Google Hangouts Overview Updated April 1, 2021

Google Hangouts

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173 'Google Hangouts' stories

July 2011 - April 2021

Hangouts was announced at I/O 2013 and combined the company’s disparate messaging platforms into one unified product. It includes the text elements of Google Talk and Google+ Messenger/Huddle, as well as the video portion of Google+ Hangouts.

Hangouts allows for group conversations with two or more people and can be accessed through Android and iOS apps, as well as the web in Gmail or the dedicated Hangouts site. Users can send images, video, stickers, and location, in addition to having group video calls with multiple people.

Until recently, Hangouts was the default messaging app on Android and handled SMS text messages. However, Google began pushing users to the dedicated Messenger SMS app and is introducing a new messaging app called Allo to replace the messaging parts of Hangouts and Duo for video.

Despite the new apps, Google has noted that Hangouts will remain as the company’s messaging solution for corporate customers.

Google Hangouts Stories April 1

Back in October, Google detailed how it would move users of its previous messaging app to alternate services in 2021. As part of the migration, Google has shut down classic Hangouts integration with both Google Voice and Fi.

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Google Hangouts Stories March 9

Last month, Google started rolling out a free version of Google Chat ahead of classic Hangouts going away. The “early preview” of Google’s latest consumer messaging service is now widely appearing for more users.

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Google Hangouts Stories February 25

Classic Hangouts will no longer be able to ‘call phones’ in March, credit refunds under way

Classic Hangouts has long had a “Call Phones” feature, but it’s officially shutting down next month with refunds available now. Google last year announced it was removing the capability ahead of new US and EU telecommunication regulations, as well as the service’s broader deprecation. 

Google Hangouts Stories February 24

A free version of Google Chat is officially set to arrive in the first half of 2021. As we spotted earlier this month, Google is starting the Hangouts migration with a “preview of the new Chat” for free, personal accounts.

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Google Hangouts Stories February 10

For over two years now, we’ve known that Google was planning to kill off their classic Hangouts app in favor of opening Google Chat to those without Google Workspace. With the migration set to take place in the first half of 2021, Google Chat is preparing a beta test to open the app for Hangouts users to preview.

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Google Hangouts Stories January 14

Google told Fi subscribers last year that classic Hangouts would no longer support texting or calling in January. A week before the deadline, Google has pushed back that deadline for MVNO subscribers to March.

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