Google revealed Hangouts, its unified text, video and multimedia messaging platform yesterday during its epic three-hour I/O keynote, but while the platform pulls in Google Talk, Google+ and other sources, it was apparently missing SMS integration. Incorporating texts from your carrier is on the way, however, according to Hangouts and Chat community manager Dori Storbeck, who said as much in a reply to a question (via 9to5Google)about SMS integration on Google+.
The integration will go a long way to truly unifying communications via the service, which is available on Gmail, Android, iOS and Chrome right now. SMS feeding into the Hangouts stream also means that it borrows a trick from what Facebook has added to Facebook Messenger with Chat Heads on select hardware devices, and it also provides Google with a fairly strong feature advantage over competitors including dedicated mobile messaging providers like WhatsApp and Kik, which don’t pull in content from SMS sources.
When SMS does arrive, expect it to make its way to Android only, as there’s not much developers can do to build in SMS on iOS, as those permissions are not open. Hangouts also dropped XMPP in Hangouts, which doesn’t bode well for Google IM on other platforms and in other apps, but it looks like the company is pretty open to building other protocols into its own service.