A few days ago Google released a new Android version, 4.4.3, which came with bug fixes and some minor UI changes. However, they also released a series of updates for their Google apps package, including the messaging app Hangouts. As you know, Hangouts is not the default SMS app in Android KitKat.

The new Hangouts version is 2.1.223 (the previous one was 2.1.100). You will see that there are some significant changes in the app, but not may of them.

The official changelog looks like this:

  • Unified SMS block list

  • Set custom notification tones for individual contacts

  • Keyboard indicator button to switch between numpad and full keyboard layouts

  • Hidden contacts list

  • Group hangouts now say “Send to group” instead of “Send Hangouts”

  • Contact photos pull up contact card instead of linking to G+

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The first two updates are pretty straightforward, and the custom notification tone is just something that other apps have for a long time. The hidden contact list will show you the contacts that you select to hide from your conversation list. You can long press on a person and choose to hide that contact. You can restore it later if you want from this new hidden contact list.

The biggest change is the one that breaks up G+ from Hangouts, as from now on if you press on a contact photo, it will open a contact card and not its G+ profile page.

You can download the new Hangout app from here: AndroidFileHost mirror. You will also receive an update through Google Play, this is just if you want to install it manually.

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