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Google finally merges SMS and chat conversations in Hangouts

Hangouts will finally merge text and Hangouts conversations this week.

This week, users of Google’s Hangouts messaging app for Android will be able to seamlessly shift between Hangouts and SMS when sending a given message. Users will be able to control this with the flip of a switch, and they will be able to merge or unmerge conversations.

Google says that “different message types will be easy to tell apart in the conversation.” However, received messages will look the same, apart from a small “via SMS” label placed below under texted replies. Sent messages, meanwhile, are a bit more obvious by being highlighted in green when you’re sending regular Hangouts messages and white when you send them as SMS messages.

The contact list will also be simplified into just two categories. These categories are ‘Hangout With’ and ‘Phone Contacts’. Google has also made access to your conversations much easier by adding a home screen widget.

These new features will arrive this week along with the release of the latest version of Hangouts. Download it for free from the Play Store now.

Like the sound of the improvements? Let us know by posting in the comments below.

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