Google Apps: Voice, Hangout, Shopping, Gmail Updates Today

hangoutsandroidGoogle is pushing in a whole series of updates to many of its services- Google Voice, Gmail,  Hangouts and Device Manager. It is also offering a free six-month trial membership of its Shopping Express service.


Voice Your SMS Shorties

Google Voice's Android App has been updated to support SMS short codes. It also reminds you that you are not able to text to 911.   Google Voice is currently only available in the United States, you must use Google voice at least once after upgrading to route calls.  The update 0.4.2 also includes bug fix for Android.

Hangouts Better Contacted

Google Hangouts for Android  has been updated to allow users to see if their contacts are active before sending messages. A new feature shows contacts you hangout with, suggested people and other contacts.  Green icons mean they are available while gray means they are not. Hang out invitations are moved to the top of your conversations, making them easier to find.  Remember, Google Hangouts replaced Google Talk app. Hangouts brings one-on-one and group conversations to life with photos, emoji, and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android and Apple devices. Video calls can be made with up to 10 friends.

Shopping Express Delivers to SF & SJ

Google is expanding testing of its new same-day delivery service Shopping Express from San Francisco to San Jose.  Retail outlets include Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Staples, Office Depot, REI, and Whole Foods. The service is now available through Android and iOS Shopping Express apps.  In the apps you you search for items and place your orders on the phone. You pay the same price as you would in the retail store.  you pick a delivery window that is convenient for you as late as 9:00 pm.  For a limited time, the service is free for six months, after that time you will be charge for deliveries.

Gmail Carded

Google is also pushing out a new version of Gmail for Android phones. This version is cleaner and card-based. There are new check marks to show multiple message selections and the status of email syncing.  It is available of download from the Google Play Store.

Lock Out Android Intruders

Google has updated Android Device Manager to let users remotely lock their Android device via a pass code entered on the web.  It works with any Android phone using Android 2.2 or higher.