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Handheld Devices

Google updates Hangouts for Android under the radar, adds better status notifications

Google inconspicuously updated its Hangouts app for Android this week, making it more obvious to see which of your friends is virtually available to "hang out." You'll be able to see whether your friend is engaged in a Hangout video chat, if they've read your message, and if they're currently typing.

The company also stuffed in a few new minor features into its cross-platform chat app, like to ability to pinch to zoom and long press on a person's name to hide them. You can view a full listing of the updates at its Google Play page. Bear in mind that this is a staged roll out and it may not have hit your Android device just yet.

Google also began rolling out its new Card interface to Gmail yesterday. The update is meant to simplify the design of the app and offer a "cleaner conversation view." Like Hangouts, the app update will be delivered in stages. Gmail's Google Play store page doesn't currently reflect the new changes, and no word on when the updates will be available for iOS users just yet.

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