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It's not just you, a bunch of Google services were having issues

If you are having trouble loading Gmail or a YouTube video tonight, you aren't alone. A whole ton of Google services were having problemsGoogle Drive, Hangouts, Stadia, the Play Store, and even Nest were all affected, though reports indicate the issue has since resolved.

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Hangouts users shouldn't panic about mysterious 'FCM' notifications

Google Hangouts might not be as popular as it once was, but there are still plenty of people hanging on to it. A good number of Hangouts users across the globe received some strange notifications yesterday, which may be linked to a vulnerability in Google's Firebase platform.

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New Google Voice bug is fumbling inbound calls for some

If you use Google Voice, but are still able to catch most of your calls with your primary device, you may have encountered some funny behavior where they either pop up quickly, then disappear, and then either ring the phone again or move onto their other linked devices. The company has acknowledged the problem and, unfortunately, says it'll be sticking around for a while. Here's what you can do to get around it.

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Hangouts conversations appearing in Google Chat for some non-G Suite Google accounts

The long-awaited transition from Google Hangouts to Google Chat began earlier this year for G Suite users, but signs that the change has also started for general Google accounts have also been spotted. Some folks are seeing Hangouts messages from plain old non-G Suite accounts appearing in Google Chat.

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Full migration from Hangouts to Google Chat is now available for G Suite admins

The transition from Hangouts to Google Chat was always going to be long and arduous, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The latest step for G Suite admins is now available, allowing them to set Chat as the preferred messaging service for their organization. This will finally make Chat the default and only messaging app within Gmail and move users away from the Hangouts apps they've become accustomed to.

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How to turn your smartphone into a professional Zoom webcam: Mounts, lights, and more

While you'd think that the world's webcam supply chain would have caught up with demand from the many millions of folks working from home by now, you'd be wrong. Logitech is still sold out of every model it makes online, and questionable cheap webcams popping up here and there on Amazon probably aren't a wise investment. But you do have a professional webcam at home, you just may have forgotten about it: your smartphone. With a few simple gadgets, you make your phone into a pro videoconferencing rig in a snap, and be the envy of everyone at the virtual office.

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Google finally begins the transition from Hangouts to Google Chat

Google's messaging strategy continues to perplex us all, but perhaps there's some light at the end of the tunnel? Everyone working on communication tools at Google was recently brought into a single unified team, which will hopefully lead to more consolidated efforts in the future (we can but hope). And another step on the road to finally doing away with the old Hangouts has been announced. G Suite users are now able to see their classic Hangouts conversations in Google Chat so everything is in one place.

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Google reorganizes all its messaging services under one team

Google's strategy around messaging and communication applications is in a constant state of flux, an issue that has only been made worse by the isolated teams working on Duo, Hangouts Chat/Meet, and other products. While the numerous messaging applications might not be going away anytime soon, the teams behind them are finally operating under one roof.

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Google Meet will be free for everyone, starting in May

The artist formerly known as Hangouts Meet has seen a number of welcome improvements in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but until now only G Suite users have been able to use it free of charge. Google has just announced in a blog post that this restriction is being lifted, however, and anyone with a Gmail account will be able to use Google Meet for absolutely nothing.

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Hangouts Chat following rebranded Google Meet, becoming Google Chat

Google announced last year that the Hangouts service we know and love would be winding down, but two new business-oriented tools took its name ⁠— Hangouts Meet (video conferencing) and Hangouts Chat (room-based messaging). However, Hangouts Meet officially became Google Meet earlier this week, and now the Chat application will receive the same treatment.

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