[Information Week]

Google redesigns mobile messaging app, adds a handful of new features following Facebook’s acquisition of rival messaging service WhatsApp.

Google on Thursday released a new update to its Hangouts app for iOS that introduces a handful of new features and a redesigned interface.

“The app has a brand new look and feel, is super easy to navigate, and includes a bunch of performance improvements,” said Google’s Frank Petterson in a Google+ post that announced the changes. “You can still make free voice and video calls, of course. Or send a quick photo. But we’re adding a few more features we think you’ll love.”

More than 40 “stickers” are new to Hangouts 2.0, which are big, animated emoticons that you can add to any message. “Think of them as emoji, but even more awesome,” Petterson said. The updated navigation includes tabs on the bottom to quickly archive conversations, mute messages, send videos, and access your contacts.


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