Jun 25th, 2015

Google Hangouts icon

When an application crosses a billion installs on the Google Play Store, it always sounds like a big deal. It’s an illustrious club that few belong to. Apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and more recently, Facebook Messenger, have all joined the 1 billion downloads club and that’s saying something. Most of those apps had to be physically downloaded (not all the time, but mostly) by Android users before they could hit that milestone.

Then there are a handful of Google apps that are also apart of this club. Apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Search. You know, the apps that stand in the back of the room with their embroidered blazers, smoking their pipes, telling stories about how they easily joined up because of their family name. These are the apps that already come pre-installed on your Android device before you even take it out of the box. It should come as little surprise to anyone that another app from Google’s software suite is joining that list, with Google Hangouts now crossing the 1 billion downloads mark.

If nothing else, this milestone — which, by the way, means nothing — points a spotlight directly on an app that is in bad need of an overhaul. With more than a billion “installs,” we think it’s time Google finally gives Hangouts a little TLC. Giving the app a new coat of paint with Material design and bringing it up to speed with its iOS counterpart (which has the ability to send video clips) would be a nice start. Can you think of anything else you’d like to see in a Hangouts refresh?