Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL phones come shipped with Hangouts disabled out of the box by default, leaving Google's new chat application, Allo, to take center stage. Given the focus that Google wants to put on Google Assistant, which Allo is ingrained with throughout, it makes sense that Google would put Hangouts on the back burner and shine the spotlight on Allo. Again, this is something which a lot of consumers who have been following Google's latest product efforts were probably already suspecting, but according to Chrome Unboxed who has posted a screenshot of the Pixel's Play Store app in the "my apps" section, it shows Hangouts as disabled, essentially confirming the above-mentioned suspicions.
What's important to note is that even though Google seems to want the focus to be on Allo instead of Hangouts, there's nothing stopping a user from re-enabling Hangouts if they want to use it. Both apps, while offering some of the same things, can serve a purpose and there are likely more than a few users who are chatting it up through both of Google's apps. Google has also confirmed that Hangouts is going to continue being an offered chat service, so for those who use it primarily and may even not care for Allo, the good news is that Google isn't taking away your ability to continue on with the app.
That said, Hangout has taken on a more prominent role in Google's Apps for Work package and it's likely that Google will be targeting Hangouts a lot more like a company communication tool in the future. Google's Pixel and Pixel XL, which were officially announced back on October 4th, are due to ship in the very near future as the Google Store placed the phones about two weeks out from the pre-order date. This is of course, not the case for some, like Telstra customers for example, as it was reported that some lucky customers who subscribe to the carrier received their phones in the mail early. With Google Assistant-powered Allo front and center on the new phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL should be quite capable in the AI department, especially considering they will also come with a more enhanced version of Google Assistant that works device-wide and not just within the Allo app.