It’s finally here! After a very excessive wait and watching people with iPhones get a brand new Hangouts app, folks who use Google’s very own Android will finally get a chance to use it today.
Hangouts 4.0 will be rolling out through Google Play over the course of the day. We showed you what was what with the new update ahead of time, but in case you don’t remember Hangouts 4.0 brings us a very big Material Design makeover. The new digs are found in every inch of the app, which is good considering Google’s trying to push this design as a standard.
One of the big UI changes this enables is a persistent floating action button that’ll allow you to easily start conversations, as well as an improved contacts list. We also get improved attachments support, so there’s less poking you have to do to attach one or more photos or video.
Google has also greatly improved not only app performance, but the speed and reliability of incoming and outgoing messages. It should now be on par with any typical SMS client. These improvements also bring us improved battery life, something that’s always nice.
Other changes include Android Wear support, the ability to receive and reply to MMS messages in Hangouts using Google Voice numbers (this enables group SMS), and — wait for it — the return of custom status messages!
This is a big one, folks, and you’ll want it as soon as it’s available. Look for the goods to head to your phone at some point today as Google Play rolls it out to everyone.