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Google Bug Communications

Google Hangouts and SMS Integration: A Mess, For Now 62

Android Headlines reports that a bug in the Google Hangouts app is causing confusion for users who would like to send and receive SMS messages. According to the article, [S]ome users are reporting an issue that is preventing the merging of SMS messages with Hangouts. The exact nature of what is causing this error is still unknown, as Google has not divulged any concrete information. They did state though that they are working on a fix and will have it ready for release as soon as they figure out what is going on. On this front, I wish there were a good roadmap for all the overlapping and sometimes circular-seeming options for Google's various flavors of VoiP and messaging. Between Google Voice, Google Plus, Messenger (not Facebook's Messenger), Gmail, and now Google Fi, it's hard to tell quite where the there begins. After setting up a new phone through Google Fi, I find that the very pleasant full-screen text-message window I used to like with Google Voice is now one I can't figure out how to reach, and the screen directs me to use Hangouts instead.
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Google Hangouts and SMS Integration: A Mess, For Now

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  • ... I find that the very pleasant full-screen text-message window I used to like with Google Voice is now one I can't figure out how to reach,...

    Is it just me that finds some Google apps quite disappointing? Let's look at its Maps:

    Why does the screen turn off [by default] once the app is in use? Waze doesn't do this! How does Google expect us to use this app? I can't be bothered hitting the screen to prevent it from darkening on me!

    I have always found its messaging apps just plain ugly. Am I alone? Google should take a look at Viber, Go SMS and many others who have done things right in my opinion.

    Google should wake up!

    • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Thursday July 02, 2015 @04:22PM (#50035701)

      * Calls w/GV: free. I have been using this service since it was Grand Central. Overall, quite satisfied
      * Email -- meh, why not. Easy for me to use
      * Maps and Navigation - way better than what existed before Google Maps
      * Keep - keep lists -- I use it all the time: groceries at Trader Joes, Costco, etc. Keeps my lists, and check-off when I got it. Uncheck when I need a 200 pack of TP again
      * Docs - I share my docs with family and friends
      * Calendar - Use it to plan trips in the mountains, abroad, whatever with family and friends

      My Cost... some privacy for my fake name accounts mostly, and that's it. I get WAY MORE from GOOGLE than they get from me. Every now and then, I'll click on Annoying ads just to thank Google for their apps.

      • > Every now and then, I'll click on Annoying ads just to thank Google for their apps. That's not the kind of clicks they want to get.
    • Why not type in a destination? Once it routes to a destination then Maps will block the screen from turning off.

    • You know, the clock app on android, back in version 4 it worked fine. Came version 5 they changed the icons (arguably worse ones) made the background of the app change in color (I just woke up! give me a black background for gods sake) and introduced animations (to change the background from colorful to black and back again) which means I have to wait a couple seconds to put my alarm 30 minutes from now while ALL I WANT IS TO GET SOME MORE SLEEP.

      Google bad UI decisions are literally making my day start in t

  • Just kill the awful Hangouts app and its horrible SMS handling and start again. My old Nokia from the early 00's did SMS better.

    • In fact (yeah, I know, replying to yourself is the first sign of madness) the whole thing feels like a massive throwback to the early 00's. It reminds me of Microsoft integrating their products to force people to use something they don't want (in this case, wangouts, back then IE) using something they do want as bait (SMS in this case, Windows back then).

    • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

      They can take my pre-Hangouts Chat when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. Or disable the classic version, whatever, but I might actually move services if that happens.

      Does Hangouts still refuse to show status icons for available/away or PC/phone? What the hell kind of chat application doesn't even let you see when the person you're talking to is there?

  • Whoever thinks that mess has just one bug? In my android phone it merged SMS and google. Some contacts will allow me choose sms or hangout. Some will give me only hangout and some only MMS. Google, and probably all the small screen players, keep introducing new icons, new clickable, touchable, swipable interfaces. And it is not obvious or intuitive at all. May be the younger generation that seems to be texting all the time get it. But it is quite frustrating to someone who is used to the desktop and mouse f
    • I was born around the time the first MicroVAX came out (heh, yes, username data leakage). The icons and interfaces don't bother me much, when they're "discoverable", at at least follow patterns that I've seen before. The things that bother me are services (like Hangouts) where the service itself doesn't work intuitively. For example, where is the contact from? Some e-mail address harvested from a gmail message, a phone number that I manually entered as a contact, a gchat username, or what? If I message them
    • Some problems aren't even a 'bug': this might be one of the only Google products that doesn't feature a 'search'. Seriously?! Tried really hard to like it for a few months, went back to the basic messaging app.
      • The search is hidden in the gmail web interface. YOu can search all your chats there; there's just no search interface in Hangouts itself.
        • Thanks, but I'm not talking about chats - talking about SMS messages... How can Hangouts not have a search feature for your SMS messages??
    • The younger generation doesn't send SMS, they use WhatsApp or whatever new service.
  • For about a week I received the same SMS message every minute a couple of times, next every 2-3 minutes, next every hour, next every 6 hours and finally it quit after 3 days. Would do that for every SMS I received. Suddenly after a week I received those same SMS's through Google Hangout (over a week old SMS's I already had received) and than it was over.
    I still don't understand why they make Apps that mess up the 'normal' functionality of the phone. It should be able to place and receive calls and SMS's pe
    • This is my biggest problem with smartphones. The hard stuff about providing voice and SMS service is handled by the radio. My Nokia candybar running a microcontroller-like CPU can flawlessly handle the basic functions of the phone. So with a smartphone I gain some extra capabilities, but only at the expense of the core communication functions of the phone.
  • I had to switch to "Adium" because Hangouts doesn't track all of my messages. There is no "sync" button. And I couldn't find a way to refresh the screen. A co-worker IM'd me a message and when I looked inside of gmail/hangouts on my PC it wasn't there. However, hangouts on my tablet had the message. I guess I could have e-mailed the message to myself. Or I could turn off my tablet so it would stop getting messages. However, if the message ended up on my phone, what am I supposed to do turn off my pho
    • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

      At the very least, Google Chat commits all your conversations to a mail folder. Does Hangouts not do that?

    • You are lucky that you didn't get the flipside, which is when it syncs a bunch of shit you don't want!

      The Gmail account I use for phone sync is one I use at the shop for mostly dealing with companies, requests for RMAs, parts inquiries, stuff like that.....can you guess what the new Hangout/SMS did the first time my new smartphone sync'd up? If you said "overload your contacts with tons of worthless contacts" you are correct! All those "do not reply" addresses sending me RMA info, companies I hadn't dealt w

  • by blang ( 450736 ) on Thursday July 02, 2015 @04:32PM (#50035755)

    Call quality was so much better than skype, but it was a real pain to set up and use on android, and i don't even remember how to get to it on chrome.

    Sorry google, if you want to compete, you have to bring your A-game, not 5 of your B-games.

  • When I got my Nexus 5 android phone last year the first thing I did was to send SMS messages to my kids to notify them that I had a new phone. Hangouts failed to send them. After several hours of messing around I installed 8SMS with no problems. How can the most basic of apps on a phone be somewhat broken out of the box?

    As a general Google rant, I am security conscious and want nothing shared and nothing in the cloud. Automatically Google sucked my contact list out of my phone and stuck it in the cloud.

  • I love Google's services. I use a nice, albeit older, Play Edition phone running 5.1

    Hangouts and Google Voice is an unmitigated mess.

    Group text to your GV number? Hope you enjoy 20 different 1:1 conversations in Hangouts -- if you even get the text.

    Voicemail notifications magically disabled? Sure. Why not.

    Why is that unread? Did it show up on my desktop, or in my Inbox, or in the app? I'm sure I read it ONE of those places.

  • by slickwillie ( 34689 ) on Thursday July 02, 2015 @06:15PM (#50036267)

    After much haranguing and cajoling I made the mistake of "upgrading" my Google Voice to Hangouts on my desktop. Now I have to type the phone number each and every time I make a call. There isn't even a redial, the phone dialer box disappears after the call. I had some contacts in old Voice but those didn't get transferred over (hello?) There are instructions for how to go back to the old style, export the contacts and then import them into hangouts, but so far it hasn't worked, Back in the 1970's we had these things called error messages if some action failed. I guess that is old-fashioned now.

  • Seriously, what is so damn hard about integrating SMS with messaging.

    • by kinko ( 82040 )

      Seriously, what is so damn hard about integrating SMS with messaging.

      except please don't copy iMessage's "feature" where it tells you the message is delivered but the recipient never gets it.

      • Seriously, what is so damn hard about integrating SMS with messaging.

        except please don't copy iMessage's "feature" where it tells you the message is delivered but the recipient never gets it.

        Never happened to me. I bet most people who had claim this happened didn't understand the difference between the GREEN text for SMS and the blue text for iMessage

  • Hangouts is baffling (Score:4, Informative)

    by trawg ( 308495 ) on Thursday July 02, 2015 @08:00PM (#50036737) Homepage

    I know there area lot of smart people at Google so the constant trainwreck that is Hangouts is baffling to me.

    Never have I encountered a piece of chat software that is so confusing to so many people. I have been using chat software for a long time and am a tech-savvy person but I struggle understanding Hangouts. My relatives, who are scattered all over the world and are quite tech savvy, have been communicating amongst each other online for years with a variety of technologies from ICQ to MSN to Skype to GTalk, all struggle with Hangouts.

    I know it's popular to bash UI/UX people on Slashdot and it's something I've never been comfortable with - UI/UX is an important part of software and I've worked with some phenomenal people. But it's like the Hangout team have decided to ignore all the previous years of the chat application design paradigms and have gone out of their way to overcomplicate the interfaces.

    I am just perplexed at how hard it is to tell if people are online or offline in the Android app. The default views simply DO NOT SHOW this information - only a "last seen" timer. I assume this is intentional to try to make you just send messages anyway to get you using it like it's an SMS service, but fuck me if you want to actually have a chat with someone knowing whether they're online or away is important.

    Some other specific gripes:
    - I /hate/ how hard it is to sign out of Hangouts on Android. You have to go into some obscure sub-menu. They clearly want it running all the time.
    - On one of the rare occasions I had it running on my phone yesterday, I sent a message to my partner (overseas from me atm) to see if she wanted a chat. My wifi dropped at the same time, and Hangouts reported the message wasn't sent; I had to go out so just left. But it WAS sent, and my partner sat around swearing at me for asking to chat and then vanishing.
    - When someone tries to voice call me it seems to ring in Google Talk in Gmail, but does not always answer reliably. I note they are in the process of removing the old Google Talk from Gmail and replacing it with Hangouts.
    - When trying to call someone from Google Talk in Gmail it does not seem to reliably call them.
    - Message delivery seems flaky - it is not uncommon for me to find out messages never arrived. (Though this seems to be almost exclusively when one end of the conversation is in the Android app).

    I would LOVE a good, simple, cross-platform chat application at the moment. My friends and relatives have fragmented across a billion platforms.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know it's popular to bash UI/UX people on Slashdot and it's something I've never been comfortable with - UI/UX is an important part of software and I've worked with some phenomenal people. But it's like the Hangout team have decided to ignore all the previous years of the chat application design paradigms and have gone out of their way to overcomplicate the interfaces.

      Emphasis added by AC.

      This is thy we bash UXtards around here.

      UI people are great. When it was about the user and giving them an inter

  • Google Voice, the service be it through a web browser, a dedicated app, or an embedded appliance was perfect circa three years ago. Since then, it seems the steering committees within Google have vacillated from not competing with carriers to competing with Skype/Lync, to being a dongle for android, and ultimately being a widget wedged up Hangouts ass in order to entice a migration and integration that doesn't work and sorely lacks the clear headed design objectives of the original. Once upon a time ago,
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Software is bound to have bugs. Hangouts is no different.

    But the Hangouts team is willing to fight to not fix their problems. This includes bugs that affect carriers. If you are a carrier and alert them to a problem, they are willing to work HARD to find an excuse as to why they shouldn't have to fix it.

  • I use the Hangouts app for SMS because the build-in app is stupid and GO SMS PRO is to themey. Hangouts does what I need for SMS without the dancing colours and whatnot and without the slowness (on large threads) and "scroll back to the bottom on receiving new SMS" bug of the built-in app.

    But there's a notification bug. I have a SMS contact on mute (Twitter). When I receive a non-muted SMS or non-muted hangouts message Twitter starts ignoring its mute. I wrote on their forums and basically received a "we're

  • SMS messages, even though not technically secure, at least only go through the providers.. correct me if I am wrong. Why would someone want to add the Google layer, which ensures they will be scanned by more eyes?

For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

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