What you need to know
- Google appears to have removed classic Hangouts from major app stores for some users.
- Hangouts is no longer visible in the Play Store search results, but the app is still available on devices that already have it installed.
- The removal is unavoidable as Google begins the final stage of its phased transition from Hangouts to Google Chat for Workspace customers.
If you've been sticking to the classic Hangouts app over the past few years, despite Google's sometimes aggressive efforts to force you to switch to Chat, you're probably aware that it's only a matter of time before the service shuts down everywhere. It seems that the time has finally arrived.
According to 9to5Google, the classic Hangouts app is beginning to disappear from major app stores. Its disappearance was first seen in the App Store, where the app's listing no longer shows up in search results.
It also looks like the app's direct App Store link is no longer functional. Shortly after it started vanishing from iOS devices, Google was also spotted delisting the app from the Play Store.
That said, you can still access Hangouts on the best Android phones and tablets that already have it installed.
Hangouts' removal from the Play Store does not appear to be widespread since it remains available in some regions, and its direct link remains live. However, searching for the app no longer yields its listing in the results.
The most recent app store changes indicate that Google is in the process of completely removing the classic Hangouts app from all major app stores. It's not surprising given that the company confirmed last month that Workspace accounts would be migrated from Hangouts to Chat starting in March.
Classic Hangouts' phased migration began as early as 2019, so the app's removal from the Play Store and App Store is a long time coming.
However, the service's web portal will remain operational for the foreseeable future until everyone has switched to Chat.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.