Rub shoulders with leading experts and industry disruptors at TNW Conference →

The heart of tech

This article was published on February 28, 2014


Google amps up Hangouts for iOS, adding stickers and Vine-like short video messaging

Google amps up Hangouts for iOS, adding stickers and Vine-like short video messaging Image by: Justin Sullivan
Kaylene Hong
Story by

Kaylene Hong

Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.

Google has finally taken steps to super-charge its Hangouts app with new features, catching up with many of the messaging apps out there that have added a ton of features including stickers.

A bunch of rich emoticon-like stickers have landed on Google Hangouts for iOS in a new update rolled out today. What’s more, Google has also introduced Vine-like short video messages which you can send to your friends in place of photos, for example. You get to record videos up to 10 seconds long and send them to your friends, after which they will play in a loop automatically within your chat.

Hangouts-1

The new version of Hangouts for iOS also features location sharing now, and is optimized for the iPad, thus including picture-in-picture video calling and a two-pane conversation view.

Google has already relaxed Android settings to enable users to replace the central SMS system with Hangouts, but its move to introduce new features — even on iOS — could appeal to more users.

We previously noted given the importance of messaging services in the mobile ecosystem now, considering the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, Google could consider super-charging its Hangouts app. This could include tighter synergies between its mobile apps and Hangouts, or the addition of games, stickers and other services that are proving popular in Asia with the likes of Line and WeChat.

➤ Google Hangouts: iOS

ReadAfter missing out on WhatsApp, what does Google do next?

Headline image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Also tagged with