RIP Google Hangouts, you deserved better

Google Hangouts 2021 7

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Google Hangouts used to be considered one of Google’s very best chat apps. It boasted a host of helpful and, for its time, leading edge options that also exist in different apps nowadays. Right here’s a amusing truth: when Android Authority used to be a more youthful and smaller corporate, we in reality did the majority of our communications in a Google Hangouts team chat for a time frame. Tens of tens of millions of other people used it everywhere in the international and many people refused to go away till Google compelled us away. Regardless of a small, however very unswerving fanbase, Google has shuttled Hangouts around the rainbow bridge.

Right here’s the entirety you wish to have to find out about the upward push and fall of Google Hangouts.


Google Hangouts: A short lived historical past

Google Hangouts chat screen.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Let’s get started with a temporary historical past of Google Hangouts. It begins with a stable product release with quite a lot of options over the process a couple of years. It then degenerates right into a random, rambling story of an organization that had no thought what it had or the right way to use it. Experience.

The early years: 2011-2013

Hangouts began existence as a part of the Google Plus revel in. Other folks may chat with every different whilst the usage of the app, video chat with every different, and the Hangouts-On-Air carrier will let you broadcast your video chats to folks. Again then, the one a part of the website online that used to be known as Hangouts used to be the video chat and broadcast carrier. The messaging a part of the carrier used to be known as Huddles.

The carrier existed in more than a few paperwork via 2011 and 2012. It won a host of refinement, together with more than a few UI adjustments and consolidation to make issues more straightforward on customers. Alternatively, it remained tethered to Google Plus as a part of the social media revel in. It made headlines frequently for stuff like letting random other people communicate to astronauts in area. The sensational headlines and easy capability felt years forward of its time. In a way, it used to be, and it added to the joy of the platform.

That each one modified in 2013 throughout Google I/O when Hangouts used to be spun off into its personal app. It had chat and video chat functions. Hangouts used to be meant to have SMS as neatly, nevertheless it got here in an replace later in 2013. It additionally got here with local cross-platform improve for each video, voice, and textual content chat, a rarity on the time. Hangouts-On-Air remained hooked up to Google Plus.

The golden years: 2014-2015

Google Hangouts 2021 8

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The center years are when Hangouts actually shone. It got here into the center years with a stable voice, textual content, and video chat carrier along side SMS and MMS improve. It began this period of Hangouts through merging SMS and Hangouts chats in combination for a cleaner, more straightforward really feel. A couple of updates in 2014 squashed insects, slowly added options, remodeled the UI, or even added the facility to name bodily telephone numbers. The desktop model of Hangouts were given chat heads a 12 months after Fb popularized the function. You get the speculation. 2014 used to be a duration of huge enlargement for Hangouts.

In 2015, Google formally retired Google Communicate (the corporate completed this procedure in 2017), striking all of its eggs into Hangouts. This additionally started the experimental section for Google Hangouts. Google experimented with letting you chat with companies via Google Seek. There used to be additionally integration with Google Now (later Google Assistant) presented in mid-2015. Google even will let you do displays in Hangouts. At the back of the curtains, the app went from model 2.four to five.zero, which incorporated a host of trojan horse fixes, efficiency enhancements, and UI changes. The app even handed 1000000000 downloads throughout this time. Issues looked to be going rather neatly and customers have been, normally, satisfied.

The troubling years: 2015-2016

Google Hangouts chat screen on phone in hand.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Sadly, the tip of 2015 and the start of 2016 is when issues began to get to the bottom of. The tip of the 12 months noticed whispers of a brand new, bot-heavy chat carrier within the combine, whilst different whispers mentioned doing away with SMS improve in choose of Google’s new SMS app (and the primary eventual successor to Google Hangouts). The previous would in the future turn into Google Allo and the latter used to be in improve of Google’s new SMS app that might sooner or later turn into Messages through Google, Google’s RCS, SMS, and MMS app.

2016 used to be the start of Google’s battle towards its personal chat services and products. We simply did not realize it but.

Google Hangouts Spam.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The start of 2017 noticed Google dividing its consideration even additional with the release of the fourth and 5th Hangouts successor, Google Meet and Hangouts Chat. It will be the 5th and 6th messaging apps Google introduced in 4 years. Google formally got rid of SMS improve in Might 2017 and not seemed again. Google did attempt to inform everybody that Hangouts wasn’t going any place (once more), however if you happen to learn the connected article, what Google in reality mentioned used to be that Hangouts wasn’t going any place other people in reality sought after Hangouts to head.

Learn subsequent: Tips on how to use Google Meet

In kind of 5 years, Google introduced six general chat apps. They have been Hangouts after which 5 direct successors to Hangouts.

Hangouts move to Google Chat

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

And now right here we’re in 2021. Google despatched out a message to Hangouts customers in August that they wish to transition to the 6th and ultimate Hangouts successor, Google Chat, which is in reality the fourth successor (Hangouts Chat from 2017) re-branded into but some other product. That is the place the tale ends for now. We will be able to replace the object when the overall shutdown happens.


What Google Hangouts did proper

Google Hangouts Video or Voice call.

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Google Hangouts did a large number of issues proper. It introduced in an technology when messaging apps have been simply beginning to to find themselves. On paper, the product did so much as it should be. Let’s pass over one of the vital very best portions of Hangouts.

  • Go-platform improve: Hangouts had one of the vital very best cross-platform improve of any messaging app. Maximum messaging apps have stuck up, however this used to be a fairly large deal when Hangouts first introduced. It used to be on Android, iOS, and any desktop or laptop pc with a internet browser, without reference to the running machine.
  • Sturdy integration with Google: You must get right of entry to Hangouts in Gmail and Google Plus. With the ability to message other people and feature your e-mail at the identical webpage made it an ideal productiveness device. Having it in the similar spot as your social media made it a very good conversation device.
  • Sturdy options: Google Hangouts may do all of it — textual content chat, SMS, MMS, video chat, and voice calls. You must do all of the ones issues in team chats as neatly. For its time, this used to be a surprisingly robust set of options that few different messaging platforms may emulate.
  • It saved up with present tech: Whilst Google used to be actively making an attempt, Hangouts used to be all the time some of the first to combine new Android options, like Android Nougat’s Fast Answer function or messaging with Google Assistant (known as Google Now on the time).
  • Everyone had it: Google Hangouts accounts have been hooked up for your Google account. Since virtually everyone with an Android instrument has a Google account, no one in reality had to join Hangouts. It made the method a lot more straightforward as it used to be already there.

This doesn’t sound like a lot. Alternatively, again in 2013, there have been few competition able to going toe-to-toe with Google Hangouts in relation to baseline options. Along with the record above, Hangouts used to be simply in reality simple to make use of. Chats have been specified by a neat, orderly means. Lots of the menus have been simple to grasp. The dialog record hardly ever felt cluttered or unmanageable. It used to be really easy my mother may use it.

Google Hangouts having a stable function set and being the primary to new Android options frequently put it forward of competition.

Briefly, Hangouts did an ideal activity of hitting the relief zone of tens of millions of other people. A large number of other folks love Hangouts and will’t quantify it with causes that made Hangouts distinctive. Through now, virtually each messaging app can do what Hangouts did. Hangouts simply did it extra very easily than maximum.


What Google Hangouts did flawed

Google Hangouts 2021 10

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

In fact, if the entirety used to be sunshine and rainbows, this text wouldn’t exist. So right here’s how I believe Google tousled with Hangouts. You’ll be able to upload your personal causes within the feedback if you happen to like.

  • Google gave up after handiest two years: That is most likely the largest factor. The app introduced in 2013 and used to be Google’s flagship chat app. Through the tip of 2016, Google had began its messaging id disaster and had 3 different chat apps (Messages, Allo, and Duo). That quantity doesn’t come with the retired Google Communicate. Hangouts won updates for some time later on, nevertheless it used to be by no means the focus after 2015.
  • Competition stuck up: The appeal of Hangouts used to be its robust set of base options. Neatly, sadly for Google, the concept that of a bunch video chat isn’t distinctive, so sooner or later the massive canine stuck as much as Hangouts. Hangouts didn’t do a lot to push the envelope ahead after that, permitting competition to overhaul Hangouts with options like true end-to-end encryption, self-destructing messages, and others.
  • Google’s id disaster perplexed everyone: By the point Hangouts retired, Google had launched six different messaging apps, and that doesn’t come with platform-specific ones like YouTube Messenger, Google Maps Messages, or built-in chats in Google Pictures, Google Medical doctors, and so on. It’s in truth tricky to stay observe of. There used to be just a small period of time the place Hangouts had the highlight. It differently competed for consideration with one thing else Google used to be doing.
  • Google didn’t marketplace to shoppers: Hangouts used to be by no means the item to make use of within the mainstream. Google may’ve made it extra consumer-friendly with stickers, issues, filters, and different amusing little extras. So far as I’m mindful, it handiest had a dismal theme and a mild theme to head along side its vintage inexperienced structure. The corporate by no means advertised the app to a large target audience. The corporate simply shoved the app on Android telephones through default and seldom mentioned a phrase about it once more.
  • Different miscellaneous criticisms: Hangouts wasn’t above reproach. It confronted quite a lot of complaint for nagging insects that wouldn’t pass away, a loss of right kind encryption, and a few even criticized it for forsaking XMPP, fighting it from getting used on multi-chat apps like Pidgin. Its integration with Google Plus compelled other people to make use of actual names for some time, restricting privateness. Those minor problems plagued Hangouts during its lifetime.

People follow hagiography slightly persistently. We generally tend to wish to keep in mind the nice occasions and push aside the unhealthy ones. A large number of other people really feel the similar means about Hangouts. It used to be the most efficient chat carrier Google ever made. Alternatively, I will distinctly bear in mind entire days the place I looked for a Hangouts selection since the insects have been that irritating. It wasn’t all the time easy crusing with Google Hangouts.


Google Hangouts: The legacy

Google Hangouts 2021 video call

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Google Hangouts isn’t with us anymore as a bodily product. A large number of its options are nonetheless with us in different merchandise. Hangouts driven the limits in an technology the place barriers had to be driven. The have an effect on of Google Hangouts wasn’t too massive. There are, in the end, a large number of messaging services and products that left a mark at the messaging ecosystem. Discord, for example, revived the useless chat room scene. Sign Non-public Messenger and Telegram’s contention helped carry consciousness for the advantages of encryption.

Hangouts, in contrast, affected the business otherwise. When it introduced, it introduced with textual content, voice, and video chat. It additionally featured team variations of all of the ones chats and superb cross-platform improve. It used to be an extraordinary function set when the app introduced again in 2013. Since then, maximum services and products have progressed and tailored. Fb Messenger added particular person and team video chatting in 2015. WhatsApp adopted alongside in 2018. Talking of WhatsApp, the corporate added a web page model in 2015. Viber added video calls in 2014, whilst Telegram added the function in 2021, and Discord adopted swimsuit in 2017.

Additionally learn: The most productive possible choices to FaceTime on Android

Google Hangouts used to be merely forward of its time when it got here to what a messaging app must come with natively. Hangouts is happening, but when we’re being truthful, virtually each different messaging carrier is able to the similar stuff nowadays. There are many first rate replacements now. That wasn’t true in 2013.

Google Hangouts used to be a rock-solid product with a large number of leading edge options for its time. Alternatively, just like Google Plus, it felt extra like a house for us tech fanatics than a mainstream product. It for sure moved the needle. Alternatively, it didn’t transfer the needle sufficient to persuade other people to go away their different chat apps. The chat app will live to tell the tale in our recollections, although Google forgot about it years in the past.

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