Once upon a time, people couldn’t get the internet on their cellphones and text messages were the only way to communicate if you didn’t want to, you know, pick up your phone and make a voice call. These days there are dozens of instant messaging apps that serve the same purpose for many people… but SMS and MMS messages are still handy if you want to send a message to someone who doesn’t have a smartphone or who doesn’t use the same chat services as you.
But that doesn’t mean you want to have to fire up a different app for SMS than you do for an internet chat.
Soon you may not have to. Google is reportedly bringing support for text messaging into the Google Hangouts app. You’ll reportedly be able to use it to send messages to any contact, whether they use Hangouts or not — and you’ll be able to keep track of which friends are engaging in an SMS conversation thanks to a “via SMS” message in the time stamp.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Google Hangouts app for Android will probably take over SMS, MMS duties soon
Google Hangouts is supposed to be a unified messaging app… and soon it’ll be a little more unified, likely replacing the default messaging app on Android phones. [Android Police]
- Amazon challenges PayPal with “login and pay with Amazon”
Google Checkout never really caught on as a PayPal alternative. Maybe Amazon will have more success — people are already pretty comfortable clicking Amazon buttons to buy things. [Amazon]
- Asus Zenbook UX302 ultrabook w/Haswell CPU, NVIDIA graphics reviewed (in fine detail)
The Zenbook UX302 has a full HD screen, a speedy processor, and other premium specs… and for the most part it looks like it lives up to its promise. [Ultrabook Review]
- Steve Ballmer confirms Office for iPad in the works
There’s already a touch-friendly version of Office for iOS (and Windows Phone), but the iPad version won’t hit the streets until after Microsoft releases a fully touch-capable version for Windows. [The Verge]
- HTC One Max smartphone launch likely coming next week, further confusing the meaning of “One”
The phone’s expected to have a larger display, a fingerprint scanner, and better speakers. But I seriously think someone forgot to tell HTC what “one” means. How many phones with the One name would this make now? [Engadget]
- Apple could unveil the next iPad on October 22nd
Apple is said to be holding an invite-only event on October 22nd where the company could unveil a new iPad with the same Apple A7 64-bit chip as the iPhone 5s. [AllThingsD]