Google is rolling out an update to its Hangouts service today, bringing new features to desktop and mobile users. That includes HD video enabled by default no matter what kind of device you’re using, and a unified messaging experience if you’re on an Android device.
For the first time, that means you can use Hangouts to manage your SMS and chat messages all in one place.
SMS messages no show up alongside regular chat messages — and you can use the same app to make video calls from your phone.
The Android app also now supports location sharing with the tap of a button, and you can now view animated GIFs in the Hangouts app.
Other updates for both desktop and mobile devices include automatic enhancements for video calls or Hangouts on the air live broadcasts.
For instance if you’re in a low-light environment, Google will automatically try to brighten the image — and by using automatic face detection, Hangouts can try to brighten your face without making the light from the window behind you look even more blindingly bright.
Hangouts also now supports additional filters including black & white or a spotlight mode which blurs the background.