Hangouts 5.0 is now ready for the taking. But get ready to say farewell to the home screen widget and hello to a new splash screen.
Also, much of this release is primarily focused on squashing bugs and making a few minor tweaks. Outside of a new shade of green in one instance, though there weren’t any major, notable changes to the design.
Like some of Google’s other apps, Hangouts now launches with a splash screen. I sent a few messages and didn’t notice any major differences, though 9to5Google notes a lot of fixes for lag. The animations still don’t seem as smooth as they ought to be, though of course that may vary by device.
The impact on you: Hangouts has truly been a mixed bag. It’s great for keeping conversations in sync across platforms, but the Android version has always been on the buggy side. Hopefully this release will fix a lot of that, as Google still has a ways to go when it comes to taking on other tech giants in the world of messaging.