I’m just from watching the A Morning with Google+ livestream and as expected there were no KitKat and Nexus 5 news but there were some other news. Like the Hangouts app getting some love. Just like we expected, Google is bringing deeper SMS integration to its Hangouts application in addition to support for GIFs in chats and location sharing.
The most exciting feature here is SMS support for Hangouts. It makes perfect sense since it now centralizes everything. If you have used Facebook’s new Messaging combo app (your usual Facebook Messenger plus local texts in a centralized place) then you know what it feels like. To even announce it as an addition to the already existing Hangouts app is more important since it means more and more people regardless of the Android version they are running on their devices will be able to get this. It would have been so limiting if it were announced as a KitKat exclusive seeing as it is that not many will be lucky to get KitKat on their devices.
Animated GIFs, yes please! They are one of the reasons why I kept going to Google+ daily before it started getting exciting. Being able to share those on Hangouts for those who enjoy the app is quite something. I find location sharing quite creepy and had already pretty much disabled every location sharing feature for Google+’s Android app but hey, it doesn’t hurt to share your location when hanging out with some people you care about does it?
There are also some nice updates to Google+ Photos like being able to totally exempt an album from being auto-enhanced (by of course, Auto-enhance) and several additions to Auto-Awesome
In case you missed the livestream (and I am sure you did), you can still catch up
Additional info: Google