Earlier in 2019, Google announced that they will be phasing out the very popular Hangouts app for users who belong to a G-Suite domain. According to the announcement, the single Hangouts app would be replaced by two apps namely Google Meet (Also called Hangout Meet) and Google Chat.
Now, before we all draw conclusions, let’s understand what G-Suite actually means. So basically, G-Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google Cloud, mainly used in domains. Simply put, if you have a company website, with a custom email id and mailbox, that’s courtesy of G-Suite. We can also call it Google’s corporate plan.
So, if you belong to an Enterprise or an Educational Institute, who uses G-Suite for domain apps and functionality, this change applies to you.
Initially, the Hangouts phase out was scheduled to happen sometime in October 2019, but Google received a lot of fo feedback from users asking for time to prepare their companies for this change. In view of this feedback, Google has announced that the phase-out will formally begin in June 2020.
Now, while this is quite clear on paper, if you head to the app store or play store right now, you will see the Google Meet and Google Chat apps already available for download, and that’s because Google wants enterprises to start the adoption process as early as possible. While they have mentioned that they will be continuing support for standard Hangouts for G-Suite users, it will not be perpetual.
According to reports, support for Hangouts (G-Suite Users), will go on till June 2020, and maybe a little later as well, but no new features will be added on.
What’s new in Google Meet and Google Chat –
Google Meet (Hangouts Meet) is Google’s answer to a professional video conferencing app. Complete with features that let you start a conference, join a conference and schedule a conference, Google Meet has been designed to go head to head against the best in the business.
Google Chat is a group chat app. Built again for enterprises, Google Chat employs a Slack-like approach to Group chat, and that makes it a formidable option for companies around the world. Slack level functionality with the reliability of Google. Instant Win.
So, what about regular users of Hangouts?
Google has announced that as of the moment, support for Hangouts will continue for regular consumers for atleast another year. The priority right now is to make the transition happen across the G-Suite users. Individual users can still use Google Meet and Google Chats if they want, but if you are more comfortable with Hangouts, and don’t want to switch from one app to two, you don’t need to right now.
Right, so, if you want to try out the new Google Meet and Google Chats apps, the links for the Play Store and App Store are given below.