In the coming weeks, Google Chat will replace Hangouts for Workspace customers. Since the iPhone app has been removed from the App Store, it appears that Google is following through on its promise to deactivate the previous Hangouts mobile apps. This was most recently revised on March 29th. Until further notice, the Play Store is no longer offering Hangouts for Android to new users. Even though it’s no longer listed in search results, users who have already downloaded it can still access and use it.
In order to avoid receiving notifications from both Gmail and the standalone Chat app, you must first close the “Move to Google Chat in Gmail” page (top-right corner). That will sign you out of the classic Hangouts app entirely. Google Hangouts is clearly being disabled when it removes the iPhone and iPad from new users’ listings. As of this afternoon, the Android client can still be downloaded from the Play Store.
As of 12:25pm on the 28th of March, PT, Hangouts is no longer listed in the App Store, and the direct link is also broken. For Workspace customers who haven’t already migrated to Google Chat, the company announced last month that it would be making the application the default one. For this, “all classic Hangouts applications, except for the Google-hosted Hangouts site, will be disabled.”
In a surprising twist, Hangouts on the iPad offers a superior user experience to either the standalone Chat app or Gmail. It’s worth noting that the old client had a two-pane UI, with conversations appearing on one side and an open thread on the other. In today’s world, Gmail/Chat on the iPad is nothing more than an extended version of the phone app. As a result, some people may continue to use the old version of Hangouts, even though the Gmail app is likely already installed on their devices, which isn’t the worst migration path.
The phone version is better for me: Google’s first-party tablet apps on Android are in an unimpressive state.
Earlier this week, Google began migrating Workspace users to Chat and Spaces. When it comes to personal/free accounts, the company hasn’t specified a timeline beyond the fact that it will happen after enterprise.