The writing is on the wall for classic Google Hangouts. Last month, we reported that the transition from classic Hangouts to Google chat was entering its final phase for Workspace customers. This shift has been a couple of years in the making but hasn’t been well received by fans of the dying service.
Its death seems imminent now, as the team at 9to5Google has discovered that both its Google Play Store and Apple App Store app listings have been removed. This fact has also been confirmed on the Hangouts Help support page. This move leaves just the web-based version at hangouts.google.com and prior app installs working for those who continue to resist the change but, more importantly, signals that Hangouts will be going away for good.
There is already a timeline for Workspace accounts confirming April 4th as the last day before the 5-week final migration begins. Although we have not seen an official date yet in regards to when classic Hangouts will be going away for personal, non-Workspace accounts, the removal of the app from both app stores seems to confirm that the switch will happen sooner rather than later. As it stands, when you visit hangouts.google.com, you are warned on both Workspace and Personal accounts to start using Google Chat.
Google supports this transition by stating that Google Chat is a superior product to Hangouts with features such as being able to @mention other users, emoji reactions to messages, and smart replies. However, this does not appease the masses who prefer classic Hangouts’ simple, efficient approach. Regardless of how we feel about it, Google Chat is here to stay and replace Hangouts as long as Google deems it so. All we can do at this point is prepare ourselves and accept the change.