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Google now lets you reply directly to Hangouts notifications on Android

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Version 7.0 of the app also adds home screen shortcuts for conversations

It's a small update for Google Hangouts, but a useful one. Version 7.0 of the app now lets users quick reply to incoming messages straight from their notifications. The message pops up, you hit reply, and type a response without having to go to the app. It's a feature that's been available on iOS and Messenger for a few months now, so it's good to finally have it on Android too.

The quick reply function in Hangouts.

The update to Hangouts also includes the ability to add shortcuts for specific conversations to the home screen, and comes with a new pop-up that advises users to switch to Google's Messenger as their default SMS app. Although plenty of people prefer Messenger's smooth design to their default texting app, it's still quite annoying for the company to push it in this way, and it perhaps gives credence to the rumor that Google might phase out SMS and MMS support on Hangouts.