Technology with attitude

How to Set Google Hangouts as Your Default SMS App

1

Less than a decade ago, the default SMS application was the soul mate of many mobile phone users.

However, this then took a twist as other players such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Skype came into play and for sure, they spoilt everything that the traditional SMS had taken years to build.

However, there is nothing to be afraid of, especially if you are a user of the latest Google Hangouts app. This application took the place of Google Talk, which was Google’s main chat service. The Hangouts app first showed up with Google+ and then it made its way to desktops and mobile phones as a standalone app.

Now this application has been integrated into the Gmail chat service, and if you didn’t know, you can integrate it into your SMS services. Yes, Google Hangouts can be used as the default SMS application for your Android smartphone and setting up this service is extremely easier than you think.

How to set Google Hangouts as the default text message app

There is no doubt that every Android smartphone comes with a bunch of preinstalled Google apps. If you are a user of the latest Android Lollipop OS, the Google Hangouts app comes preinstalled on the device. However, if for some reason you happen to find the Hangouts app not installed on your phone, you can still get it from the official Google Play Store for free.

Setting up Google Hangouts for the first time

When you have installed the app on your phone, the next thing is to prepare it for first use. If you are using Google Hangouts for the first time, the app will ask you for a Gmail account in order to log you in. If you don’t have one, you will have to sign up for a Gmail account. However, this process is usually taken care of in the initial stages of setting up your Android phone.

Once the setup is complete, you will be asked whether you want to use Google Hangouts as your default SMS client as well. If yes, follow the easy on-screen instructions and you will be good to go. However, if you are a current user of the Hangouts app, you only need a few taps to set the app as your default text messaging tool. On the top left side of the app, tap on the Menu and then go to the app’s settings. While in there, tap on SMS and you should see the SMS feature disabled. Tap on it and then select “OK” and then “Yes” in order to set it as the default SMS app.

Immediate SMS transfer to the Google Hangouts app

Once you have changed this setting, you will notice that all your messages that were being displayed in the default SMS app for Android devices will be transferred to the Google Hangouts app. You can thus continue to chat with your friends using Hangouts where you can make use of all the messaging features on offer, for instance, emoticons and stickers.

When sending an SMS in Hangouts, always ensure that you select a phone number of the recipient, otherwise you may end up inside the Google Hangouts chat. However, you can easily differentiate the messages as either SMS or Hangouts chat as each of them carries a logo next to the text field. However, your inbox will be a mixture of Hangouts chats and SMS messages.

How to disable Google Hangouts as your default SMS app

If none of what Google Hangouts offers in the SMS niche is interesting to you, it is possible to revert to your old app in a few steps. All you need is go to Menu>Settings>SMS and disable the “SMS enabled” option by tapping on it and then selecting your desired SMS client.

Remember, when using Google Hangouts as the default SMS tool on your Android phone, carrier charges may apply for sending these messages.