Update: Dori Storbeck now says Google has "nothing to announce at this time."

Original: If you were wondering why the new Google Hangouts app asked you to confirm your phone number, this might be the reason. Googler Dori Storbeck, Community Manager for Google+ Hangouts and Chat, has confirmed in a Google+ post that SMS integration will eventually be headed to the new messaging app.

Responding to a question about the unification of Hangouts and SMS, Storbeck said "SMS integration is coming soon - it is one of our most requested features!" There's no information on when this feature might arrive, nor what the implications might be for built-in SMS apps. If nothing else, it's another baby step towards the true unification of messaging that Hangouts aims to deliver.

Source: +Dori Storbeck


Reader comments

'SMS integration is coming soon' to Google Hangouts [Updated]


It would be truly great if they were able to add SMS integration, then Google Voice integration. This is exactly what the users have wanted (mostly). It would be great if they were able to add these things as well as keep them optional in the settings. It would be great if they add them NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!

It's going to have to work with Google Voice if I am to use it. Don't have carrier SMS, never had it, never will. It's a waste of money. I've been using Voice since it's inception for texting.

Guess it's safe to say you're not in the States, because just about everyone has unlimited texting. Even my $30 Tmobile prepaid. Still, looking forward to everything integrated in one place.

Actually, you are 100% wrong.
1. Google Voice is only available in the US.
2. I know several people who have smartphones (iPhones to be specific) who do not have unlimited texting. They have data, why would they pay for unlimited texting when they can IM people?

"Unlimited texting" is a +$15/mo add-on option on AT&T last I knew. By using Google Voice instead, I'm saving $15/mo on my cell bill. Which is significant.

You probably think "everyone has unlimited texting" because everyone just bends-over and pays for it, accepting it as part of the cost of having a cell phone, not considering that they could do without it.

It's actually a $20/month add-on for both AT&T and Verizon for single plans and $30/month for family plans, unless you have a shared plan in which unlimited voice and text is included.

I don't have a shared plan on Verizon and I'm not giving up unlimited. Since I'm already paying Verizon $75.xx after taxes and fees, I don't need to be spending another $20/month for something I can get for free. The only thing I'm missing out on is MMS, but if Hangouts becomes Google's iMessage with Voice also integrated, I could finally send pics to many of my contacts without email.

The Hangout app accepted my Voice number when I went to verify it, so I'm guessing it will.

Oh and it's listed in my settings as my phone number in the app too.

Yeah that was nice because it didn't need to send me a text since I'm logged into my Google account and my Voice number is tied to that. My actual number has texting blocked so I couldn't verify that number.

I don't understand why everyone wants this? I find unified messaging annoying as hell (especially on WP8). What's so bad about a separate app?

Or is it just that iOS has it so people feel like they're somehow missing out?

Because some of use like to keep a conversation going between multiple options and like to having the ability to reach someone without worrying about them missing it on one platform. By unifying Hangouts and SMS, I know I can reach a person whether they're on their PC, tablet, or phone (data or no data).

I kinda figured that is what they were doing. it takes a while to migrate data from one application to an entirely new one without running into issues. I for one will be really excited to see SMS integration.

I don't know why nobody has done this yet. Does the Android platform not allow for it or something? I seriously miss communication the way that WebOS does it - completely unified. Log in to all of your accounts and you only have one app to open to communicate with people.

It's still amazes me how much I missed that feature. That should be how its done. Didn't matter what chat, it was all there, in one.

Should have been a day one feature, by the time the feature is added any momentum they have built up from IO will be gone.

i wish the stock Android SMS app would improve and also play nicer with iPhones. i get SMS and MMS from iPhone friends and pictures don't always come through, pictures aren't always sent, group texting is mangled, etc.

i know how you feel. I use GoSMS to fixed the group & pictures from iPhone users. But GoSMS just isn't the stock experience I'm looking for. It's far from it actually

Sounds good, wonder how they will manage the stock Messenger app on Android when this comes, probably just turn of notifications for it or something simple like that, so it is still there for people that want it.

thats what i was thinking.
"hangouts can integrate your mms/sms conversations and instant messages into this app, would you like to do this?"

"yes" "ok, can we disable your stock messaging application notifications for you" "yes"

"no" "ok, hangouts will be instant messaging only.

I make it sound so easy...i wish i could code. :)

How about getting the "new" app working so everyone can install it first? From what I'm reading, to include myself, a large number of people can't install it because it says it's already installed.

The workaround of installing it from the web store doesn't work because it also says it's already installed.

I agree....lets get it on more devices...then implement this sms thing...The sad part is I bet that was the plan but, with all the people complaining about sms the hand might have been forced a little....

Did you actually read the app description in the playstore? It says that they are still rolling it out to make sure it works for all devices. So there's no real workaround.

Did you actually watch the I/O presentation where they said it would be available to everyone immediately? The app description was updated last night because the effed up.

I have a stock N4 as well. I updated the app, and it still showed as gtalk. Restart your phone then gtalk will be gone and hangouts will be there replacing it.

Very interested to see how this works! Something I've been needing. Would be awesome if it's an open API and allows other messaging systems to work as well.

I am stoked I have truly been waiting with anticipation since I first heard about it. I hate facebook and facebook messenger even more so. This bring me one step farther away from them. Not to mention that I am an abid pure android experience guy since my first nexus and with the sms app that it comes with being horriable the only fix is another app. That being said I have been waiting for google to save me from having to use third party none google apps. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

ATM one can register a phone number to recieve messages as SMS's when IDLE, just head to your google account settings page (account overview), ITS LIVE!

If you are having trouble getting hangouts on your device and are is your workaround. Use titanium backup to remove the talk app from your device. Uninstall it completely. Then just go the play store and install like normal. It just worked for me.

SMS is definitely needed if this is to be a real messaging platform. However, if the Google Voice integration still doesn't include MMS and Group SMS, it still is a lacking platform. I had Google Voice as my main number and just ported off of it because GV doesn't support MMS (except with a workaround for MMS coming from Sprint users) or complete group text. Worst part was that you just didn't get anything when someone sent you those, so you didn't know what you missed.

I just used Google voice for the first time yesterday through another phone I have service on. I was never convinced to use it on my primary phone mainly due to lack of MMS. I went through the options and found that you can have your Voice texts AND any MMS' sent to you go straight to your Gmail account inbox. This is particularly important if you receive an MMS, because it'll appear in your inbox, despite not receiving ANY notification on the Voice app about it, like you mentioned in your last sentence.

That only has worked for me if it came from a Sprint cell phone. From any other provider, I wouldn't get the MMS or the email. Try it out and see. If they changed that, there will be a ton of happy GV users. I'm not the only one who was complaining about it.

It (SMS/MMS) may be old, but at present, it is the only TRULY universal messaging solution. If you can convince the rest of the world to all start using the same messaging solution, then SMS/MMS could be retired. Until then, it's required for any viable cross-platform/universal messaging client/solution. That includes Google Voice/Hangouts.

SMS/MMS is ubiquitous. Hangouts is not. So it needs to support the technologies that are.

They will need to make the push notifications less sensitive to port 5228 filtering by corporate IS groups. I get no notifications from Talk, GV, Gmail, Facebook, or anything else using Android push notifications. iOS uses port 5223 and has no problems on my work network.

That explains a lot of problems I have my my Nexus 4. I always get popups as soon as I leave the building (and get in 4G range), but my iPhone never had an issue. I'll see if I can get them to unblock the port, thanks.

remains to be seen, i think it would make sense to do so. i don't think it was clarified if SMS meant your SIM card number...think google has to at least integrate GV

Id be REALLY curious to see how that would pan out on iOS. I installed hangouts on my wife's iphone last night, works pretty well... but SMS, oooo, Apple Corporation may smart at that idea.

OK, so I don't exactly know why this happened but let me tell you an interesting story about my Google Voice number and hangouts.

When hangouts asked me to supply a phone number, I used my Google Voice instead of the number given to me by Verizon. Hangouts accepted it and everything was fine.

Later, I was on Google+ and also messaging with one of my friends via the Hangouts on the right side of the screen that is embedded within Google+. I received a phone call through Hangouts on the webpage! It said (XXX) XXX-XXXX wants to hangout or something like that. I thought that maybe one of my friends found me by searching for my phone number. So I answered right from the website within the browser. It opened a popup window with a video hangouts UI. There was no sound, so I hung up. Then I immediately picked up my phone and it was showing a missed call, a regular missed phone call! Soon, it started ringing again, I answered again from the Google+ interface and this time, I heard the person calling me. It was a misdial and I told them so. I think Google Voice integration is closer than we think it is.

Having said that, this caught me completely by surprise and a good app or service shouldn't do that. Am I going to miss calls because I leave Google+ page open on my browser when I leave work/home? I don't know. We need clear settings for all of this.

The play store days it's installed but when i look in my app drawer there is still the gtalk app. I always wished I could send files thru gtalk so this is something that i consider a must have.

The UI needs revamped. White background is terrible. Bubbled need colors. What's app is way better. Even Samsung chat on is better.

Doesn't come as a surprise. There's no point in seeing ALL your contacts (even those who don't have a Google account) and not being able to contact them. SMS must be on the way.

It depends which device you have, on my HTC One it shows the Hangouts icon, on my friends S3 it still shows the Talk icon.

Just updated on my AT&T HTC One X
It's pretty sweet but you have to send invites to your friends over sms to get them to join hangouts. I wish it could just be used as a day to day sms app.

As some have said, when you add the Hangouts extension to the browser (I use Chrome) and receive a Google Voice call, Hangouts receives the call as a video call. I also received the call on my phone as well via Google Voice.

I found a work around:

1. Install Handcent SMS messenger to your android phone
2. Customize the look and feel
3. Customize the settings to do pretty much anything you want it to do.

The only drawback I see here is that you cannot log into Handcent at the moment. I don't know why this is but it really doesn't affect your ability to make Handcent SMS your default texting app on your smartphone.

Handcent relays the MMS message directly through the app.