Google has put another nail in the coffin of classic Hangouts. The company has been long working to phase out the once-popular communication app and replace it with modern substitutes. As part of this transition, classic Hangouts has now lost integration with both Google Voice and Google Fi.
“Google shut down Google Voice and Google Fi integration with classic Hangouts in early 2021. Switch to Google Voice from classic Hangouts for your calls and messages”. The company now greets users with this banner in its official Google Voice support document (via 9to5Google).
A similar notice can also be found at the top of Google’s official Google Fi support document. “Hangouts no longer works for SMS/MMS text messages, voice calls, or voicemail with Google Fi,” the notice reads.
Google was originally supposed to remove texting and calling features from classic Hangouts for Fi users in January itself, on January 19th, to be precise. However, it delayed that shutdown until March to give the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) subscribers more time to switch to Google Messages.
Of course, you can also migrate to some other messaging service as well. In fact, your phone’s default SMS app will automatically receive new text messages if you don’t migrate to any other app. However, switching to Messages will let you seamlessly transfer your Hangouts conversations. Users can retrieve their conversations from Hangouts and transfer them to Messages until September 30, 2021.
Google shut down Google Voice and Google Fi integration with classic Hangouts
Google had originally integrated Voice and Hangouts so users could get notified of incoming voice calls on the Hangouts mobile app or Gmail on the web. However, since the company is now all set to lay classic Hangouts to rest, it is disbanding the two services again, encouraging people to switch back to the dedicated Voice app.
You can use the Android, iOS, or web Voice apps for calls, texts, and voicemails. Your phone number will carry over and your existing conversations from Hangouts will also automatically appear on Voice. Google says you can export your classic Hangouts data until July 2021.
If you had previously bought credits for international calls on Hangouts, Google is also offering a refund of the remaining balance. The credits are usable in the VoIP service for Voice users. You can also opt for a refund to the original form of payment though.
With the removal of Voice and Fi integration, classic Hangouts is now essentially only available for individual and group chats. It’s now only a matter of time before Google puts the final nail in the coffin.