G Suite is a collection of tools developed by Google that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts, Google Docs, Google Plus, Google Keep, Jamboard, Google Sites and Google Calendar to name a few tools. The Classic Google Hangouts has been a part of G Suite and this tool was initially released in 2013. This tool in G Suite was available on most platforms like Android, Google Chrome, Chrome OS, iOS and most popular browsers on the internet. Google Hangouts has been in the news over the last few months as it was speculated that Google will retire or stop this tool as part of the G Suite
Google Hangouts is a unified communication service provided by Google. The features of the classic Google Hangouts include text, voice and video messages, video group conference for up to 15 people, instant messaging, and many such features. Now Google is retiring and shutting down its messaging app, Google Hangouts. Along with Google Hangouts, the other tool in the G Suite that the company is shutting down is Allo app which is an instant messaging mobile app.
Timeline For Withdrawal Of Google Hangouts Tool Of G Suite
In January 2019, Google made the announcement on its blog that it will start retiring the classic Google Hangouts tool for G Suite in October 2019. Google formally announced a date so that it gives time to its users to migrate from Google Hangouts to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. These are the two tools introduced by Google to transition the users of Google Hangouts to new types of apps and tools with the same features. Though the company is slowly retiring the tool of Google Hangouts from the G Suite, it will keep Google Hangouts running well into 2020. This is done to help users, especially paying users to gradually transition from Google Hangouts to Google Chat and Google Meet. There will be initial changes that will start in April 2019 and these changes will continue to happen till September 2019.
Changes Between April And September 2019
Google will gradually make changes to the G Suite before it retires Google Hangouts in October 2019. The series of changes include introducing inter-operability of Hangouts Chat via Gmail, web, mobile or chrome extensions. Features from the classic Google Hangouts tools will be gradually incorporated into Hangouts Chat during this period before the company officially starts to retire Google Hangouts in October 2019. Migration of certain features from Google Hangouts to Hangouts Chat will take place during this period. This includes Gmail integration, Google voice calls and chatting with external users. There are plans to completely shut down Google Hangouts for all users in 2020.
G Suite – Work Reimagined (Video Source: G Suite)
Google Hangouts Chat And Google Hangouts Meet
Google Chat is the latest messaging app by Google. Hangouts Chat allows one on one chats and will work on all web browsers and Android and iOS platforms. It will be able to integrate Google Docs and Google Sheets from the G Suite. It integrates the upgrade of Hangouts Video Chat service to provide a better Video Chat experience that can include up to 30 participants. Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated with G Suite and tools like Google Drive and Google Docs can be used in collaboration with Hangouts Chat in G Suite.
Hangouts Meet includes HD Video meetings with up to 50 participants. It is simple frictionless video meetings app by Google that can work with Google Calendar to schedule meetings. It provides easy access and participants can also share links through this app. Google Suite has designed Google Meet to cater to every type of business. Through Google Meet, team members can dial into meetings on the go. This tool is also integrated with other tools in G Suite, especially the Google Calendar.
As G Suite is both a free platform as well as a paid compilation of tools for businesses, it is not immediately transitioning Google Hangouts to Google Hangouts Chat and Google Hangouts Meet. It will gradually retire this Google Suite tool and migrate most of its features to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. The users will have over a year to adjust to these changes as Google looks to streamline its communications businesses.