Oct 7th, 2015

We had to sit by and watch iOS users get Hangouts 5.0 (and a minor follow-up update, really) before Google’s own Android got the goods, but perhaps we’re close. Derek Ross is reporting that Hangouts 5.0 is close to finished, and could be released as soon as today.

Hangouts 4.0 Phandroid DSC09899

He notes changes on Google+ that users will notice once the update eventually arrives:

  • Sending messages lag: Gone.
  • Loading conversation lag: Gone.
  • Main screen conversation update lag: Reduced.
  • Hangouts splash screen: Included.
  • Pop-up ‘signed in as’: Now in white.
  • GIFs: They work!
  • Dogfood icon: Removed.

That last item is most telling. In case you don’t know, Google and other companies undergo internal testing and QA procedures before releasing products. One facet of those procedures is dogfooding, which is the act of getting employees to use the product in their day-to-day lives in order to naturally uncover bugs or gather opinions about the user experience.

A dogfood product is typically labeled as such around the Googleplex, so its removal from the Hangouts 5.0 build Derek Ross used could be a sign that the update is ready to go out of the door. It is update Wednesday, after all, so keep an eye out on Google Play throughout the day to see if Google is finally ready to deliver the goods.

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