Google Hangouts Overview Updated March 28, 2017

Google Hangouts

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140 Google Hangouts stories

July 2011 - March 2017


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 March 28

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Google announced last week that it intends to deprecate SMS functionality in Hangouts, and now an update is rolling out which prepares users of the messaging platform to switch SMS apps. Hangouts 18 doesn’t seem to have any functional changes, but it does add the necessary components to help educate users on the forthcoming transition…

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Google Hangouts Stories March 24

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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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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Google Hangouts Stories March 23

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Earlier this month, Google finally announced its rebranded Hangouts Chat focussed on the enterprise. With the company also showing renewed focus on Android Messages as the platform’s defacto RCS client, it makes sense for Hangouts to eventually lose its SMS capabilities. In an email reportedly sent to G Suite administrators, that change will take place in May.

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Google Hangouts Stories March 10

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Google unveiled its new enterprise-focused Hangouts apps yesterday, but that announcement leaves the big question of what will happen to the current consumer app (which many people use every day). At least for now, Google’s Head of Product for Allo and Duo says that the current consumer Hangouts is “not going anywhere.”

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Google Hangouts Stories March 9

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Earlier today Google filled us in on its plan to bring Hangouts to the Enterprise. Essentially, Google will refocus Hangouts so as to provide G Suite customers with a Slack alternative. This change, though, will remove much of the current app’s core functionality that users rely on.

So now that Google is changing up Hangouts (and assuming the current app goes away), what app do you plan to switch to for your IM and SMS needs?

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With the launch of Allo and Duo, Google telegraphed last year that Hangouts would be moving to a more enterprise focus. Today, the service is finally seeing that major revamp, with the app being split into Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. The former is a Slack-like group chat tool, while the latter improves the video conferencing experience.

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