Google Releases More Details on the Death of SMS in Hangouts

After a surprise announcement made its way onto reddit last night, Google has spent a good chunk of the morning doing plenty of clarifying over what’s actually happening with Hangouts and SMS integration. To be clear, though, last night’s information is 100% correct and SMS within Hangouts is going away for most people, but Google has post in a variety of its product forums today to help answer any questions Google Voice, Project Fi, and general Hangouts users might have.

Below, we’ve done our best to compile the important stuff.  (more…)

Google Goes All-In With Hangouts as a Business Tool, Breaks It Into Two Apps: Meet and Chat

Hey, I’ve got Hangouts news for you! Will you like the news? That depends! Will you be 100% f*cking confused by it? That also depends! Let’s talk about it! Exclamation point!

Today, at Google Cloud’s Next conference, the company announced the future of Hangouts. As you all know, Hangouts has basically been put on the backburner as a consumer product with Allo in the wild now. During the day’s keynote, they tried to clean-up what is to come and that’s Hangouts becoming two products: Meet and Chat.

Ready for this fun?  (more…)

Google Will No Longer Require Hangouts to be Bundled on New Hardware

According to an email from Google to Google Mobile Services partners, reported by Android Police, Hangouts is getting a gentle kick out of the door. Set to begin this December 1, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be preinstalled on new hardware from OEMs, which is part of something typically referred to as the package of “gapps.” This package also contains apps like Gmail, Drive, Maps, and a few others.  (more…)

Hangouts Chrome Extension Getting ‘New Experience’ on August 31

An update for the Hangouts extension on Chrome is inbound, one that Google states is pretty much required to use. On August 31, the update will go live via the Chrome Store, and for new users, the updated version will be the default Hangouts “experience” they must use. However, for existing users, they can choose to not update to the new experience, at least until Google forces them to on October 16.

So, what is in this new experience that makes it required to use? According to Google’s rather short post, “the new experience brings together multiple chat windows into one and makes it easier to see more chat content.” For anyone using the current Hangouts extension, this is essentially what we have already been using. Instead of multiple little chat windows, all of Hangouts will remain in one window, with users still able to pop-out a chat if they wish.  (more…)

Hangouts Will Get a Business Focus Going Forward as Allo Becomes the Consumer Star

At Google I/O in May, Google introduced the world to new messaging and video apps called Allo and Duo that left many of us wondering what the future of Hangouts would be. After all, Hangouts was originally released as the do-all messaging app of the future, where messaging and video chatting and SMS and Google Voice would all come together to rid us of having to use two or three or six different apps. Of course, that vision has never aligned and Hangouts has been the butt of jokes for years as users in the consumer space flock to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Going forward, Google appears to be ready to admit defeat, in a way, once Allo launches and Hangouts gets an enterprise focus.  (more…)