Google on Thursday introduced a pretty substantial update to its Hangouts app on iOS, jumping ahead an entire version to 2.0. Announced last year, Hangouts is Google’s messaging newborn, still not quite considered a go-to, but quickly getting there. In the Android universe, it’s the default for vanilla devices running KitKat, which also includes SMS integration. The latest update for iOS brings it up to speed with Apple’s mobile design language, applying a cleaner approach with a much nicer layout. Frankly, the difference is night and day—that’s how big the change is.
In addition to its redesign, the app has also been fully optimized for the iPad, includes picture-in-picture video calling, animated stickers (a response to BBM?), and the ability to send video messaging that are up to 10 seconds long. The experience and functionality isn’t quite on par with some other more popular services, but this is actually a pretty big update, and it looks a lot nicer than it did before. The update is rolling out right now, so head on over to the app store to check it out.