Google Chat begins integration with classic Hangouts

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has started transitioning Hangouts users over to Google Chat.
  • G Suite users with Chat enabled are now able to message external users on classic Hangouts.
  • Google promises a full transition to Google Chat from Hangouts by late 2020.

Google is beginning to transition away from classic Hangouts to Google Chat fully. The first such changes are coming to current Google Chat users who will now be able to communicate with Hangouts users who are still on classic Hangouts.

Google explained on Tuesday:

Starting on May 26th, you'll be able to start conversations in Google Chat (previously known as "Hangouts Chat") with people outside of your domain. You'll be able to do this by either sending a direct message or adding them to rooms. Beginning today, conversations with external users in classic Hangouts will also appear in Chat as new messages are sent.

Despite this, Chat still isn't a consumer-friendly app like its video counterpart, Meet. Consumer classic Hangouts users will still need to use the old Hangouts app to communicate with Chat users, who'll need to have a G Suite subscription with the Chat service explicitly enabled.

Google will eventually open Chat up to everyone as it promised years ago, this is just the first step — albeit a delayed one — in that transition.

Google Chat is back after nearly a decade as Hangouts Chat rides off into the sunset

Michael Allison
  • OMG just when things start to seem simpler, you realize that there's still Meet AND Duo.
    This is crazy.
    Same goes for Keep vs Tasks.
    Just give us:
    - keep integration in gmail / taskify emails (inbox was able to do that already, BTW, so thanks for killing it)
    - a text AND audio AND video chat service. ONE. Like whatsapp, telegram you name it (this also already existed, and still to this day I don't get why Hangouts was axed). Usable with a phone number OR google account OR invitation link. Add a small caption "for business" for the business counterpart (no need to invent a new service for that) and add some more powerful features to that one.
  • So I'm using Hangouts as it is my Google Voice messaging app. Any word if Chat will be able to support Google Voice SMS?
  • This is also my question. Will we have to use the Voice app? I'm afraid they won't integrate with Chat.
  • I believe that's why the Google Voice app got a complete makeover back in 2017... Google Voice is very likely to become standalone.
  • So bloody confusing.
  • And people wonder why iPhones sell so well? android messaging utter mess!