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There’s a popular Google app you should stop using right now

Published Aug 30th, 2021 5:07PM EDT
Google Hangouts
Image: ipopba/Adobe

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One of the cooler things about Google is that the company has no qualms about launching new services and apps in an effort to see what sticks. It is nice, after all, to see a company as big as Google willing to take risks. The downside to this approach, however, is that it can often lead to a convoluted product line. Indeed, this is something we’ve seen with Google’s approach to messaging over the past few years. From GChat and Google Chat to Google Hangouts and Allo, Google’s history of messaging apps is downright confusing.

To that point, it’s worth mentioning that yet another Google messaging app is poised to shut down soon. This time, we’re talking about Google Hangouts. I’ve had Google Hangouts on my phone for years, but the app is unfortunately not long for this world.

Google Hangouts has been on the chopping block for a while

At the very least, the sunsetting of Google Hangouts shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. In fact, reports that the classic version of Google Hangouts was set to be shuttered stretch all the way back to 2018.

Google is booting users off the service

Google wants users to migrate to Google Chat. In turn, the company in recent weeks started kicking off signed-in users. In turn, impacted users are unable to use the service or even receive notifications. And while there is a workaround such that users can rejoin Hangouts, the writing is clearly on the wall. In short, if you’re a Google Hangouts user, you’d be well-advised to stop using the app and switch to Chat.

Google is getting serious about the transition

Again, Google Hangouts has been on the way out for a while now. Still, Google is finally getting serious about phasing it out once and for all. To this point, if you go to Google’s Hangouts website, there’s a message at the top that reads:

Hangouts is being replaced by Google Chat

Your conversations from the last year are already in Chat, and older conversations will be available later

The benefits of using Google Chat

Google writes that Google Chat has many of the familiar Hangouts features along with a few extras. Some additional features include send to inbox, faster search, emoji reactions, and suggested replies.

Google also writes that Chat enables users to “more easily plan with others on goals and similar interests, share and collaborate on files, and assign tasks to help keep everyone on the same page.”

Beyond that, Google adds that Chat has built-in phishing protection, similar to what’s already available with Gmail.

And once you make the switch, Google writes: “To ensure a smooth transition, we will help automatically migrate your Hangouts conversations, along with contacts and saved history.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.