With the spread of the coronavirus not appearing to slowdown, it means that staying at home and avoiding crowded places is probably the best way to go about protecting yourself. In fact, companies like Google are taking precautions by sending employees home so that they can work remotely.
Google has been gradually moving away from Hangouts over the past couple of years. It will be transitioning G Suite users from the classic Hangouts service this year. The same change would also be made for individual users after that. Hangouts continues its march towards its eventual demise as the Wear OS app now bites the dust.
As some of you might have heard, a report from 2018 had suggested that Google would be looking to shutdown Hangouts Classic, where the features from the platform would be eventually merged with Hangouts Chat and Meet, both of which were launched sort of as the enterprise successor to Hangouts Classic.
One of the features that Google has been introducing to its apps is Smart Reply. Basically for those unfamiliar, this is where the feature suggests replies to messages based on the content. We’ve seen this feature applied to Google’s email services, and last we heard, Google was interested in bringing it onto more of its platforms.
Recently there have been reports about the fate of Google Hangouts. An initial report from 9to5Google suggested that Google could be shutting Hangouts down in 2020, which Google later (sort of) refuted by claiming that they have yet to decide on a timeline for Hangouts, and that users will eventually be migrated to Hangouts Chat and Meet.
Earlier it was reported that Google Hangouts would be shutting down in the future. Given that Google had decided to make the platform more business-centric, transitioning customers over to apps like Allo and Duo and Android Messages, this did not come as a surprise (although Google has yet to officially announce/confirm a timeframe).
For the longest time ever, Google Hangouts was Google’s messenger platform where users could use it to chat with friends on their phones, via the dedicated website app, or even use it within other apps such as Gmail. However back in 2016, Google announced that Hangouts would be transitioning more towards business users, although it seems that might not be the case anymore.
Following Google’s decision to make its Hangouts platform more business-centric, the company later announced that they will be launching Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, with the latter being Google’s take on Slack which has been designed to be a communications platform for the workspace.
There are a few companies out there who have apps that are dedicated for business communications, such as Slack. Clearly Google sees a huge potential in the enterprise market which is why you might recall that the company was looking to transition its Hangouts platform into one designed more for business use.
It seems that in addition to Google killing off SMS integration with Hangouts, there will be additional services that Google will be sunsetting, and one of those is Google Talk. However all is not lost because while Google Talk will be shutting down, Google has announced that it will be integrated into Hangouts instead, so there is always that option if you’re interested.
Earlier it was reported that Google had started sending out emails to users informing them that SMS integration with Hangouts would be coming to an end. For those who are wondering how official this announcement is, Google has since confirmed on their blog that this indeed will be happening over the course of the next couple of months.
With Google launching Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat that are clearly aimed more at enterprise users, for a brief moment there were some who were probably worried that the consumer version of Hangouts would be killed, although this is something that Google has since reassured will not happen.
Just the other day Google announced Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, two new services that are based on Google’s Hangouts platform that are aimed more towards enterprise users. This is in line with Google’s claims last year that Hangouts would now be focused more towards business users.
About a week ago Google quietly launched a new service called “Meet by Hangouts”. Not much was known about it since only the website was available, but from what we could tell it appeared to be some video conferencing platform based around Hangouts that was clearly aimed at the enterprise sector.