We heard just yesterday that Google is planning to remove SMS capabilities from Hangouts, and now Google has detailed this change — as well as others — in a new post on its G Suite blog. The changes are part of a larger effort to “streamline” Hangouts and Gmail as G Suite offerings…
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The first part of this is of course Google’s focus on its new Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat apps, and how that’s going to impact the traditional Hangouts app for enterprise and consumer users alike. As we mentioned yesterday, Google wants the Messages app to be the new home for SMS on Android.
We’ve been working hard to streamline the classic Hangouts product for enterprise users, and, as part of this effort, will be removing carrier SMS functionality in the classic Hangouts app for Android, starting on May 22.
Google Talk will also be fully transitioning to Hangouts starting the summer. The company says that after June 26, users of Talk in Gmail will be automatically transitioned to Hangouts. Also, Google says XMPP federation with third-party providers will no longer be supported as of June 26th and the Google Talk app for Android will soon cease functioning.
Google also says it will soon be retiring several Gmails Labs features:
So in the coming weeks, we will retire the following Labs: Authentication Icon, Google Voice Player, Picasa previews, Pictures in chat, Quick Links, Quote Selected Text, Smartlabels, and Yelp previews. (Expected: No earlier than April 24, 2017)
Finally, Google is retiring a couple of legacy Google+ features that have long lived in Gmail (although it’s likely most people haven’t used them in a very long time):
As part of our continued effort to focus Google+ around shared interests, we’re retiring two legacy Google+ features in Gmail: the ability to email Google+ profiles and the use of Google+ Circles. (Expected: No earlier than April 24, 2017)
As always, you can see overview of these changes and more that might affect you or your organization over at the G Suite website.