Google Adding Video Messaging to Hangouts for Android

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Google is reportedly prepping an update to Hangouts for Android that finally adds video messaging.

As reported by Android Police and 9to5Google, the feature, which is already on iOS, is not yet on Google Play, but an APK is available to download.

Those with early access described video messaging as "just like sending a picture": Tap to open the camera, press the red button to record, then choose a recipient. Users can watch the upload progress; once complete, the clip can be played back via other apps (like Google Photos).

Google just expanded Hangouts for iOS to support videos up to two minutes. 9to5Google says Android users will be limited to one minute, though Android Police says it "looks like Android devices will be able to send even longer recordings," so we'll have to see what happens when the update arrives.

Google did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Beware, though, that versions 11 also erases conversation merging, which let users see Hangouts and text messages in the same chat window. "We have decided to remove it, because it caused user confusion and had low usage," the company said.

The news traveled fast and irked a few users, who complained about the impending change in the reviews section of Google Play.

"Really, you took out the message merging feature?! You guys suck!!" one user wrote. "One of the most poorly developed apps I have ever seen."

"Removing SMS merging is monumentally dumb," another agreed. "You are screwing up your once-promising messaging platform so badly."

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