Android users have continuously been requesting for an improved Hangouts. Hangouts has often been criticised for constant call drops and lags. Users have been requesting Google for a long time now to improve the quality of voice and video calls.
Rumours are there that Google is finally working on improving Hangouts. Google is removing SMS capabilities from Hangouts to make it a better chat client. It is possible that Google may use a peer-to-peer connection when possible to improve the quality of voice and video calls.
An updated version of Hangouts was launched last week advising users to switch to Google Messenger for text messages. This may suggest that SMS capabilities may be completely removed from Hangouts. Reddit reported some users seeing a prompt during calls that says “Hangouts will improve quality for future calls by routing audio and video over a direct, peer-to-peer connection, when possible.”
A direct connection to the person you’re calling is more efficient than routing the call through Google’s servers. A direct connection between the two users reveals both their IP addresses, though there is no immediate way to look that up in the Hangouts UI. The benefit of this can be seen by two users using Hangouts App on Android.
Google has reportedly been using Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) till now. Announced back in 2011, this has been rolled out on all versions of Chrome save for the iOS. It is an API that supports browser-to-browser voice and video calling without the need of plugins. It is highly secure and encrypts both the signalling used to initiate the chat and the actual chat contents.
Rumours are doing rounds that Google may be working on an AI-powered chat service. With the CTO of Voxer, a messaging app with a walkie-talkie feature recently joining Google, we may expect a better and improved Hangouts with new features and better quality voice and video calls.
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