Check out what’s new in Google’s Hangouts 4.0
Google has just updated Hangouts to version 4.0 with a number of design tweaks aimed at improving the messaging app’s overall user experience.
The tweaks are quite subtle, and thus may not be immediately apparent. But they’re sure to catch your notice as you continue using the app.
Read and send messages more easily
For one thing, the muted green tones of your message bubbles in the conversation view have been replaced by a darker shade of green that highlights the messages of the person you’re chatting with. This makes it easier for you to see your friends’ messages, especially when scrolling through long conversation threads.
In addition, the attachment options (new photo, photo library, location, emoji) are now readily available through a new toolbar, instead of being hidden beneath the old paperclip button.
Share photos more quickly
The attachment options now also show their respective selection menu right within the keyboard, instead of opening up a different page.
The photo attachment options are of particular note as they now behave à la Facebook Messenger, with a viewfinder built into the keyboard for snapping a new photo and the photo library now scrollable right within the keyboard for selecting photos to send. What’s more, Hangout now allows sending multiple photos at once.
Hang out with the updated app now
The new version of Hangouts boasts various other interface refinements, including sidebar navigation, a redesigned dialer, and a floating plus button for starting a new “hangout.”
You can check them out for yourself by downloading Hangouts 4.0, which is available now on the App Store as a free download for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 7.0 or later.
Taken together, the app’s interface adjustments, however subtle they may be, can go a long way toward helping the app better compete with WhatsApp, Viber, and other, more popular messaging services.
See also: Google Calendar gets more productive with new features, Google Play Music unveils free, ad-supported radio stations, and The Grunge filter returns in a new update of Google’s Snapseed photo editing app.