Google is urging users away from Hangouts and to Chat instead
Google has made it clear that Hangouts is going away. Now, they are starting to take steps to implement this change by urging users to begin using Google Chat instead. This is also not coming as a subtle move, but rather more forceful. Free Hangouts users will soon not be able to log in to Hangouts. Instead, they will receive a message recommending that the user moves to Chat.
At the moment, you can still bypass the message and continue to use Google Hangouts, but that will not be the case for much longer. Google has announced that from 16 August, Hangouts users will start losing features if they haven’t migrated to Chat by that point. Enterprise customers have a bit more time with Hangouts, as they only need to change over towards the end of 2021.
Google notes that all of your previous Hangouts conversations will also be migrated to the new Chat app in Gmail. All conversations from the last year are already visible when you log into the Chat app, and messages older than a year will be coming soon, revealed the tech giant.
Unfortunately, this migration is not going as smoothly as anyone would have wanted. Since the prompt started appearing, Hangouts fans have bombarded the Chat listing in the Play Store with negative reviews.
Currently, the review score lies at a measly 2.8-star rating, with most of the recent reviews leaving only one or two stars. And the complaints levied by users appear valid and legitimate. At the moment, the new Chat app just doesn’t offer the same level of features like Hangouts. And users have pointed this out in their reviews. Reviews are pointing out that the new Chat app is missing customization options, stickers, a dedicated gallery with media, SMS support, and it doesn’t even allow you to send more than one media image per message.
However, this isn’t the only concerning part. Google had often switched apps when the new one wasn’t on par with the replacing app. YouTube music is an excellent example of this. Unlike with YouTube music though, Google has made no promises to address these issues or to bring these features to the Chat app in the future. In fact, even their responses to the reviews on the Play Store are vague and don’t offer any resolutions at this point.
Hangouts is starting to die right in front of us, and many avid users are frustrated by the forceful push to the new Chat app. It will be interesting to see if Google will be listening to the reviews they are receiving and addressing the issue by bringing more useful (and some basic) features to the new app. For now, users can only make the change or lose their chat history while looking for another suitable replacement.Advertisement