With Google updating Hangouts with new features and the material design treatment, Android users like me are asking the question: Should we now switch to Hangouts for all our messaging needs: chat, video calls and SMS/MMS?
Released to much good reviews last year, Messenger was Google’s good messaging app for SMS and MMS. While Hangouts did receive the capability to send SMS/MMS as well back in April 2014, Google actually recommends that we use Messenger for SMS over Hangouts.
I myself had set Messenger as the default SMS app on my Nexus 5 while Hangouts was used for online chat with my Google contacts. So up until Hangouts 4.0 was released, my setup was just like that. Everything was stable. I overlooked the subtle redundancy.
Now that Hangouts is also dressed in the beautiful material design, it also has new features that makes it a better messaging app, like keeping your video call connected while switching between Wi-Fi and mobile network. So we go back to the question raised earlier. While the answer seems obvious thanks to the updates to Hangouts, security concerns about Android is a compelling argument to stick to my current setup.
Hopefully, Google will finally get its act together on solving the security issues with Android and deciding on which messaging app should be the Google messaging app.