Google Hangouts, the search giant’s instant messaging and VoIP mobile client, was updated in the App Store last evening with several new features and refinements.
For starters, Apple Watch owners can now respond to instant messages received from other Hangout users directly on their wrist and also from the notification banner on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (provided they use iOS 9.1).
The app is now supported on the Apple Watch with rich notifications and the ability to respond to incoming messages with canned replies or dictation. You will need to enable Hangouts in the Notifications section of the companion Watch app on your iPhone.
Notifications from Hangouts on your iOS device now include group names while Voice notifications include contact names, making it easier to distinguish who’s calling. Make sure that notifications for Hangouts are enabled in iOS’s Settings app and that the Show in Notification Center option in Settings → Notifications → Hangouts is on, too.
The new update also includes several bug fixes to improve your experience.
Hangouts requires an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad with iOS 7.0 or later. The app is localized in English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.