Google Hangouts has been updated today in the Google Play Store and it should be hitting your devices soon. The new 5.0.104885319 version for those keeping score at home brings mostly bug fixes to the texting-meets-chatting app from Google. You aren’t going to find a lot of changes in this build from a feature perspective but if you are a user of the Google Hangouts widget on your home screen…. well, it just got a little sad for you.
While Google has not released a list of the bug fixes that are in this update to Google Hangouts, one of the big bugs that was suppose to be addressed was the fixing of GIF files which were broken
with the 4.0 release. Having played with it this afternoon, I can confirm that it has been fixed and GIFs are playing as you would expect.
If you use the Google Hangouts widget on your home screens, the update to 5.0 is going to be the end of those widgets. Google appears to have discontinued them as they only come up with a “Widget no longer available” banner when you try to use the widget or add them to your home screen after the update. Given that they were not 100% deleted from the app, it could be that Google plans to reinstate them later but for now, they are not there for you to use.
As with all of the Google app updates, it could take a few days for this update to Google Hangouts to make it to your device.