Google today released its much-anticipated Hangouts 2.0 update for Android, releasing a number of updates that users have been waiting for for quite awhile.
Google Hangouts version 2.0 includes SMS support for all Android devices, and extends MMS support to all devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above, and this allows you to replace your standard text and picture messaging app with Hangouts, which will especially come useful to Android 4.4 KitKat users (since they can set their default SMS app). Location sharing is also now just a tap away and will post your current location into the conversation as a Google Maps thumbnail.
SMS/MMS support means you can use Hangouts as your default app both for traditional texting and picture messaging in addition to Web-based instant messaging. This effectively replaces the stock SMS app, and in fact on KitKat, you have the option to set a default SMS app.
Other changes for Google Hangouts 2.0 for Android include the ability to send animated gifts as well as device, in-call, and mood status, which enables you to share what device you’re on, whether you’re on a call, or your current mood, respectively.
Google had previously announced these changes late last month. No word yet on when iOS users will get these features, but it’s likely an update that’s just around the corner.