Hangouts Adds Smarter Location Sharing, Phone Number Search and Zany Stickers

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 10 Dec 2014

The hangouts app is getting some design touch-ups and useful new communication features in its latest update. The unique addition is the ability to auto-detect when someone wants to know your location, serving up a button to share it right away. For example, if your chat partner asks, “where are you now?” a quick-share icon is supposed to appear. It didn’t turn out that way in our testing, but touching the paper clip icon still gives you the option to share your location and take or attach a photo. When performing the location share, Hangouts creates an image of a Map pinpointing your whereabouts, which you can then send off to prove you’re where you really say you are.

Find your Hangout friends by phone number and send them some wacky stickers.

So, you can now send wacky stickers just as you can on Facebook Messenger. There are 16 new sticker packs, essentially jumbo-sized GIF cartoon images. There are some pretty zany choices, including pirates, koalas, Santa, of course, cats in various poses. Another option is to find other Hangout users by phone number. This is helpful if you’re trying to move all your communications to the instant messaging service but don’t have a contact’s account information. The app incorporates more Material Design principles. With a new slide-out navigation drawer a darker color scheme matching the makeover performed on most Android apps. Rhett Robinson announced the changes and hinted about other hidden features bundled inside the app. Keep an eye out for updates. The update is making the usual, slow trek through the Play Store. So if you want to start sending some large stickers to friends now, grab the Application.

Why this matters: continues to home refine Hangouts to make it your all-in-one messaging solution. SMS integration is still somewhat clumsy, which is why we recently built a separate app for texting. If Hangouts keeps getting better, it may yet turn out to be the best way to message on Android.