Early this year, Google set out to consolidate some of its real-time messaging services under one name: Google+ Hangouts. Now it seems that the company is seeking to further bring in other communication channels too, as users will soon be able to send and receive SMS and MMS via Hangouts.
Back in May, Google launched Google+ Hangouts to reduce the number of fragmented and confusing services that the tech company has so far been offering. The service encompassed not only one-on-one and group video chat but also included regular instant messaging, thereby deprecating the Google Talk service and app in the process. It felt logical that Hangouts would, at some point, also gobble up that other major real-time messaging system: SMS and, by extension. MMS. And indeed, the scaffolding seems to already be in place as early as May, allowing users to receive Hangouts messages via SMS when idle.
Now we're seeing some signs that a deeper SMS integration in the service which would allow users to receive and send SMS directly within the app itself. Messages will be marked with "via SMS" in order to differentiate messages coming from various sources. This would be on par with what the Facebook Android app already does, letting users set it up as their SMS app. Additionally, it would seem that Hangouts would also gain the ability to share videos via SMS.
There is no leaked information yet when this will roll out to users, but if screenshots are already available, then maybe it won't be too far away. When it does happen, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to expect Google to also assimilate both Google Voice and regular phone calls into Hangouts, making it the one real-time communication app to rule them all.
VIA: Android Police