Google just pushed out an update for the Hangouts app for Android, adding the much awaited Quick Reply support. This new update pushes the Android version of Hangouts to v7.0, making it one of the few times the Android version of the app is ahead of the iOS version.
The new Quick Reply feature in the Hangouts 7.0 update has been implemented in the same way it’s present in the Google Messenger app. The notification card comes with a Reply button now. Tapping on the Reply button brings up a bubble on the screen with a text box. You can type in your message and hit the send button to quickly shoot a reply. This is useful in group chats especially where conversations happen at a much faster speed.
However, the Quick Reply button vanishes when there are more than one unread messages. This can sometimes be irksome, but it’s the same across apps that have implemented this feature.
Other new Hangouts features
One more important new addition to Hangouts in this update is the ability to pin conversations to the homescreen. You can now add shortcuts to group or individual chats on your homescreen. Just tap on the overflow menu and select ‘Save to Home Screen’. This works similar to other messaging apps like WhatsApp, for example.
Here’s a brief changelog (courtesy of APK Mirror):
- Quick reply in notification shade.
- “Save to Home screen” shortcut for quickly starting a conversation with a specific contact or group.
- Hangouts will now show a blurb about using Messenger for SMS on first run.
- Sharing dialog is no longer Holoyolo.
- Checkboxes are now toggles (moar Material).
- The font is no longer dark on dark background, and the cursor no longer light teal in the new chat dialog.
Hangouts is available for Android and iOS as a free download. The new update is being rolled out in stages, so it may be a while before it is pushed to your device.
Download Hangouts for Android here.
Download Hangouts for iOS here.