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Google announces the sunset of the Hangouts

Illustration for article titled Google Hangouts officially bites the dust

graphic:: Google

Google announced in a today Company blog post that the die-hard people who currently remain on the Hangouts messaging platform will officially get the boat. Starting in early 2021, the company will take steps to automatically migrate the chat history and contacts of all Hangouts to the Google Workspace-enabled alternative Google Chat.

While the exact timing of the transition is yet to be “determined”, it is clear that sometime in the first half of next year some of the core parts of Hangouts will simply be scrapped. Google Fi, the company Alternative to conventional mobile phone providersno longer supports Hangouts calls or texts. Instead, Google Fi users suggests Requirements can be met with the company’s response to Apple’s iMessage, which is helpful called Google news. Then there are Google Voice users who could use Hangouts to make calls. It’s gotten a little trickier.

“New telecommunications regulations will be introduced in the EU and the US from 2021,” explains Google on the blog and adds that the call function must be completely discontinued at the beginning of next year. These users, the company continues, are slowly being brought to them Google’s voice platform sometime before that happens.

While the company has not responded to our request for comment on the regulations it is referring to here, there is a good chance this relates to some of the new protocols the FCC introduced for telecommunications companies this coming summer. The SHAKEN / STIRRED protocolit is said to go against the current Scourge of Robocalls by enabling telecommunications to ensure that a phone’s caller ID matches the actual registered phone number. This can be tricky when this call is routed through the Google systems.

This news is not necessarily unexpected. Google was the first in early 2019 severed Connections between the chat app and its corporate customers – people who then used Hangouts through GSuite, which it later did Become a Google Workspace. The plan was for these customers to be pushed into Google’s Slack-like messaging app, Meet. Google at the time told These customers felt that the non-paying audience in the Hangouts app while they first got started wouldn’t have stayed in the app themselves for long and would soon bump into a free downloadable version of Meet or a free version of the chat to download.

Because Google started a total of 10 – count them 10– Messaging apps I’m sure this news will bring relief to some readers over the years. But it is also like that some kind of pain to others. Chat, for example, was clearly designed with power Keeping users in mind, rather than casual conversations, according to the company’s blog post:

Chat makes it easier to plan goals and similar interests with others, share files and collaborate, and assign tasks to keep everyone on the same page.

As it sounds, Chat seems like an extension of Meet: another workplace chat platform for chats at work, large and small. In other words, it sounds like moving to more workplace-friendly platforms isn’t just a way to tone down the unwieldy cCollection of messaging apps, but to come after the mainstays in the workplace like Slack.

But then there is those of us who regularly used hangouts to … hang out. In my case, Hangouts was my favorite chat app from home for the first few months of hell when the only way to get in touch with anyone was to socialize Make contacts via apps. ONEt the time Hangout calls apparently couldn’t be hijacked, which was in stark contrast to the Scourge of Zoom bombings that took place in summer (and continues today). Sure, Hangouts weren’t perfect – it’s one Google product Still – but it gave me a lot –needed lifeline for the people I missed when I needed them most, all for free.

And you thought I was kidding.

Google’s linchpin for more buttoned messaging alternatives might satisfy the suits that have been delving into its cause too casual Look and feel, but it also means that Google is foregoing a platform that has tried some pretty unusual things in its 7 year history. What other chat app can you run with adorable ponies at the end of your chat, etc.Ra tiny mob with tiny pitchforks? Would ever wear off pay homage to become one of the best characters Futurama?

Hangouts’ Persistence came from the fact that it was free, easy to use, and seamlessly integrated with all of Google’s properties. It was never designed to be the corporate messaging app of the future, and these suit-friendly apps were never designed for tiny anthropomorphic horses running across the bottom of your texts. With hangouts’ slow march to Google cemetery comes the downfall of the only one Google messaging platform that wasn’t afraid to laugh at itself. REST IN PEACE.

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