Google Hangouts Update Adds Chrome Custom Tabs

September 28, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google wants to remind its users that despite the launch of consumer focused apps like Google Duo and Google Allo, it’s still keeping focused with the enterprise-focused works for Google Hangouts. A new update has now been rolled out by Google for Hangouts, which adds some new tweak to make sure that the app gets unhitched from the consumer-centric approach.

Version 13.0 of Google Hangouts is adding some major improvements, which include the addition of Chrome custom tabs to the messenger service.

With the Chrome custom tabs feature, Hangouts will now let users browse links within the app instead of leaving the app for an external browser. The option can be now seen under the settings, where it’s turned on by default. The app also pops up the option of opening the page in Chrome browser, along with a share button that will pop up the share sheet.


A new message can also be viewed when opening the settings tab that reads ‘Conversation merging is no longer available’. Google removed the merged conversation feature in its version 11 update. With this feature, users were able to merge conversations from Hangouts and SMS, letting them interact to different chats under a single window.

The message comes as just an official reminder after taking it down in the previous version. Google says that the feature was dropped due to lack of popularity of the feature among the users, adding that it made users more confused.

Besides, Google Hangouts also now enjoys some of the Android features it has been lacking until now, like having Direct Share on Marshmallow devices, and Quick Reply on Nougat devices. Hangouts also now supports transfer of videos and group invite sharing via links.

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