Google has launched Hangouts, the cross-platform messaging service at the Google I/O event, and initially many people were shocked to learn that Hangouts doesn’t feature SMS integration. But fortunately, this won’t be the case as Google+ Community manager of Hangouts and Chat Dori Storbeck confirmed on her Google+ page that SMS integration is indeed “coming soon.”
For now, Storbeck didn’t reveal any exact date on when the SMS integration would be released, but she said “It is one of our most requested features.”
Within the list of permissions when installing Hangouts for Android, the app requests to read and send text messages. If the app is already asking for such permission, then it is an indication that we should soon see SMS integration on Hangouts app. Here are the permissions listed under ‘Your messages’:
READ YOUR TEXT MESSAGES (SMS OR MMS)
Allows the app to read SMS messages stored on your device or SIM card. This allows the app to read all SMS messages, regardless of content or confidentiality.
SEND SMS MESSAGES
Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.
The new Hangouts app covers the full spectrum of Google, replacing the traditional Google Talk app, and extends across all services except Google Voice. Hangouts brings one-on-one as well as group conversations with the help of photos, emoji, and video calls for free. Think of this as Google’s answer to Apple’s iMessage.
Hangouts is available for Android as well as for iOS devices, and allows people to communicate with each other across platforms over the Internet, without worrying about the recipient’s device.
Apple’s iMessage allows users to send free messages to other iMessage users, but when the recipient is not an iMessage user or not online, then it automatically switches to SMS. We just hope that same way, Hangouts would too work, but right now it is too early to presume anything.
SMS integration is something that many users would definitely love. Now we’re just waiting for it’s arrival!