Google is proceeding with the planned changes for its Hangouts communications app, and has now unveiled a more detailed roadmap (opens in new tab) on what it plans on doing, and when.
For the uninitiated, Hangouts is splitting into two apps – Chat and Meet. As of April 16 this year, Hangouts Chat will become available on the web for G Suite domains that already have classic Hangouts enabled. This, however, doesn't mean that the classic Hangouts will die – both will live in parallel for some time.
From that moment, until September, Google will be releasing multiple new features to the platform. After all of the planned features are implemented, the classic Hangouts will see its end in October.
One of the planned features during this period is the integration with Gmail and the ability of texting external users. Video calls and audio calls will also become available.
Non-enterprise users will get a free version of both Chat and Meet, with certain features locked behind a paywall.
“You can transition your users immediately if you’d like. If there’s more functionality that your organization needs before switching, rest assured that between April and September 2019, we’ll add features that will make it easier for your users to move from classic Hangouts to Chat,” Google said in the announcement.
It’s also worth mentioning that Allo, another Google chat service, will be shutting down in March.
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