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Google Hangouts adding SMS integration, one-tap location sharing, and GIFs starting today

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SMS integration is finally coming to Google Hangouts. The company announced the new feature, describing it as one of the most popular requests from users, today during an event in San Francisco. An update to Hangouts to be released today will add support for texting. "You can have one place to manage all of your communication," said Google's Vic Gundotra on stage. The same update will also introduce a one-tap location-sharing feature. “How many times have you been in a conversation with a friend, and the question has come up, ‘Where are you?’” Gundotra said. “There’s simply a button at the bottom, a place button. You click it, and we will get your location from Google Maps and inject it with a single click.”

Hangouts is also adding support for animated GIFs. "In our testing, honestly even I was surprised by how amazing this feature is to express creativity," Gundotra said. Video calls are also getting some improvements. First, video chats will now be in high definition by default, and full-screen calls will be offered on all devices that support Hangouts. To make that experience look better than ever, Google says its Hangouts software will work to fix and enhance webcam lighting on the fly.