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Google adds SMS support to Hangouts for Android, updates Google Keyboard

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Google Hangouts 560
Google Hangouts 560

Google has updated its Hangouts Android app with support for SMS and MMS messages, just one week after the integration first appeared in Android 4.4 KitKat. Anyone using version 4.0 and above of Google's OS can now send and receive texts through Hangouts — though as we've said before, the implementation leaves something to be desired. This latest Hangouts update also adds animated GIFs and one-tap location sharing, two other features that debuted with the Nexus 5.

Updates don't end there, as Google Keyboard has also jumped up to version 2.0 today. Unfortunately, quick access to emoji is only visible for users running KitKat and above. Thankfully that's not the only new feature; Google has added space-aware gesture typing (meaning you'll no longer have to lift your finger off the display to add a space), and rationalized punctuation across 4-inch, 7-inch, and 10-inch screen sizes. The new keyboard does remove one element of the old design, though. Any elements of "Holo Blue" that existed before have been stripped away to keep Google Keyboard consistent with Android's new design style.