Technology

Google Hangouts Removed From Google Play Store, App Store During Transition to Google Chat


Google Hangouts – a discontinued messaging service that was first introduced in 2013 as a Google+ feature – is being replaced by Google Chat, the default messaging app for Google Workspace users. As the transition to the new chat service is in its final stages, Google is removing the Hangouts mobile app from the Google Play store and App Store. Android users who have downloaded an app in the past can still see it in the list of apps they’ve installed, but the app no ​​longer appears in search results for existing and new users.

According to a report by 9to5Google, the Hangouts app has been delisted from the Google Play store as well as the Apple App Store, preventing new users from downloading discontinued chat apps on iOS and Android devices. In November 2018, it was reported that Hangouts will be replaced by Google Chat. The company then began moving Workspace users from Hangouts to Meet in October 2020.

Google Hangouts is currently visible (left) to users who have downloaded the app in the past, new users are shown an error
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Google

The Google Play store and App Store listings for the Hangouts app are no longer accessible, but users who have downloaded the app to their Android smartphone in the past will be able to view it in the Google Play store app by tapping on their profile photo, then selecting Manage apps and devices > Manage > Not installed.

Gadget 360 can confirm that both listings for Hangouts are no longer accessible in the App Store and Google Play Store, while the app is available for download on Android phones that have previously installed the app. The functionality for the app doesn’t seem to be limited at the moment, so users who still have the Hangouts app on their iPhone and Android smartphones may be able to send messages to contacts until access is disabled by Google.

Google has already moved existing Workspace enterprise accounts using Hangouts to Chat and free accounts are expected to follow suit, according to a 9to5Google report. Users who haven’t yet downloaded Google Chat on their smartphone or tablet have two options once the Hangouts app is disabled – use the Gmail app that comes with integrated Chat and Meet support or download a dedicated Google Chat app on their device.


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