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Google Hangouts for iOS gets a complete redesign

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Google's cross-platform messenger app got a nice update today that includes a major redesign for iPhone and iPad. Google Hangouts for iOS 2.0 boasts a flat new look consistent with iOS 7 and enables picture-in-picture video calling for the first time. You can now send video messages of up to 10 seconds through the app, as well as share a map of your current location. Happily, the new Hangouts for iOS also lets you send animated stickers to your friends.

The app offers convenient shortcuts to your contact list, favorite people to chat with, recent Hangouts, and free voice calling over the internet. On iPad, you can also launch a video call from a current chat by dragging a video icon to the left. Overall, the latest version of Hangouts makes it more useful by making the app's various features much easier to discover. With messaging more important to tech giants than ever, that's a welcome improvement.