Hangouts 5.0 is now ready for the taking. But get ready to say farewell to the home screen widget and hello to a new splash screen.
Also, much of this release is primarily focused on squashing bugs and making a few minor tweaks. Outside of a new shade of green in one instance, though there weren’t any major, notable changes to the design.
Google has killed off the 3x3 home screen widget.
Like some of Google’s other apps, Hangouts now launches with a splash screen. I sent a few messages and didn’t notice any major differences, though 9to5Google notes a lot of fixes for lag. The animations still don’t seem as smooth as they ought to be, though of course that may vary by device.
The impact on you: Hangouts has truly been a mixed bag. It’s great for keeping conversations in sync across platforms, but the Android version has always been on the buggy side. Hopefully this release will fix a lot of that, as Google still has a ways to go when it comes to taking on other tech giants in the world of messaging.
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