Google introduces updates for its Hangouts cross-platform messaging service which includes SMS support, animated GIFs and one-tap location sharing for its Android app.
Recent updates will be available in the Google Play store over the next few days. It will give you the ability to instantly share your location with other Hangouts users. You have to tap the new pin icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the app, and Hangouts will pull in your immediate position and post it within the conversation stream as a Google Maps thumbnail. Android version of Hangouts is also being updated with SMS support.
That means you’ll be able to use Hangouts as your default app both for traditional texting and web-based instant messaging, effectively replacing the default SMS app. It’s not confirmed whether location sharing and SMS support is planned for the iOS version of Hangouts. For now though, it’s worth checking to see if you can access the latest version on your Android smartphone or tablet.