Google’s technique round its messaging apps is nothing if not messy proper now (good day Hangouts, Meet, Chat, Duo and Co.), however it appears to be like like issues will get a bit simpler come subsequent yr. We already knew that Hangouts’ time was coming to an finish and as Google announced as we speak, the corporate will permit all present Hangouts customers emigrate to Chat — which was initially meant to solely be its Slack-like messaging service for enterprise customers — within the first half of 2021.
One attention-grabbing wrinkle right here: Chat will now additionally turn out to be free to make use of for shoppers. Presently, you need to be a paying G Suite/Workspace person to entry the service (although someway it’s enabled on my free private account).
Whereas Chat isn’t a precise 1-to-1 alternative of Hangouts, it truly provides a bunch of extra options for group chats and collaboration round recordsdata and duties, in addition to new safety instruments. Chat, along with Rooms and Meet, can even be built-in deeply into the Gmail app as a part of Google’s Workspace migration.
Google says it’s going to routinely migrate all Hangouts conversations, contacts and historical past to Chat, however it’s not offering particulars about this but. Last timing, Google says, should still shift. It’s not clear, although, when Google will power everybody emigrate and shut down the Hangouts servers for good.
There are a couple of extra particulars right here: in the event you use Hangouts with Google Fi, Hangouts help will go away ‘early subsequent yr.’ Historically, Fi customers have been in a position to make calls and handle their textual content messages from Hangouts. That have will migrate to Google’s Messages app.
For those who’re a Google Voice person, there’s the same transition taking place. For voice calls and textual content messages, Hangouts customers will now be directed to the Voice app and early subsequent yr, your Voice help shall be faraway from Hangouts.
And for all customers within the U.S. and Europe, the power to name telephones from Hangouts will disappear in the beginning of subsequent yr — and group video calls in Hangouts will transition to Meet in November.
Yeah — that each one sounds sophisticated, however it’s an issue of Google’s personal making. A number of years in the past, the concept was to maneuver Hangouts customers to its Allo and Duo apps and enterprise customers to Chat and Meet (or no matter they have been known as again then). Allo flopped (and few folks use Duo), leaving Google with the unenviable process of preserving the getting old Hangouts platform round for the foreseeable future and making the general transition tougher and extra sophisticated, to the purpose the place I’m undecided that customers actually perceive what’s taking place.
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