Google Hangouts 4.0 for Android released with improved material design interface and performance

Android users have a vast amount of choice when it comes to messaging and the new Google Hangouts 4.0 is a compelling alternative that attempts to help with centralized communications.

Google released Hangouts 4.0 for iOS a couple of months ago and Android users have been chomping at the bit to receive it. Yesterday, Google announced that Hangouts 4.0 is rolling out in stages in the Play Store.

Hangouts 4.0 includes the following:

  • Hangouts is sleeker: Now updated with material design, Hangouts has a new look and feel: items respond to your touch in more intuitive ways and transitions between tasks are more fluid.
  • Hangouts is simpler: The new Compose button makes it easier for you to start a new group or conversation. Our streamlined contacts list helps you find the right person quickly. And attachments have been revamped and simplified, so sharing-of emoji, GIFs, your location, even multiple photos at once-is a snap.
  • Hangouts is faster: Whether you're sending a quick message or video chatting with family, you don't want hold-ups. We've been obsessively fixing bugs and speeding up message delivery to make Hangouts faster and more reliable. Bonus: less battery consumption.

Since I bounce around between a lot of phones, it's nice to have a consistent messaging experience across all of them and so I'm going back to using Hangouts.

Google Voice users will be pleased to see the ability to receive and reply to group MMS messages while Android Wear owners will also appreciate the ability to speak a message.