Google hangouts is set to be replaced by chat and meet, but what does that mean exactly let’s explain what it means for you. Thanks for watching 95, google here on youtube, remember to thumbs up hit, subscribe and then tap the bell icon to be among the first to watch our upcoming videos. At the tail end of 2018, we reported on google’s plans to replace hangouts with chat and me. The company later confirmed the news and has since been moving enterprise users to those two applications. Google is now, though, ready to start detailing how it will transition all classic hangouts users to a free version of google chat. This development follows last week’s google, workspace rebrand, which is already available for enterprise customers. Consumers are set to get this integrated offering next year, but naturally already have access to free versions of gmail drive calendar and most recently meet. What will be new, though, to free accounts is google chat with google having yet to properly or extensively detail its plans? That is until now that’s changing today, as google is essentially giving users an early heads up, though their timing may eventually shift similarly to hangouts. The free version of google chat will be usable inside gmail and as a standalone, separate application. Chat itself includes familiar hangouts features like direct and group messaging with helpful additions like center inbox, faster search, emoji reactions and suggested replies. Functionality in this upcoming free version will not differ from what’s available to paying users.

Today, google is positioning the free chat as a collaboration tool for when you want to work with others on personal projects. This includes access to rooms which are larger than group conversations and aimed at teams. In effect, google is offering a more integrated, slack and discord competitor here with google chat. That said, with chat, you can 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, the migration from classic hangouts to a free chat will start in the first half of 2021, with users able to easily move conversation. History and contacts more specific guidance so is coming before the process fully gets underway in the new year. But how does this affect google fi then well, for those using google phi hangouts as it is today, is still intertwined with google’s current messaging applications. Those integrations are set to be unwound, starting with google file. Of course, when support is removed early next year, hangouts will no longer be able to make phi calls or send sms messages. Although google does say that fire users over time have been moving away from classic hangouts to the native dialer and texting applications to further drive that migration messages for web is adding support for making fi voice calls and checking voicemail. In addition to sending messages, one bonus is that this will work even when your phone is off with the ability to migrate existing hangouts conversations also set to come soon to ease this transition.

The new messages by google functionality is coming in the next few weeks. While end users will start to see warnings in october to move away from hangouts, and what about google voice well, you’re right to ask about voice because, as part of this transition, hangouts will no longer ring when you get an incoming google voice call existing users this Month will be prompted to use the google voice app on android ios and the web full time rather than hangouts. This is ahead of voice support being fully removed from hangouts in early next year, but where does this leave the classic hangouts app then? Well, naturally, the most immediate change applies to the standalone, hangouts apps and changes will come into effect from next month. As we have said, google is integrating me into hangouts to provide a more modern calling experience than what’s currently available or offered when making one to one video calls. Users can either ring the other person much like before, or automatically generate and send a google me link for group calls. The only option, starting in november, though, will be using me to achieve the same. Lastly, early next year, hangouts is getting rid of the ability to call domestic and international phone numbers. This is due to the upcoming us and eu regulation, with existing credits being refunded to those that have purchased them. So, while all of that likely isn’t good news for hangouts users and fans, we hope that this brief video has explained just what is happening with the platform and how you are directly affected.

If you want more details, then we have a detailed post explaining the nuances. A little further down in the description below, on top of that, if you have any questions, be sure to pop them in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to answer as many as possible, but until next time this is damien.