Google Hangouts continues to remain active but it surely doesn't have much of a future. The app is losing one after another feature and the newest to go out is location sharing.
Google released an update to Hangouts for Android earlier this week. However, unlike the case with other apps, which usually get new features, improvements, or bug fixes with every update, the new version of Hangouts for Android strips an important feature of it: the location-sharing feature is gone.
The new, version 32.0 of the app no longer lets users share their location from within the app. The feature was there for years and Google now removing it only hints at the inevitable – Hangouts is on its way out.
The app is long reported to be shutting down this year. And ahead of the impending closure, Google is slowly stripping it of features.
Hangouts dropped SMS support in May last year. Google then removed the custom ring and chat message tones from the app as well.
Now, Hangouts has lost the option to share your location. The only major addition Google has made to Hangouts in recent months is the user reporting feature that was introduced last August.
Maybe Google wants Hangouts users to switch to other alternatives before it kills the service. The web giant is reportedly working on a new messaging app that combines Gmail, Hangouts Meet/Chat, and Drive. The company will likely launch the new app before it decides to call time on Hangouts.
Google Hangouts lose location sharing
Like most other messaging apps, Hangouts also used to let users share their current location at the push of a button. Surely, it was very rudimentary and was probably not a frequently used feature, but having it handy helped. Now that it's gone, Hangouts users are left with having to depend on Google Maps.
This cumbersome method requires users to first open Google Maps, find the location, and then click the share button. From the menu, users can select Hangouts and then select the contact with whom they want to share their location.
Released way back in 2013, Hangouts was once a favorite among Android users. However, Google's messaging mess means the service is on its death bed now.
The transition to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet seems to be a complicated process for Google, though. Initially planned for October 2019, it has already been delayed to June 2020. It regularly removing features only hints at the inevitable but whether that happens this June remains to be seen.