Google finally adds integrated messaging to Hangouts in latest Android update

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Google Hangouts was supposed to make messaging easier, but it still forced text messages and Hangouts messages into separate windows, even if the conversation was with the same person.

Monday’s update fixes the annoying oversight. Google Hangouts has been updated to version 2.1 and now includes Merged SMS and Hangout conversations. It’s easy to use: all you have to do is choose the method from within the composition window. Each method is designated by its own icon.

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One of the biggest complaints about Hangouts is that it’s always felt like an unfinished product, especially with its glaring omission of integrated messages. Apple’s iMessages for iOS, for instance, not only works cross platform, but has offered unified conversations from the get-go.

The latest Google Hangouts update also includes a few other minor additions, like status availability in the chat window, one new sound, and a neat little widget that displays your recent messages at a glance. The update is slowly rolling out through the Google Play store.

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