Google to migrate users from Hangouts to Chat in 2021
The search giant’s Chat service will be available for free, and integrated within Gmail.
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Google will begin migrating Hangouts users to Chat in the first half of 2021. Users’ conversations, contacts and saved history in Hangouts will be moved to Chat.
The search giant’s Chat service will be available for free, and integrated within Gmail. It will also function as a standalone app.
Chat includes features similar to Hangouts such as direct and group messaging. Additionally, it will have ‘send to inbox’, faster search, emoji reactions, and suggested replies options.
“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,” Google said in a blog post.
Chat features the same phishing protections as Gmail, so if a link is sent via Chat, it will be checked against real-time data from Safe Browsing and flagged if it’s found to be malicious, it added.
Google said it has seen more users shift away from using Hangouts to manage their texting and calling needs, so it is doing away with Fi support (Google’s carrier service in the US) in Hangouts. It will move users to Google Messages app on Fi.
The search engine giant will enable its users to make voice calls and check voicemail from Messages for web, manage conversations from Messages across devices, and migrate their existing Hangouts conversations.
Similarly, for Voice users, it will direct Hangout Voice users to the Voice app and remove Voice support in Hangouts early next year.
Additionally, due to new telecommunications regulations in the EU and U.S. beginning in 2021, Google will remove the call phones feature in Hangouts. In November, the company will update the group video calling experience in Hangouts with Meet.