Over the past couple of months we had been hearing rumors that Google was going to unify its chats and video services under one banner. Yesterday at I/O 2013 the company unveiled Hangouts, an app that supports iOS, Android and Chrome, while bringing together Hangout video chats, Google Talk and Google+ Messenger. Dori Storbeck, Community Manager for Hangouts and Chat at Google, confirmed that the company will be adding outgoing calls and SMS integration to the Hangouts app ‘soon.’
The Hangouts app for Android already prompts users to give it permission to read and send SMS messages before installation, which is reason to believe that Google wouldn’t even need to release an update for the app when it wants to switch on the feature. As far as iPhone users are concerned, the way iOS sandboxes apps probably won’t allow direct integration with SMS, though Storbeck confirms that Google Voice features including outgoing calls will be supported by Hangouts in the future. Supporting SMS messages would bring Hangouts at par with Apple’s iMessage, which sends messages as SMS when the recipient isn’t an iMessage user.