Google is in the process of shutting down Hangouts, its classic cross-platform instant messaging app. The company last week announced that the app will cease to exist this fall. Ahead of that, it has started pulling support for mobile devices. According to a 9to5Google report, Hangouts mobile apps for iOS and Android have stopped working for “many” users.
This shutdown of Hangouts has been coming for a long. Google began the groundwork for it a couple of years back, with Google Chat slotting in as the replacement. The migration started back in June 2020. The company continued to move users to the new, modern messaging service throughout the past two years. It is finally ready to kill Hangouts for once and all.
The old Hangouts mobile apps appear to be the first to go down. These apps haven’t seen major feature updates in years and were dropped from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for new downloads recently. Those who had them installed can also no longer access the apps. They are headed to the graveyard for good.
The apps were functional as of last week, the new report states. You could see conversations and send new messages. But in recent days, the apps have lost all of those abilities. Launching the app now prompts users to switch to Google Chat. “It’s time for Chat in Gmail. Hangouts has been replaced by Google Chat,” the prompt reads, along with links to the dedicated Google Chat app and the Chat integration in Gmail.
Google has prepared for this transition for two years. The vast majority of messages will carry over to the new platform, ensuring little to no disruption to your messaging experience. However, the company’s official support page notes that “some conversations or portions of conversations won’t automatically migrate from Hangouts to Chat”. Google says it will email impacted users with more information later this year, around September 2022.
Hangouts on other platforms will also go down soon
Following mobile apps for Android and iOS, Google plans to disable the Hangouts Chrome desktop extension. The classic Hangouts found in Gmail’s sidebar on the web will also be gone this month. You need to either switch to integrated Chat in Gmail.com or the chat.google.com PWA (Progressive Web App). The hangouts.google.com web client will remain functional until at least October. But it will stop working afterward. Google says you can download a copy of your Hangouts data using Google Takeout until November this year.