Google’s Hangouts, the cross-platform messaging service that launched earlier this week at Google I/O, has one noticeable omission: it doesn’t support SMS. However, this could be temporary. Considered a worthy challenger to Apple’s iMessage tool, Hangouts is available on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, as well as on the Web.

When the new service was announced at Google I/O, SMS support wasn’t mentioned, nor was it offered. However, Google did leave a little bit of news on this subject in the Google Play store.

The Hangout for Android permissions state:

READ YOUR TEXT MESSAGES (SMS OR MMS)

Allows the app to read SMS messages stored on your device or SIM card. This allows the app to read all SMS messages, regardless of content or confidentiality.

SEND SMS MESSAGES

Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.

Were Hangouts to receive SMS message support, it would put Google’s service on par with Apple’s.

While Cupertino’s iMessage isn’t cross-platform like Hangouts, it does offer SMS-in and -out features that allow users to stay connected to anyone regardless of device, operating system, or even location. Launched in 2011, iMessage allows users to send free messages to other iMessage users. When someone isn’t an iMessage user, Apple sends the message via SMS.

The free Hangouts app for iOS is now available here.

We’ll keep you updated on this possible news. In the meantime, for more Google I/O coverage see: Google Is Showing It Can Fight The Mobile War On Two Fronts, Google Previews The New Version Of Its Maps App For iOS, and Google Launches A Streaming Music Service, Leaving Apple In The Dust.

Via: Kenny Strawn