Amongst the other things being announced overnight at Google I/O was something we’d certainly anticipated and lusted for, the much-rumoured update to Google’s messaging platforms that would unite them all under one brand — Hangouts.

This morning, Hangouts is live on the Play Store and you can update to it right now.

The new, stand-alone version of Hangouts combines text, photos and live video across Android, iOS and your computer. The app is pretty fast, it’s free, and includes a number of key benefits, like (taken from Google’s presser):

  • Messaging is richer, and more responsive. Photos and emoji make conversations more fun, while real-time activity indicators really bring them to life.
  • Your conversations can last. With conversation history, you can swipe back in time and relive all your favorite moments. (You can also turn off history, if you want.)
  • No more annoying notifications. Once you see a notification on one device, we’ll clear it from your other Android devices and computers. You can also snooze notifications when you don’t want to be interrupted.
  • You can always say hello, face-to-face-to-face. Whether you’re 1-on-1 or with a group of friends, you can always make a free video call to everyone you’re with.
  • The app is available in lots of places. You can download Hangouts from Google Play, the App Store, and the Chrome Web Store. It’s also part of Gmail and Google+.

We’ve updated it on our devices. Hangouts replaces Talk, so you may have to restart your device to get the update to appear as available. Update: This doesn’t work for everyone. It seems that if you open the Play Store website (click the Install link in our app widget below) you can ‘force’ the update to your selected handset(s). We have heard some rumours that the app won’t install on tablets — yet — but undoubtedly this will be fixed fairly soon.

It looks good, and it works cross platform exactly as promised. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that it doesn’t (at the moment) integrate with SMS and MMS, though it looks like this is something that could change in future, because on installing or using the app for the first time, you’re prompted to verify your mobile number (if on a mobile device) to link it to your profile.

Have a play, let us know what you think.


Source: Google I/O announcements.
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    Has anyone with Google Apps got the new Hangouts enabled within GMail? I have it on my phone, and the Chrome plugin is working for me today (yesterday it wouldn’t log in). But I don’t have the option to upgrade in GMail yet.


    On the play page there’s now a note:

    “NOTE: If you aren’t yet able to install Hangouts on your phone or tablet,
    or the Play Store “Open” button takes you to the old Talk app, hang
    tight, we are rolling out Hangouts to everyone over the course of
    several days. Rest assured Hangouts will be available soon for all
    Android 2.3+ devices, tablets included!”

    Matthew Lobegeiger

    Yeah, just saw this after wasting my time trying to get it install on my Razr HD and Nexus 7. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long…


    Nexus 7 – Google “hangouts nexus 7 xda” – side load – profit

    Pro Hvost

    Search give me no results, can you provide direct link to XDA?

    Lincoln Mah

    was able to download and install, but wasn’t asked to verify my mobile number. Don’t like the fact that you can no longer see who is online.


    Yeah that’s a massive oversight not being able to see who is online.

    vijay alapati

    Cannot download on the xperia z (vodafone) says not compactable :'(


    ok on my HTC Desire X but not available for nexus 7 !


    Found the same thing here. On the device and on I get “This item is not compatible with your device.”

    Fail 🙁

    Julian Williams

    Just to confirm as some others have already mentioned, in some cases if you already have talk installed and then go to the Play Store on your phone, you do not get an update or install option, just open, which just gets you the old version of Talk.

    Instead you must go to the Play Store on your computer ( and install to your device from there.


    On play store it said already installed.

    Chay MacTavish

    This isn’t working for me. On my computer it also says it is installed. Also, worryingly, it says it’s not compatible with my Nexus 7?

    David Anderton

    says its installed on my Nexus 4 in play on the PC and phone but just goes to talk 🙁


    Ditto my nexus 7


    I can confirm that it is not yet available on my Nexus 10

    Harry Johnson

    Try downloading from your the play store online


    Ugghh don’t get the update button in the Play Store. Just get the open button…


    Try on your computer.


    That seemed to have worked, thanks! ^_^


    I had to download it manually from the play store on my phone.


    I go to the play store, it said already installed and i can’t even select device. It doesn’t work on my nexus 4.


    I selected to install it from the Play Store Website from Chrome on my phone. About 5 mins later, the app started to download.

    I have a Galaxy Nexus…..

    Dawei Deng

    sigh out your gmail account and log in another gmail account if you have, then it will start downloading to your phone.