Google stopped Hangouts for Workspace in Februarybut that’s not enough for the search giant: it’s now also breaking the Hangouts mobile app.
In a recent blog postthe tech giant has announced that it will retire from the position in November 2022. People who are still using Hangouts are urged to switch to the Chat app or Chat in Gmail.
As for Hangouts users on the web? Well, Google won’t start nagging you until July that you have to switch.
The company will automatically transfer your existing conversations to Chat. But just in case, it encourages users to download their data via Google Takeout before Hangouts is no longer available.
Obviously, the transition from Hangouts to Chat is a forced transition — and it’s all part of Google’s strategy to turn Gmail into something akin to a Slack competitor.
In recent years, Gmail has been redesigned to integrate Inbox, Spaces, Meet and Chat. The new changes allow users to edit side by side in Docs, Slides, or Sheets while continuing their conversations.
At first glance, the ability to email, chat, edit documents, and hold meetings in one place may seem to beat poor Slack’s functionality — but it’s not that simple.
As someone who spends hours in Gmail every week, I always appreciate added functionality. But I’m not sure I want all of Google’s services to breach my email when I don’t need them.
While Gmail’s deep integration aims to make things simpler, the interface often feels cluttered — not to mention how overwhelming simultaneous notifications from all the different apps are.
What’s wrong with an email-only app?
For me, departmentalizing communication and collaboration tools in the workplace is crucial.
That’s why I’ve always been a fan of Slack. The app allows me to communicate with my team without outside distractions or respond to emails I just don’t want to open.
Slack’s success is based on how it has replaced email in the workplace. And I don’t see how Google will dethrone it by adding more and more functionality and clutter.