Skip to main content

Google adds clever location sharing feature to Hangouts for Android

google hangouts android app location sharing upate stickers close
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Google has added a selection of new features to the Hangouts messaging app, which will be introduced on the Android version starting from today. Announced at the LeWeb conference currently underway in Paris, France, and confirmed by Hangouts software engineer Rhett Robinson on Google+; the new features include sticker packs, video filters, and most interestingly, contextual location sharing.

Described as “the start of something new,” the location sharing option expands Google Now-style functionality to the messaging app. It works like this: If a friend asks “where are you?” during a conversation, Hangouts will automatically show a one-tap option to share your location. The idea is to minimize the hassle of doing so, avoiding the need to open Google Maps, drop a pin, and share it separately.

While this is a time-saver, it’s the fact Hangouts recognizes what’s being asked and acts on it which makes it interesting. Google’s description does suggest it’s the first in a series of planned contextual actions for Hangouts. What’s next? It’s not saying, but sharing details from the calendar, contacts, or details about upcoming travel plans seem plausible.

Stickers are already a popular addition in other messaging apps, so it’s hardly surprising to see Google add 16 new sticker packs to Hangouts, with more to come in the future. A new set of video filters, including sepia, vignette, and a black and white option, are also included in the new version. Finally, a timestamp will be added so you’ll know when friends were last online, plus the option to confirm your phone number to make it easier for friends to find you in Hangouts.

The new version of Hangouts will be live inside the Play Store later today, but the timestamp feature will be slowly added over the coming weeks. Hangouts users who own an iPhone can look forward to the new features being added to the iOS app soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Google to pay $392 million to 40 states in location-tracking settlement
4 ways 2020 has changed how i use my tech google maps in hand

Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million to 40 U.S. states to settle a dispute over location tracking.

The tech giant misled its users into believing they had turned off location tracking in their account settings, when Google actually continued to collect their location information, the Oregon Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a post on its website on Monday, November 14.

Read more
Google Pixel 7a could add three huge features over the Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a laying on top of the Google Pixel 6.

The Google Pixel 6a had good cameras, an average display with a 60Hz refresh rate, and more. While the $449 device was among the better ones in the segment, Google is working to further improve its successor. The Google Pixel 7a could add a new camera sensor for improved photography, a 90Hz refresh rate, and wireless charging to the feature list.

According to Tweets from Kuba Wojciechowski, who has reported correct information in the past, the Pixel 7a is code-named "Lynx." He discovered all the new information by digging into the camera drivers. Wojciechowski found that "Lynx" is a midrange smartphone and its camera setup is called "Pixel 22 Mid-range." He also found that the reference to GN1, which was a moniker used for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro's Samsung sensor, has been removed.

Read more
5 Android camera features that I need to have on my iPhone
iPhone 14 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro.

One of my favorite things to do with my iPhone 14 Pro is to take photos. Whether it’s part of my attempt to be artsy by snapping spontaneous moments with my husband and daughter, or just capturing the magic at Disneyland, I have a ton of photos. Though I don’t have time to edit every single one, I do like to spend time making edits on my favorites just to improve how they look before I post them on social media. But the built-in tools on the iPhone for taking photos and editing them are, well, lacking.

I’ve been testing a few different Android devices since I joined Digital Trends, and let me tell you — it’s been a trip. I’ve discovered so many new photo and camera tools on various Android devices that just show how much Apple is behind in that regard, despite being one of the most popular devices for mobile photography.

Read more