Confirmed: SMS support is coming to Google Hangouts soon


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When Google announced the new Google Hangouts experience, which will replace Google Talk and Google+ Messenger, users were miffed to find out that the app didn’t have any SMS integration. That doesn’t mean SMS won’t eventually come to the app, though. In fact, we already have confirmation that the feature is on its way sometime soon.

If you check under the permissions list for the app, it requests the ability to interface with your SMS in various ways. That alone isn’t enough to quell fears, so the community manager for Google+ Hangouts and Chat, Dori Storbeck, confirmed it in a response to a question about SMS integration on her Google+ page.

Unfortunately she only mentioned the features would be “coming soon,” but indulged to us that it was the most requested feature thus far. We imagine that sort of demand isn’t going to be taken lightly by Google so we’re hopeful the software company won’t drag its feet on the update. Now all we have to do is wait. In the meantime, why not get your family and friends briefed on the all new Hangouts app? The sooner you get everyone onto the new goods, the better. Have fun!

[Thanks Joel!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. thank god!!!

    1. No, thank Google :)

      1. Same thing, no?

      2. Zomg. I have said this before lol.

        I am happy that Google is doing this though. It does feel like a coercive act to get people to use their social network, but it feels appropriately coercive. Something I’ve never admitted that a company has done before.

  2. Hope this means that from android 4.3 and forward it will be the stock messenger app (like chrome has become the stock browser)
    That would certainly help speed up adoption!

    I just want to know what happens when I send a message from hangouts on my computer to someone who doesn’t have hangouts….or can I simply not reach them from the computer and only from the mobile phone?

    1. I would assume you will be able to be charged for an SMS as long as your phone is currently connected so that your plan can be used for the text.

      1. Cool – a sort of “official MightyText” then.

        1. THIS^^
          Plus it will dismiss notifications on the phone if you viewed it on the computer(mighttext doesnt do that now)

      2. That would be cool I guess, but users who haven;t connected their phones will not be able to interact with them or will not even see them show up among their contacts.

        1. Well… if you haven’t connected your phone you can’t IM even through the phone itself so I really don’t think that’s a drawback.

          1. I was talking about when you haven’t downloaded the app on your phone but use hangouts from the web. Can you then contact people who also do not have it installed on their phone by way of an SMS or do they not show up in your contact lists or do you get an error?

          2. It would not be an issue if other people don’t have the app since we’re talking about SMS. However it might be an issue if you haven’t installed the app on your phone (Since you have a google account signed in, it could be something google gets around but may choose not to).

    2. Did Hangouts on your computer ask for you to verify your phone number? It’ll probably work the same way as sending an email to a phone number. It’ll show up as a text message from or something like that.

      1. O_O you can send emails to a phonenumber and it arrives as a text?
        So if I have wifi and want to send text messages I can do so for free by emailing them?
        Why did I not know about this….and how does it even work?

        1. Yes. I just did it right now. Make a new Text message and address it to an email address. On Tmo, it converts it to a MMS and sends it. The address is [email protected] ([email protected])

          I’m guessing the 1 is the country code followed by your number. The message also arrives as a MMS.

          And of course it all stays in the same thread. So if you have a boss that emails you all the time, here’s an alternative.

          HOWEVER, on the phone side, you need to have data. Unless you’re using WiFi calling on Tmo. Since it sends and receives as a picture message, you will need phone data to send it. You don’t use WiFi. I noticed that when my LTE symbol appeared.

          1. phone data….hmmmm I’ll just email them normally or text them normally….

            Either way, thanks for the explanation

  3. SMS (including Google Voice) with Hangouts, will literally be my #1 app. Here’s hoping “coming soon” means sooner rather than later. I’m just going to throw it out there that “soon” may coincide with a new Nexus around late fall or holiday season.

    If the Nexus 5 has the specs that people have been chatting about, plus SMS/GV in Hangouts, goodbye VZW, hello MVNO and Nexus 5!

  4. Add SMS and make it able to handle group SMS and emoticons from iPhones. That’s all I ask.

  5. What about google voice integration?!

    1. I keep seeing this question and I don’t think Google will integrate a service that is US only in an app that would be replacing global messaging services.

    2. I would think SMS/MMS would by default make Google voice work. It’s basically just a number.

    3. Wait, what do you mean Google Voice Integration? Couldn’t you just use your Google Voice number when Hangouts asked for a number?

  6. Now that makes sense! I wasn’t going to use it much in its current state. I mean none of my friends use hangouts (talk) just yet.

  7. Did anyone else have to confirm their phone number when they joined Hangouts on their android phone? I sure did and it gave me the message that I could put my Google Voice number in there if I wished. Nothing happens with it yet, but in my settings, its there. You can also look people up by phone number in the app too. I think that SMS is surely on the way soon.

    1. I tested this option of looking up a phone number and all it wants to do is send an invite to Hangouts to the number you input.

      1. right, but I’m saying the ground work might be in place. It’s not real useful now.

  8. I hate to continue to be the negative Nancy here, but until I see it I wont believe it. I have a bad feeling “SMS support” means that it will allow you to send messages to the Hangout app through SMS, like you are able to post to G+ using SMS now. I doubt it will fully integrate SMS/MMS like Apples iMessages does. Please prove me wrong Googs.

    1. The way they rolled this out makes me think you’re right. It seems to me that to function the same way iMessage does, it would need a bit deeper integration into the system than what can be done via download from the play store. It would essentially need to be the SMS app that ships with phones, no? I’m talking without any real knowledge to back it up: this is just a guess. I’m not getting my hopes up.

      1. Not really, it would be the same as a third party SMS app. Except that it registers the phone number with Google (as iMessage registers with Apple). When a registered phone number is sent a text, it will be sent as a Hangout Message. If it is not registered, it would be sent as an SMS message. Either way, the person would get the message without any extra interaction on their part.

      2. I’m not sure this is true, you can already download other sms apps like Handcent that take over managing SMS, there is no reason that Hangouts couldn’t do the same.

    2. This, a thousand times over. I know Google has mostly fixed the issues with the AOSP messaging client in 4.2.2 (specifically, proper group message threading), but it’s frustrating beyond reason to be stuck with the complete garbage messaging app which came on my Galaxy Note II. Contrary to popular opinion, I like the features that come with TouchWiz on the Note II, and I’m not looking to lose them by going to some half-baked ROM. I’ve managed to de-Wizzify the appearance of the phone enough to satisfy me by using NovaLauncher.

      It’s boggling to me that Google doesn’t release/ hasn’t released the AOSP messaging app as a stand-alone app like they did with the calendar app. I know I’ll lose the ability to put the phone to my ear while in a text message conversation and have it dial the person for me, but I’ll give that up for proper group threading and proper display of MMS images. I’ve tried some third-party messaging clients, but for my needs and desires, AOSP is the only thing that’s going to cut it.

      If Hangouts is to become a full-featured messaging client comparable to iMessage, I’ll be as happy as a pig in slop. No SMS/MMS, no care. As it is, it merged a bunch of services I don’t use on my phone, anyway.

      1. I hear you Brian. I have a Galaxy S3 and I was flabbergasted by the way Samsung handles group texting. If you have more than one other person in the conversation, there is no way to tell who is replying. It amazes me that it was released like that. I ended up installing Verizon Messages. Surprisingly it does a wonderful job with group texts, and many other enhanced SMS functions. Though, since Android is so fubarred when it comes to messaging, most of the times my group messages end up in multiple disjointed threads because of the Android users not having installed a decent third party group texting app to alleviate Googles shortcoming.

  9. This makes me very happy. I had to threaten my wife to get her to wrap her head around IM. She’s very stubborn and thinks SMS is the “fine.” I told her if she wants to see her kids again, she has to use Google Hangouts. Lol. She works away from home for three days a week and I’m tired of emailing pics.

    1. Why would you be emailing pics? Just upload them somewhere, Google+, Flickr, Facebook, Dropbox… Even if you just send her an SMS when you put new pics up it seems like a lot less work and less email clutter.

      1. Because my wife likes to have a “physical” copy of the pic on her phone so she can share on Facebook. She doesn’t use G+, but she does use instant upload so she can download to our computer…and share on freakin’ Facebook. MMS is terribly slow and super compresses our pictures. In that regard, email is faster because it uses our 4G unlimited data, and I can attach multiple images.

        There are tons of ways to share pics. I like to keep them close to me and not share too many.

        1. I see. I was just thinking it would be easier to have the computer do the work for you :)

      2. What? How would that be different? Emailing the picture is no different than sending a pic message. LoL!!

        And the way Gmail is, it’s real easy to filter out messages. Unless of course you don’t use Gmail. Then I don’t know what to say.

        1. Having pictures automatically uploaded is a lot easier than sending pictures as attachments in emails. I’m not really sure how that is hard to see.

  10. WHEN – NOT GOOD ENOUGH – NOW PLEASE! it sucks to be found wanting, poor android snobs have to have everything right away. That includes ME. :-)

  11. What a relief.

  12. Ill pass on this app until all the bugs are worked out. App currently does not sync well and I get messages 4 hours later.

  13. God forbid that Google ever release something that is feature complete. :)

  14. Online status too Plz.

    1. Saw the question asked so thought I would mention that as it is right now, if you try to send someone a message that doesn’t have the app it will send them an sms and ask them to join.

  15. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    I hope they at least put an option to disable SMS. Way too expensive.

    1. I guess it is different here in the US…almost everyone has unlimited SMS.

      1. That is one of Google’s problem, they often forget that there are other countries :/

  16. While BBM does nothing for me, its one benefit may yet be to force Hangouts to do everything it can do at the very least.

  17. Who cares about dead technology (SMS).
    I want xmpp!

    1. it’s already there

      1. With hangouts they dumped xmpp.

    2. This kid has never heard about datagrams… Look it up and you’ll see why SMS is really smart.

      1. Please enlighten me, Sir.

    3. Exactly, that is why I uninstalled Hangout, with removing support for XMPP I can’t contact with people I am talking trough Talk, and some of them do not have Android or iOS, some even have j2me and Talk/XMPP is available everywhere and worldwide for free (not like SMS)
      Additionally I like to be invisible…

  18. I really hope they integrate the SMS feature, the stock SMS app is a real eyesore. Also it would be nice to have one app that does it all

  19. I can’t wait to use this app once the get all the features together.

  20. I think she (Dori) jumped the gun. Here is her latest reply:

    Dori Storbeck
    10:13 AM+

    Oops! Hi everyone, regarding my SMS comment above (#14) – we actually have nothing to announce at this time. My apologies.

  21. I really really hope this comes to fruition. Let’s say it comes to Android 4.3 or 5.0, what happens to people who receive messages from it that only have 4.2 or below because a lot of people still don’t even have 4.1 or even 4.0 yet. Also, on a side note, I have an unlocked Nexus 4 I bought from the Google Play Store back in early March, how come I still can’t group message on the stock messaging app meanwhile everyone else can? I looked under the settings in the stock app for that box to check to enable group messaging or group MMS or whatever it’s called, and I don’t have it. Also, I’m not rooting this and I’ve tried third party messaging apps that do group messaging and it’s a real pain. Can anyone help?

  22. Hangouts needs more than just SMS support, I’d like to see who in my contact list is online and who isn’t. Also, if they are busy or away or available to hangout.

  23. She took it back. Quote on the same post on her page:

    “Oops! Hi everyone, regarding my SMS comment above (#14) – we actually have nothing to announce at this time. My apologies.”

  24. I’ve decided to give this thing a try, and I’m not happy with what I’m seeing re: “Get notifications just once. Once you see an alert, you won’t see repeats on your computer or other Android devices.” This is a feature straight from the Play Store description.

    If I am logged in to Hangouts on my phone and gMail on my computer (with Talk/ Hangouts logged in within gMail) and I receive a message in Hangouts, I answer it through my open gMail session- but the notification on my phone doesn’t go away. This was one of the reasons I stopped logging into Talk on my phone and tablet- notifications were dumb.

    Is anyone else seeing the same thing? How long is it supposed to take the notifications to go away? I had one stay even through a refresh of gMail’s inbox on my phone, which tells me it shouldn’t be a sync issue.

    I expect that, if I have active log-ins as outlined above on my computer and my phone, I can answer on the phone and have the notification in my gMail window stop flashing (and update with the text I sent from my phone) or answer on the computer and have the notification disappear from the status bar on my phone.

    I’ve checked settings on my phone in the Hangouts app, and I’m not able to find particularly deep controls over notifications- but frankly, there shouldn’t be any, anyway. It should just “work.”


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