hangouts ss

Apple doesn’t port its own iPhone and iPad apps to Android, but let’s pretend for a moment it did. How would you feel if the company issued a major update to, say, its Apple Store shopping app for Android first, then days or weeks later gave the iOS edition some much-needed love?

Wouldn’t you have felt left behind?

You now have a good picture of the outrage flaming in the Android community after Google gave the iPhone users the ability to send and receive Google Voice calls through the Hangouts iOS app (free download).

Remarkably, this game-changing feature has yet to hit the Android Hangouts edition.

It’s actually so bad that Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, had to jump into the comments section of his announcement blog post and reassure Android fans that Google hasn’t forgotten about them. There will be an update coming soon, he promised and pledged users to make love, not war…

The Hangouts iOS update arrive this past Saturday with free Google Voice calling within the United States and Canada and low-rate international calling starting at two cents per minute, over Wi-Fi or cellular.

The substantial update basically turns iPod touch devices with a dedicated Google Voice number into a VoIP cell phone of sorts. By the way, Gundotra teased that “We have plans for Google Voice that I think are exciting,” but stopped short of giving the specifics.

Gundotra’s announcement Google+ post also highlights support for in-line animated GIFs in Hangouts for iOS and how the app gently ducks your music on incoming messages and cranks the volume back up instead of “interrupting your groove”.

None of the aforementioned features has made it to Android yet nor has Google provided any timetable. Making matters worse, Google pulled a similar maneuver with its recent major Maps and Search native apps which, too, hit iOS first.

Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Android die-hards, especially long time Android fans who were getting a bit fed up.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 02.44.26

Gundotra tried to appease to Android fans in the comments, his full response reading as follows:

Guys, don’t worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don’t get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people 🙂

Say, those are nice words for iOS users, Vic!

One poster responded this:

No one is saying that they are not good people. But they are not as loyal as us who have been android since the begining. No one is saying to leave them out of the loop… But make them second. Reward the loyal fans first.

The other person wrote:

Android is obviously my focus, but iOS must get the attention it deserves. It’s still insanely popular.

I chuckled after reading this:

Just got a GIF from an iOS user… Super embarrassed right now.

One guy sarcastically reminded Gundotra of Google’s poor treatment of Microsoft’s native YouTube app for Windows Phone, which the company ordered be taken down due because it didn’t show ads.

“But we don’t love the Google users on Windows Mobile, because they’re not good people, right?”, a joker asked rhetorically.

The most likely reason for Google’s ‘iOS first’ move with Hangouts: Android 4.4 code-named Kit Kat.

It’s fairly safe to assume the company is planning to add iOS features to Hangouts for Android as part of the Kit Kat release.

And herein lies the problem: it probably wouldn’t feel so bad if loyal Android fans didn’t feel like they were getting toyed with waiting for Android 4.4. On a more positive note, it should be well worth the wait.

After it arrives, Hangouts should be integrated way better into Android than it ever will on iOS as Apple doesn’t allow for features like SMS integration or app defaults.

Screenshots via our friends over at Android Authority.

Google has long benefited from the OS-level integration of its services until after the summer of last year, when iOS 6 came along and dropped the stock Google Maps and YouTube maps. The search giant on its part moved swiftly and acted responsibly by doubling-down and adding a bunch of compelling new features to its most popular iOS apps such as Gmail, Hangouts, YouTube, Maps and more.

On the other hand, the company has also managed to break hearts of long time Apple fans who had to cope with the realization that the popular iOS email client Sparrow has gained zero new features since being acquired by Google in the summer of 2012.

Google IO 2011 (Vic Gundotra Shows anti-Apple slide)
Apple fans were not amused after Gundotra put up this slide at Google I/O 2011.

Some Google acquisitions benefit everyone, like Quickoffice and Snapseed – both apps have gone free post-acquisition. Google’s other iOS apps such as Google Voice have gone without a meaningful update for ages. Priorities.

If I wanted to by cynical, I’d say Google is simply doing what other developers have been doing – develop for iOS first, Eric Schmidt be damned.

This isn’t so outrageous given iOS is making Google a couple times more revenue than Android.

Summing up, both iOS and Android offer great features and have some of the most ardent fans out there, the types who live and die by their platform of choice. Outside the geeky world, however, mainstream consumers couldn’t care less about platform wars.

Some people prefer iOS while others profess their love for Android. There’s nothing wrong about that whatsoever. Having said that, I think it’s a little silly that we’re even having this debate about which platform any one developer should be targeting first.

This dilemma is irrelevant as long as people get feature-parity across platforms and decent capabilities get rolled out concurrently, in a timely manner and not at the expense of the ‘other’ platform.

Believe it or not, that’s how I think the landscape should look like in an ideal world.

And your two cents?

Hit us in comments.

Hangouts can be downloaded free from the App Store.

  • abdullah575

    android sucks !!!

    • PereZ!

      Wrong. I used iOS for a while and switched to Android and I’m very pleased with it. I’m not a fan boy of iOS or Android.
      -Galaxy s3
      -iPad 2

      • TinTonB

        ^ This, I use an iPhone 5 and iPad 2. But I don’t flame, hate, etc..

        There is no need; do you think that the manufacturer’s care what you think? They have your money… transaction:end. OK, they value input on their next device as then they can perceive their target audience more precisely.

        Leave the squabbling to the companies themselves. We benefit from them competing with each other, we couldn’t be doing the fighting.

        What difference does it make to me if PereZ! for example has a Galaxy S3… Nothing, nada, no difference. He prefers it, great! he used his money to buy a device HE enjoys using. Just like I enjoy using iOS/iPhone after I switched from android, I prefer Apple’s ecosystem.

        Why do we constantly have to drag up android copied, apple copied. It benefits both customers to have a fully fledged device, it then pushes them to bring out new tech and features to impress us.

        Seriously, I just don’t get the arguments. They are utterly, utterly pointless.

      • Rowan09

        You went in. The specs thing is so overrated because the 5s smokes basically all those phone in normal usage from all the videos I’ve seen. Optimization is the key as you stated, I own both OS and there’s only one thing I wish IOS would bring on IOS devices and that’s a file system.

      • TinTonB

        File system indeed. I miss that functionality greatly.

      • Rowan09

        That’s why I love jail breaking my iPhone. I don’t do themes so I’m not a fan but functionality is my thing.

      • Ashton wilson

        The thing about optimizing lower specs is that in the future, like 3 years or so, it will run like crap! I have a ipod touvh 4g that I bought a year ago and it is terrible! I cant even get ios7 becuse of the ram count! at least w/ android, There are cheap, powerhouse devices, that if you root and install roms with, can last over 7 or 8 years! Plus the devices are so plentiful, you can basically get any form factor you want!

      • Rowan09

        The Moto G isn’t low spec, it’s not a top of the line Android but the specs are comparable to the 4S. An Android phone that can last for 7 years really come on now. How is your iPod running slow on IOS 6? Rooting a device doesn’t change the internals, it just over clocks them but the hardware will be the same. The 3GS was able to get IOS 6 and it was made years ago. Android is never about making old tech last. To be honest people want the next new thing and hence the reason these phones don’t sell at all. Google just lowered the Moto X from $550 to $399, it’s a flop.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        What the actual f*#k?! There is nothing true about an opinion. There cant be. Howcome you can start your comment by just saying”Wrong.” Like you are the one who is going to decide which one is better, but well you know what, we are humanbeings and we can have opinions, and they might differ sometimes. Things can be releative. Yes, saying “OMIGOSH android suckz so mch” is not the best way of expression, but you could just state why you find android better than ios. I am not raging to you actually, dont grt me wrong, it has been this yhing that goes with every tech blog. Whenever i see someone just rushing in the comments about why one os is better, the replies generally get very angry, in-your-face style. It is just becoming a way of diffrentiating and steriotyping people, which gets me mad. One can love an os over another, maybe you want simplicity and elegancy, then bam, iOS. Perhaps you could prefer more customization and wide range hardware that also has widerange pricing, which corresponds to android. No one is a fanboy or getting brainwashed we are just humans and at the end of the day you are the one getting the device.

      • iKool

        I am using an iPhone and iPad and I am very pleased with its features and design. I am not a fanboy either, just genuinely pleased.

    • Cyber Jethro

      You forgot to cite your sources. Here I’ll do it for you.


    • Dan


    • RarestName

      It did, before Jelly Bean.

      Right now, it’s a really good alternative to iOS.

  • M Last

    yes,because they are good people :)))

  • CA$H

    Android is garbage only people making money from it is Microsoft

    • Gerardo Castro

      Error 404: Logic not found.

      Microsoft has its own Mobile OS, and i’m fairly certain it is not affiliated with Google or Android

      • TinTonB

        No, but Microsoft had more money come into the company from patents and licences used in android than then did the entire windows phone sector last year.

        I think that’s what he is referring to.

      • HTTP/1.1 Logic not found

  • Jonathan

    Hey Android people. If you upset, then switch to Apple!

    • Cyber Jethro


      • Jonathan

        oops, thanks.

    • Yes, and experience the fluorescent iOS 7 UI.

    • Ashton wilson

      Never heard of one person who recently switched to an iphone..mot even one.

      • Jonathan


        and, if you read these comments, you’d see all kinds of people saying they’re switching after their contract is up.

  • TesticularFortitude


  • John Bussell

    Here come the mindless Apple fanboys claiming superiority. Guys, people are allowed to have a different opinion and preferred mobile OS.
    Get. Over. Yourselves.
    Sincerely, a polite Apple fanboy (a rare and nearly extinct breed)

    • Tobey

      you forgot the term self-proclaimed before the word “polite.” Welcome. 🙂

    • Cameron Chao

      a polite any fanboy is ‘a rare and nearly extinct breed’

    • CPVideoMaker101

      I agree with ya’. I hate how this is an issue here.

  • PereZ!

    I’m on Android, and I never heard of this app LOL.

    • felixtaf

      Then u must be in cupcake or froyo… Dont lie… Gtalk gets automatically updated to hangouts (off-course Google will ask your permission b4 that)…

      • PereZ!

        I’m on 4.1.1 jellybean I believe. But I don’t really use those kind of apps. I just text, call, Web.

    • iOops

      I use Hangout to chat with my wife via google (gmail) chat while on the road. It is a wonderful app, and am looking forward to trying the voice calling once I am back in Canada. Works flawlessly on my 5s, and wife’s S4

  • Burge

    Who cares who gets what first.

  • Rowan09

    Google is an advertising company first, so it cares less about making something exclusive. Why anyone be upset it beyond me.

  • Patrick

    one of the comments “No one is saying that they are not good people. But they are not as loyal as us who have been android since the begining. No one is saying to leave them out of the loop… But make them second. Reward the loyal fans first.” i’m gonna say it nicely (female dog) please IOS came out first, we are the loyal ones not you.

  • bigtalk

    0android sucks and why do we need this hangouts BS anyway… females are already over stimulated and distracted with constant electronic interactions.. all this social media BS is making life very very hard

  • Kenny Woodard

    This “war” always makes me laugh. There is nothing wrong with iOS or Android. It’s a matter of preference. Some people love being able to root their device and customize it to the max. While other people prefer a more simple, clean, elegant, and smooth experience. People who say one is better than the other have their own needs to be met. They are both very capable and nice OS’s built for different people. I myself, after having 3 iPhones and an iPad am ready to try something new. My next phone will be an Android device just because I want to see what they have to offer. We should all just be open-minded and realize that Google and Apple are rivals because of business and money. Doesn’t mean consumers should be so arrogant over this topic, when it’s nothing more than what your personal needs and wants that really matter.

  • Christian Mejía

    Lol childish

  • felixtaf

    Apple users were upset, when they dint see GTalk in iOS – No news.
    Google users are upset that the update is late – BIG news…. lol

  • Fevostone

    Who cares bring on live event LOL 45 mins in uk sweettttt

  • Hyr3m

    Google hangouts is sh¡t anyway… no wonder it was released on iOS first.

  • Cyber Jethro

    I found a wealth of objectivity in this article.

  • Dark Forest

    You all sucks motherfakers! Android and Apple=Same shit garbage

    • hkgsulphate

      c ya comment

    • Rowan09

      What do you use if you don’t mind me asking? I’m just curious I won’t even comment after.

      • Dark Forest

        I use both

  • Dan

    I use android and I seriously don’t care about this, all I want is for regular texts to be integrated into Hangout.

  • iOops

    Hangout is one of the few Google apps I use daily on my iPhone 5s, and my wife’s Galaxy S4. Which one is updated first is of no consequence and certainly nothing to get whiney over.

  • CPVideoMaker101

    You know, i just think all phone are great in their own ways. To each their own. I like iOS but know others like android. Is there really a need for a discussion.

  • Zeus

    Good old non biased Journalism. Thanks for the update, Fox News. Lol.

  • RarestName

    Rude title. Just because they’re upset doesn’t mean that they’re Android fanboys.

  • Hwang Lee

    Well wouldn’t Android’s update for Hangouts be bigger anyways because it’s now the SMS app as well.

    I really couldn’t care less, just excitedly waiting for 4.4!

  • disqus_WJPw2vsOXL

    “Guys, don’t worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don’t get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people”
    Six months later… Still no voice calling for a Android. Thanks, Google!