Google Hangouts Overview Updated August 6, 2021

Google Hangouts

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177 'Google Hangouts' stories

July 2011 - August 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 August 6

In late 2021, classic Hangouts will stop working for enterprise Workspace customers and only Google Chat will be available. Google is now beginning that process of deprecating the Hangouts app and website for free personal accounts with a warning and sign out.

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Google Hangouts Stories July 19

Google has a multi-stage plan to shut down classic Hangouts and move enterprise Workspace customers to Chat. This latest step in advancing Google Chat adoption takes place next month.

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Google Hangouts Stories July 13

The writing has been on the wall for Google Hangouts for some time now, but soon Hangouts will begin warning of the app’s upcoming shutdown and migration to Chat.

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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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Google Hangouts Stories November 30, 2020

Next year, Google Chat will go free ahead of the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts. The Google Workspace team today is highlighting upcoming changes that will begin to launch later this week.

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Google Hangouts Stories November 25, 2020

Back in October, Google announced that Chat was going free next year as part of the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts. The company detailed several transitions related to this, including a change to group video calling that brings Meet into the existing Hangouts app.

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Google Hangouts Stories October 22, 2020

In addition to announcing a Phone subscription program, Google today emailed Fi subscribers about how to “Move [their] conversations to Messages by Google.” Support documents lay out in detail what to expect and that Fi texting in the Hangouts app will stop working at the start of next year.

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Google Hangouts Stories October 15, 2020

At the tail end of 2018, we reported on Google’s plans to replace Hangouts with Chat and Meet. The company later confirmed the news and has since been moving enterprise users to those two apps. Google is now ready to start detailing how it will transition classic Hangouts users to a free version of Chat.

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Google Hangouts Stories August 10, 2020

In June, the classic Hangouts to Google Chat migration started in earnest for G Suite customers. Free accounts are expected to get transitioned next, and there are now signs that this is underway. Over the past few days, classic Hangouts users are receiving messages in Google Chat.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 23, 2020

In May 2017, the vast majority of Android users lost the ability to use Hangouts as an SMS/MMS client. Google Fi subscribers were exempted, but that support could be coming to an end as the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts nears.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 9, 2020

Last week, Google started migrating G Suite users away from classic Hangouts to Google Chat with the legacy service shutting down in “late 2020” for enterprise. The latest version of Google Voice for Android today provides some insight into the transition for regular users.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 2, 2020

Last August, Google delayed the classic Hangouts transition for G Suite customers into this year. Starting today, admins can migrate their users to Google Chat in earnest and get access to Gmail integration.

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Google Hangouts Stories April 8, 2020

The branding around Hangouts — in 2020, that means Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet — is a mess. Those two brands are derivatives of a pre-existing brand that never made much sense in the first place. In today’s suddenly-video-conferencing-centric world, Google needs to simplify things, and a new support page update suggests that change is finally coming.

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many are using video conferencing to work and learn remotely. For Google, its Meet service is seeing the brunt of use by enterprise and education customers. Classic Hangouts was updated on iOS today with a warning that video quality might be reduced.

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Google Hangouts Stories March 16, 2020

Classic Hangouts is on its way out, though the mandatory transition for G Suite users was delayed to later this year. An update to Hangouts for Android today sees Google remove the ability to share your location.

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Google Hangouts Stories August 21, 2019

Late last year, we broke the news that classic Hangouts was set to be deprecated and replaced by Hangouts Chat and Meet. Google confirmed the news and later provided an October 2019 deadline. Today, the company announced that it’s delaying the transition and eventual death of Hangouts to June 2020.

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Google Hangouts Stories August 2, 2019

Google Hangouts wasn’t critically acclaimed in the way it probably should have been, and as Google’s messaging mess continues, the service is scheduled to eventually split into other products. Hangouts as we know it is on its death bed, but apparently, that isn’t stopping Google from rolling out a new user reporting feature.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 20, 2019

After classic Hangouts is retired for G Suite customers later this year, consumer accounts will also be transitioned to Hangouts Chat and Meet. One casualty of this shutdown is Hangouts On Air, which is “going away later this year.”

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Google Hangouts Stories February 14, 2019

Starting in April, Google will begin winding down Hangouts classic for G Suite and eventually regular users. The latter transition is not set to begin until later this year, with Google working on porting over features to Hangouts Chat. In the meantime, Hangouts for Android was just updated with support for Oreo’s notification channels.

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Google Hangouts Stories January 22, 2019

Alongside initial details on the transition of G Suite users from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat & Meet, Google is also giving us just a little bit more info on the transition from ‘classic’ Hangouts to free Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for consumers.

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Google Hangouts Stories January 7, 2019

[Update: Meet] Google combining classic Hangouts, Hangouts Chat settings for G Suite

Classic Hangouts was originally set to be deprecated in October 2019 for G Suite users. In August, Google delayed the transition for enterprise to June 2020 as the slow migration process continues. For admins today, Google is combining classic Hangouts and Chat policy management.

Google Hangouts Stories December 8, 2018

With all the buzz recently around (the recently dubbed) “Hangouts classic” shutting down, in favor of Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, we took some time as a group to give Hangouts Chat a hands-on trial. Needless to say, things didn’t go smoothly.

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Google Hangouts Stories December 7, 2018

Over the past week, the narrative around Google’s messaging and communication services has been defined by a spate of planned deprecations — both of which 9to5Google first reported about. While older services will be “sunset,” the company’s vision for consumers hasn’t changed much since earlier this year, revolving around RCS “Chat” and Google Duo video calling.

However, complicating this dual-service future now is the newly-revealed fact that the enterprise-focused Hangouts Chat and Meet will also be available to consumers, and that Google Voice is still an active service. This is just the latest in Google’s tangled and sometimes incoherent strategy for simply saying “Hello.”

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Google Hangouts Stories December 5, 2018

Over the past several days, 9to5Google reported that Google was planning to move away from “classic Hangouts” and sunset Google Allo. Amid the discussion about the company’s messaging future, Google today clarified its strategy, and published a definite blog post confirming our two reports.

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Google Hangouts Stories December 2, 2018

According to source familiar with the product’s internal roadmap, Google Hangouts for consumers will be shutting down sometime in 2020. That’s not surprising at all since Google essentially ceased development on the app more than a year ago. But just know, going into 2019, this is indeed your last year to keep using the beloved (?) legacy chat app.

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Google Hangouts Stories December 1, 2018

[Update: Google statement] Hangouts Chat & Hangouts Meet will open to consumers before ‘Hangouts classic’ shuts down

Things are shaking up again in the ever-quaking world of Google’s endless messaging apps. Yesterday, we reported that Google’s Hangouts messaging service would shut down some time in 2020. While one Googler has refuted that timeline, he’s not denied that what he calls the “classic version of Hangouts” is on the way out, and one step of this process is to open Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat to consumers.

Google Hangouts Stories June 4, 2018

Google partners w/ Pexip to bring interoperability between Hangouts Meet & Skype, Cisco, more

As part of a bigger move towards third-part interoperability in G Suite, Google has entered into a partnership with Norwegian companies Pexip and Videxio to introduce interoperability between Hangouts Meet and a variety of video conferencing services.

Google Hangouts Stories August 17, 2017

While many in the Android and Google-fan communities used and loved (well, sometimes loved) Hangouts for messaging others from mobile and desktop, Google is now shifting the app’s focus to enterprise. In its place is Allo, which only started working on the web this week. Although we can’t help you get Hangouts back, we can help you make Allo look similar to the Hangouts web client…

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Google Hangouts Stories August 8, 2017

PSA: It’s not just you, Hangouts is (again) having lots of service interruptions [Updated]

Hangouts is once again experiencing service interruptions. According to a massive number of people reporting the outage on Twitter and DownDetector as well as some testing done in-house, Hangouts does, in fact, appear to be struggling at this time…

Google Hangouts Stories July 13, 2017

Google Hangouts on Android adds five more new emoticon shortcodes

Ahead of its transition to becoming a business tool, many expected Hangouts to be totally neglected in terms of new features. Recently, though, Google decided it was time to add new features to Hangouts for Android in the form of five new emoticon shortcodes, for some reason…

Google Hangouts Stories March 28, 2017

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, 2017

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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Google Hangouts Stories March 23, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

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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Google Hangouts Stories February 28, 2017

meet-2017-02-28-20-14-38

Google has today launched yet another communication app (via TechCrunch), this time for business. It’s called “Meet by Google Hangouts,” and it’s made for high-definition video calls between as many as 30 people. It seems Google may have pushed this live by accident, since its page on the G Suite website still isn’t up. Or perhaps they would just rather keep it quiet…

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Google Hangouts Stories February 27, 2017

Hangouts for Android and desktop updated with redesigned unread message indicators

Even with Allo and a revamped Voice, Google is still actively working on Hangouts and refocusing it towards enterprise use. The latest update to the Android and desktop clients add redesigned unread message indicators to help users quickly jump around in threads.

Google Hangouts Stories January 30, 2017

googlevoice_2017_1

We were recently told by a source that has been reliable in the past (they also tipped us off on VoIP integration coming to Voice, which Google confirmed) that Project Fi support/integration would be one keystone feature for the new Google Voice. That feature obviously didn’t launch last week with the redesigned version 5.0 of the app, but we now have reason to believe that it’s still in the plans…

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Google Hangouts Stories January 26, 2017

Hangouts 16.0 for Android cleans up contacts, removes redundant dedicated list

Fully rolled out, version 16.0 of Hangouts for Android makes some minor changes to how your contacts are displayed. In addition to the generic “bug fixes and performance improvements,” this update removes some redundancies in the interface.

googlevoice_2017_1

While notable, Monday’s update of Google Voice was basically just a Material redesign that lacked any new major functionality. The promise of “regular updates” is more significant, and Google has confirmed to us that one of those upcoming features is VoIP integration.

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Google Hangouts Stories January 13, 2017

As it gears up for enterprise usage, Google makes it easier to create group chats in Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a fantastic service, but little by little, it’s fading into the background like the dozen other Google messaging services before it. However, Google has no plans to kill the service, instead wanting to shift its focus to the enterprise customer. As it does that, it’s also moving the features to best fit that use case.

Google Hangouts Stories January 6, 2017

google_hangouts_2

Following the launch of Google’s umpteenth messaging apps — Allo and Duo — many questioned if Google would keep its Hangouts platform alive. The company was quick to answer that Hangouts would indeed stick around, but would shift its focus to the enterprise user instead of the consumer. Today, we’re seeing the first big change from that new focus, the death of the Hangouts app API…

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