One of the positive trends which Android users are benefitting from at the moment stems from Google placing a lot of importance on getting its own first-party Android apps into the daily flow of as many users as possible through the Play Store. To keep the ball rolling on that commitment the company has today pushed out two major app updates to the Play Store for the masses to enjoy.

The first welcome offering comes in the form of an update for the stock Google Keyboard that sees it ramped to version 2.0. Users can expect to benefit from a number of the features and enhancements that were bestowed on the update with the launch of Android KitKat and the LG-manufactured Nexus 5. Google has made a number of improvements to the app itself, including the addition of space-aware gesture typing and the introduction of a simplified mini keyboard on detection of a full stop long press gesture.

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Although the update is generally a positive event, there is one notable downside. The keyboard within Android KitKat benefitted hugely from the introduction of Emoji characters that are so popular within the mobile community. That functionality is still included in this update but does require the installed-upon device to actually be running Android 4.4 to function. In addition to updating the stock keyboard, Google has also incremented the build version number of the Hangouts app and added a plethora of powerful new features which were discussed by Google a few days ago.

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The latest revision to Hangouts was first announced at a Google+ event earlier this month. Keen-eyed users had originally seen the latest version of the Talk replacement running beautifully on the recently released Nexus 5 handset but it is now available for all through the Play Store. Users of the new version will find themselves being able to import text message conversations directly into the app as well as being afforded the ability to send and receive SMS and MMS directly within Hangouts.

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If animated GIFs are the only way that you can adequately express yourself then count yourself in for a treat. This latest update offers that functionality as well as sharing of location data of the current locality via messages. The update is polished off with the ability to not only share whether or not you are in a current call and the device that you are using, but also your current state of mind expressed through a variety of different ‘moods’. Check out the direct Play Store links below to grab the apps.

(Download: Hangouts / Google Keyboard for Android on the Play Store)

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