Text "Goodbye" to the SMS feature of Hangouts.
Google is reportedly dropping the text service from its communication tool Hangouts on Android. In a leaked email sent by Google to its G-Suite administrators, Google outlined the termination of the SMS feature on May 22. This move is seen as part of Google's efforts to refocus Hangouts as a workplace communication tool to challenge the new app Slack developed by Microsoft.
Google has a slew of messaging services aside from Hangouts. It already has the video-centric Duo, and it recently launched Allo, its official chat messaging app. Meanwhile, Android Messages has replaced Messenger as Android phones's default messaging app.
Hangouts Says Bye To SMS
In an email circulated by Google to its administrators, Google is dropping the SMS feature effective May 22. The company outlined what the users will expect and do moving forward. The users will receive an in-app message on the said date.
Hangouts SMS users on Android will be asked to use another messaging app on their phones. If they don't have any, they will be prompted to go to Google Play Store to download one. All messages will be accessible in this new app, and it will not affect the existing messages.
For those who use SMS via Google Voice on Hangouts, they will likewise be prompted to get a new messaging app. The Google Voice messages will be retained and accessible in Google Hangouts.
As for those who use Google Voice Hangouts on Android, good news since they will not be affected: only the SMS services will be taken down. They won't receive a prompt in turn.
And lastly, for non-SMS users on Hangouts on Android, they will obviously get no notification.
Hangouts Goes Meet And Chat
The dropping of the SMS feature is seen as a natural move for Hangouts as it consolidates its efforts to be a workplace communications and business enterprise tool. The surge of the business chat app Slack by Microsoft prompted Google to tighten the specialization of its myriad of chat apps, including Hangouts.
Recently in a conference, Google announced that Hangouts has been repackaged as two services: Meet and Chat. Hangouts Meet is a new collaborative video messaging / meeting service designed to engage people to do face-to-face meetings, or in Hangouts's new purpose, do business meetings via video chat. Google describes it as making "joining meetings effortless."
Hangouts Chat is Google's attempt to take on Slack. It is a collaborative messaging tool that lets people do joint discussions on projects, through sharing of information and work, as well as assigning tasks and discussing results.