In March 2017, Google announced that Hangouts would split into Meet and Chat apps, kicking off what has been a long, slow road to shutdown for the original version of the platform. Almost two years later, we now have an official timetable for the winding-down of the well-used service as Google attempts to wrestle a bigger share of the team communication market away from competitors like Slack. The timeline begins with the slow transition of G Suite users from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet this year, followed by a consumer transition, which will likely begin late in 2020. Read More
For the last few years (since Google launched and the effectively killed Allo), Hangouts has been slowly dying. Bits of it have been broken off, and others were outright killed. According to a report by 9to5Google's Stephen Hall, its days are very literally numbered. The service is expected to shutter in the not-so-far-off year 2020. Read More
With all the different apps and services Google offers, you've got no shortage of choices for how to get in touch with people, ranging from a simple email to a video call. And while all those options let us pick the most appropriate method for a given circumstance, sometimes accessing a particular one isn't as streamlined as we'd hope it would be — and that's especially true when we're looking at the intersection between more than one of these services. Today we're hoping to shed a little light on one of the less-intuitive corners of Google's communication infrastructure, as we check out how to send Hangouts messages through Google+. Read More
Hey, remember that time when a Hangouts update added a shruggie code? How about a month later when the following version expanded to a whole library of ASCII and emoji shortcodes? Then that time about a year later when a few more were dropped in. Look, I'm not trying to draw a parallel between shortcodes in Hangouts and the stickers in Allo, but... #inb4. But seriously, the cool thing about the one and only easter egg phrase added to the latest Hangouts is IT'S F*#&)@& ZOIDBERG! Read More
Do you find yourself thinking Google Hangouts would be perfect if it only had a few more secret shortcodes to make emoticon art? No, I didn't think so. I guess that means today's update to Hangouts probably won't convince anybody that it has hit the pinnacle of excellence; but it will give us five more easter egg phrases, if that helps. Read More
Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.
Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into standalone apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps. Read More
Earlier this year Google's VP of Communications, Nick Fox, declared Hangouts would be refocused on the enterprise market where it had found much more adoption. Ironically, the couple of updates since that statement haven't exactly screamed professionalism, or even added much of anything particularly relevant to the workplace. That changes with v14, which cleans up and improves various aspects of group chats. This version also enables app shortcuts (formerly Launcher Shortcuts) for use on Android 7.1 and makes a few other tweaks, as well. Read More
In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.
Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.
This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup. Read More
Forget video messaging, direct share, and whatever happened here. The most important update in Hangouts history finally happened and you're all here to witness it. The Master of Meh has come to Hangouts for Android and really wants you to know it's all okay. It's Shruggie! Yep, the latest update brings Google's greatest non-easter egg to the messaging screen in all its unconcerned glory. You're honor-bound to get the update immediately and begin showing just how unimportant things are to you, too. Read More