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…)

Google is Moving Hangouts On Air From Google+, Bringing It to YouTube Live

Google, a company known well for its redundancy, is making a move to eliminate a small portion of its duplicate services. For the past few months at least, those looking to produce their own live podcasts could choose between Hangouts on Air (intertwined with Google+) or YouTube Live (essentially the same as Hangouts on Air, but locked to YouTube). In an announcement made this afternoon, Google will end Hangouts on Air via Google+, and is moving everyone to YouTube Live. (more…)

Hangouts Version 11 Will Kill Conversation Merging Because No One Uses It

According to a support page posted by Google, the next update to Hangouts (which will be for version 11.0), will remove the option for conversation merging. This features allows instant messages and SMS messages from the same contact to appear in a single thread.

Why is it being killed? Well, Google claims no one is using it, so instead of continuing to support it, they will simply kill it off entirely. (more…)

Google Introduces Messaging App Allo, New Video Chat App Duo

In an announcement no one saw coming today at Google I/O, Google went ahead and unveiled two new apps, one for messaging and another for video chatting. The apps are called Allo and Duo, respectively.

Unfortunately, Google was just previewing the apps today and hasn’t made them available, but they did talk plenty about them. This is what you need to know.  (more…)