Google over the years, has had several messaging applications, like Google Talk and Google Voice. Some of them have been praised by users ever since their launch for being more than functional. But then, came Hangouts; a new messaging service that at first sight, showed great potential, the application had some amazing features planned for it, some of which included notification sync across all platforms, videoconferences up to ten people, and SMS support; there was nothing that this new app, Google presented as the "future of messaging", was missing. Now, it seems the internet giant is not so sure about Hangouts functionality, as Google itself recommends that users planning to make use of the new Project Fi network service, switch to Messenger for their SMS needs.
Back when Hangouts was released almost two years ago, users quickly began to experience numerous issues with the application; the first being notification sync (Hangout's main feature) not working properly, followed by SMS support being poorly implemented, among other major problems. Google then quietly rolled out yet another messaging application, simply named, Messenger. At first, many users were confused as to why would Google develop an app that would further segregate their own messaging services; Hangouts was still the service that Google recommended their users to utilize, for the company, it was still the "future of messaging". That was until Google's new hybrid network, Project Fi, was announced.
Inside Project Fi's support page, there is a section named "Using Hangouts with Project Fi" which states that while Hangouts is fine for calls, it is still underdeveloped for use with SMS and MMS, "For now, we recommend using Messenger as the default SMS app. There are a few features, like group messaging, that aren't supported in Hangouts yet". This is the first time that Google seems to address one of the issues surrounding Hangouts and advises to better use another app of their own. Messenger manages to be an extremely functional app for everything that has to do with SMS and MMS, after all, that's its main purpose. Google's own Messenger is without a doubt, updated in a more regular basis than Hangouts, which has led some users to believe that the Hangouts app is heading towards a major update sometime in the future, maybe fixing every issue that users have been suffering from since launch day and adding up every feature that Messenger has implemented.