and the app itself looks pretty nice. We're looking forward to putting it through its paces. It's a stand alone application, breaking free of the main Google+ app.

Follow our live coverage of the Google I/O keynote for the rest of the day's news!

 
There are 50 comments

Ry says:

Does Google Talk now go away?

Jon Niola says:

That is exactly what I am wondering as well. I use Google Talk every day (usually through Pidgin and Adium) and I am wondering if they are going to kill it off or not.

From what I gather, it's not about "killing" anything, but rather integration. We'll see exactly what does happen, but it would be nice to ONE messaging platform that works with GMail (Google Talk), G+ (Google Hangouts) and mobile (G+ Messenger, Talk, etc).

While it may get a new name, I highly doubt you'll lose any of the functionality you currently have with Google Talk.

bdizzel1982 says:

The Verge Video Exclusive answers that question but in short yes it's going away but not anytime soon

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/15/4318830/inside-hangouts-googles-big-fi...

still1 says:

from the app link it looks like talk is going away http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.talk

but does it include SMS?

It does not. I'm a bit disappointed about this.

Definitely a needed step. That being said... no SMS integration mentioned?

Aaron Watson says:

Awesome!!!!! Gotta love google.

coreno says:

I'm confused... doesn't GTalk basically do all this anyway, AND already integrated into G+?

Ry says:

Google Talk was never integrated into Google+ Messenger on mobile.

Yeah, that's part of the problem...G+ on desktop utilizes Google Talk, on mobile it is a completely different Messenger. Will be nice if everything is all in one platform.

cool

Zorachus says:

Is this a new Text Messaging app, like iMessage ?

xlDeMoNiClx says:

Looks awesome.

DanSan says:

needs SMS integration...

i absolutely HATE to say this but apple did it right when it comes to imessages. all ties into the stock messaging app. same reason why i never hit anyone up on GTalk or voice, its just easier to use SMS and not have to dig through different apps.

That would be awesome except, not everyone has unlimited sms. I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan but with only 200 sms messages. I can't change that without losing unlimited data.

Unless I misunderstand what you're saying...

Channan says:

Then you could just not use SMS in the app. For example, on my old iPhone 4, I used it like an iPod touch. I could still iMessage people even though I didn't have texting.

This way, people who have texting can text and use Hangouts in the same app. If the person you were messaging had Hangouts on their phone, it would send through that. Then you could pick up any conversations with them on other devices. If someone didn't have Hangouts, it would just send as a text.

It's disappointing SMS wasn't integrated.

philbert579 says:

He's implying that the Hangouts app should handle SMS and IM duties seamlessly, like iMessage does. They could even copy the different colors to demarcate SMS and IM services, so it would use SMS as a fallback when someone doesn't have a compatible account but does have a phone number listed. I'm pretty disappointed in that oversight as well.

Derrick4Real says:

I understand you're reasoning. However most people i text regularly are on unlimited plans. They aren't on old contracts. I think unlimited texting is extremely common. Most packages its like just a $5 add on. I know for my old one it was $3 for 500 and i didn't use half of them.

DanSan says:

the messages wont go through as text messages, clearly you dont know how imessages works. It it sent through data but uses the stock SMS app as an interface for it.

I got rid of my iPhone before Apple introduced iMessage. So, clearly, I don't understand how it works. Thanks for explaining it.

mech1164 says:

That's a yes and no on imessage. If you are on an iPhone then yes SMS works with imessage. If though you use it on an iPad over wifi and the like. It only sends texts to other iPhone or iPad contacts you have. If the person you want to text to has an android or other phone it will turn the number red and not send it out. That is a mighty failure in my book as I have both a Gnex and an iPad.

Google needs to roll in Google voice into this ASAP. Otherwise I have no need for this.

I'm confused. Is this going to be a separate application?

jrsharp70 says:

iMessage. Getting texts through tablets and computer is the holy grail of wireless freedom.

There are 20 best selling apps that try to bridge this gap, your number one competitor does it already...

And they want to tell me that they can't figure it out? Come on.

chapaj says:

Funny I get all my SMS messages on my GNex and Nex7 already through Google Voice.

Which I think is the point...why not integrate that service into this app?

kamiller42 says:

Google Voice... another Google ignored service.

ibleedbloo says:

If SMS is not integrated this is a major fail. The only thing keeping several of my friends on iPhone is imessage. This service can be a major selling point... if done correctly.

jrsharp70 says:

I make that face (in your profile pic) every time i leave for the day and have to take my Nexus AND my phone, because I have to receive texts...

hmmm says:

Seems some spring cleaning is in order. Isn't there a lot of cross over in function between google voice, gtalk and now this? Can't they all do pretty much the same thing?

MatchzMalone says:

Groupme can talk to Windows Phone too, and SMS numbers. I definitely like the videochat support but I cant ditch groupme until all platforms are supported.

ayg says:

No SMS, no go. How this isn't included is beyond me. I'll just keep using MightyText for online and tablet texting with my cell number.

People who are Google Voice advocates must not have had their cell number since the 90's like some of us. I'll change addresses, but cell number? No way.

mercado79 says:

That's why god invented number porting.

21stNow says:

You could port your cell number to Google Voice for a one-time fee of $20. I preferred to get a new number from Google Voice so that only people that really knew me would be able to send a text message to me. And, I've had my cell number since the '90s and prefer the Google Voice solution to text messaging.

stvo says:

Why would you want your text messages to be integrated with Google?

If this app supports colored emojis and is fast as Google talk messaging and u can see when the person is typing I'm all for it... Only thing I wanna no is do u gotta sign in with a Gmail account etc if that's the case it will fail...

That Play link not working...

Ry says:

Give it another shot.

Thanks. I like the new icon, I just wish it would change on my phone, I also want a new UI. I'm sick of that old and UI.

y2whisper says:

should work now. Installing on note 2. says not compatible with N10...probably will soon enough. And yes it replaces talk

EDIT

Looks to have sms integration as it needed to verify my number!

MarkDallton says:

It looks like it does have sms integration? Needed my number and it looks like I can send texts from the app.

Needs SMS or I won't go out of my way to download this. If you are using one of the many Google chat service as your default driver this is great for you, if not, this won't benefit you at all.

djprestigio says:

Seems like it might get SMS support as per the permissions.

zhecht says:

Is this really just a new version of Talk (i.e. does it interface with Jabber and Gmail Google talk users), or will this only talk to your G+ contacts?

jimmiekain says:

Whatsapp allows me to send files that are 12mb... does this do the same? more? or less?

Diskoman says:

One thing I don't like is that you can no longer make yourself "invisible".

jim_joe_bob says:

So how does this affect people who don't give a rat's behind about plus or hangouts? I'm not upgrading talk unless I see a valid reason to.

MarqBland says:

I just simply want Google to introduce a texting app that is integrated like the Messaging app was on the Palm Pre. iMessage gets there, but on the Pre, more messaging services were included. That's the one thing that makes me miss that phone.