11 April 2019
Google has announced an update for its G Suite customers and it’s about the sunset of Hangouts. A report came back in December last year by 9to5Google citing its sources stated that Hangouts will be upgraded to Meet and Chat as it's shutting down. However, later on, the report received a bit of the criticism from Google’s Scott Johnston as he called it “pretty shoddy” which could make the customers jump to conclusions. However, he did say that Hangout users will be upgraded to Hangouts Chat and Meet. Well, turned out that a part of the report is true, at least for a few as starting October 2019, Hangouts will start retiring for the G Suite customers.
So, it’s fair to believe that in the first wave, only G Suite Hangouts customers will be transitioned to the Chat and Meet apps. It’s worth noting that Google won’t kill off Hangouts for regular users until those G Suite customers are all transitioned to new apps and start comfortably using them. But, do expect to get it killed for the regular customers as well somewhere in 2020.
Google while sharing the timeframe of the retirement of Hangouts also said, between April and September 2019, features from classic Hangouts will come to Chat.
In April, a new setting in the Admin console under Apps> G Suite > Hangouts Chat will be added so that the customers can disable classic Hangouts user interfaces. Also, the "Google Hangouts" settings page in the Admin console will be renamed "Hangouts Meet."
As the names imply, the Google Hangouts Chat is a messaging app and Meet is the video conferencing app launched back in March 2017. The Hangouts Chat may bring iMessage-like capabilities to the default SMS app in every Android smartphone.
The news on Hangouts is retiring started to come quite early and the announcement from Google comes as a no surprise for us.