Google plans to drop SMS integration from Hangouts

Jos

TS Evangelist

Earlier this month Google announced some upcoming changes to its messaging strategy that will see the creation of two new versions of Hangouts: Hangouts Meet, a video conferencing product, and Hangouts Chat which is a new business focused communications too that aims to take on the likes of Slack and Hipchat. Although the current Hangouts app isn’t going away just yet, Google plans to start taking away some of its capabilities, starting with the removal of SMS functions.

According to an email sent to GSuite administrators and subsequently posted to Reddit, Google will remove the SMS messaging feature from Hangouts on May 22. Hangouts users will reportedly be notified of this change via an in-app message starting March 27, and prompted to select a new default messaging app from the ones that are installed on the phone or to download a new one.

If you are a Google Voice users you will still be able to send SMS texts from both Hangouts or the Google Voice app, just not using your carrier number anymore, only your Voice number.

The company is likely trying to remove any associations Hangouts has with traditional SMS messaging, so it can position Hangouts Chat as more of a business collaboration tool, and leaving carrier SMS texts to the native Android Messages client or Allo — yes, Google’s messaging strategy has been a kind of a mess over the last few years and the company is trying to correct course.

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OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
Thank you! I use Hangouts for Voicemail (because the Google Voice app sucks for multiple reasons) and I never use the sms stuff since other sms apps have WAY more customizability. I am however sad to see there won't be a standard way to contact people gmail to gmail account anymore though unless they start with a gtalk app or something.
 

matrix86

TS Guru
..........has Google learned nothing? They just keep cluttering themselves up with apps and then end up scrapping them a few years later (or sooner...If anyone here remembers Wave, lol).

I'm still waiting for sms integration in Allo and also combining Allo and Duo. People want simplicity. Switching apps is not simplicity. Put it all into one. However, I guess the plus side to them being separate is that if you never use Duo, that means you have more storage. Integrate them and you now have a much larger app where you only use half the features......and now I've rambled off topic, lol.
 

MannerMauler

TS Addict
Thank you! I use Hangouts for Voicemail (because the Google Voice app sucks for multiple reasons) and I never use the sms stuff since other sms apps have WAY more customizability. I am however sad to see there won't be a standard way to contact people gmail to gmail account anymore though unless they start with a gtalk app or something.
I still miss the ability to draw on you or your friend face or play warlight. Wish they didn't remove apps from the video mode Hangout. Yeah, I think there's still a workaround for it but it's hard to find, and difficult to get your friends who aren't tech savvy to use the workaround. Even then, this workaround will stop working if it hasn't already.
 

docbillingsley

TS Member
What about Project Fi users?

Also, they really need to settle on a gameplan for Hangouts/Gchat/Whatever it will be called next, and stick with it.
 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
If they honestly think Allo is going to fill that void, they're wrong. I don't know anyone who uses Allo, let alone anyone that's even heard of it. There is nothing about Allo that will draw in any real users. Even if they integrate SMS into the app, I think it's far too dead to get any kind of real traction anymore. If they honestly want to fix this mess and still have their hearts seat on destroying Hangouts, they need to build a new messenger all together with every feature that users want. Rushing a partially functional app to the market is ridiculous.