Android introduced actionable notifications when they announced Android 5.0 about a couple of years ago and since then several applications have implemented it successfully. Most of the texting or IM applications have added the support whereby users can simply read the message in the notification and reply right from within the notifications box, via the action button available. However, Hangouts is a little late to party and has only implemented the quick reply to notifications in an update rolling out this week. The update will take your Hangouts app to version 7.0, though the update is being rolled out in phases, so you may have to wait till you receive it.
Not only does the application allow you to quickly reply to the messages from the notification, it also allows you to create a shortcut to an important conversation, be it group or individual that you may be having. The drawback in the quick reply implementation is that, it works as long as you have one unread message, it will allow you to reply, but if the messages are beyond one, then you will be taken within the application to read the messages and reply to them.
Keeping in line with the rumor that Google plans to take away the text messages integration away from Hangouts, the update is also bringing a pop up notification asking users to try out the Google Messenger application for all tehir text messages needs.
If you are a little impatient and would like to try out the new Hangouts app, then you can download the apk from here.
Via: Android Police