Google Hangouts Overview Updated August 10, 2020

Google Hangouts

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163 'Google Hangouts' stories

July 2011 - August 2020

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 10

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

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

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

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

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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