December 19, 2014

Google releases Hangouts 2.0, KitKat Keyboard apps

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google-keyboard-20Google, having been rather busy of late, is pushing out software updates and app updates to smartphones all over the world. Today sees them issuing updated versions of the Hangouts app and KitKat Keyboard.

As you may already know, the Hangouts 2.0 app features integrated SMS capabilities, animated GIFs, device status, and location sharing in conversations. Suffice it to say, this is more than just bug fixes and tweaks.

The new stock Android keyboard client is also getting the 2.0 treatment, tossing in general enhancements such as spatially-aware gestures, rationalized punctuation, and more. Unfortunately, you’ll not find the full suite of Emoji that comes in the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4. It’s hidden away inside the app, of course, but you’ll have to be running KitKat to “unlock” it.

Google Hangouts

  • SMS & MMS (Android 4.0+): Send/receive text messages with Hangouts! You can import your existing messages, quickly switch between SMS and Hangouts, and start group MMS conversations
  • Animated GIFs: send animated GIFs, cute kittens and all
  • Location: share a location in your conversations
  • Device, in-call, mood status: share what device you’re on, whether you’re on a call, or your current mood

Google Keyboard

  • Rationalized punctuation across different sizes (4″,7″ and 10″)
  • Inserted emoji entry point & layouts (KitKat or later)
  • Simplified mini-keyboard on full stop long press (revised long-press menus)
  • De-blued press states
  • Added space-aware gesture typing (you will not have to lift your finger while gesture typing – just go through the space bar)