Saturday, 31 October, 2020

Google Chat will become available as a free service next year

Google Chat Google will let everyone migrate from Hangouts to Chat for free in 2021
Cecil Davis | 17 October, 2020, 16:58

Google has already announced that it will close Hangouts and it is now shifting to Google Chat over the next year. Google will also migrate all of your conversations over to Chat from Hangouts, along with contacts and saved history. The search giant said in the first half of 2021, Hangouts users will be migrated to a free version of Google Chat - the Slack and Discord competitor now available to enterprise users. That's a pretty broad time frame, but we are talking about messaging and an app (Hangouts) that has been in use for over 7 years.

The transition, however, will be gradual and both Hangouts and Chat will be available for a while, reports The Verge, citing additional details that Google has shared with the publication.

Google will make Chat available for free to everyone (it's now exclusive to Workspace users), including the integrated experience within Gmail that Workspace users just picked up. So, how will Google Chat be different?

Holly Marie Combs Wants to Put an End to 'Charmed' Co-Star Feud
Combs, who played Piper in the original " Charmed " series, called "bull***t" on the Canadian actress' accusations. I really hope they find happiness elsewhere and not in the form of knocking down other WOCs.

Google notes that timing may slip, but this is what it now intends.

The new Google Workspace, too, is only available for business customers right now. Allo flopped (and few people use Duo), leaving Google with the unenviable task of keeping the aging Hangouts platform around for the foreseeable future and making the overall transition harder and more complicated, to the point where I'm not sure that consumers really understand what's happening. In other words, every single Google Workspace customer will have to be on Google Chat, as Google will fully replace Hangouts with it. There will be no option to opt out at this stage.

Of course, if you did use Hangouts with Google Fi or Google Voice, the new app will no longer work with that. Fi users will be able to make voice calls and check voicemail from Messages for web, manage conversations from Messages across devices (even when their phone is off) and migrate their existing Hangouts conversations. In about a month, they'll provide more details on how that will happen. In early 2021, Hangouts will stop working with Google Fi. We started seeing the first signs of the transition earlier this year, and now Google is letting Hangouts holdovers know what to expect going forward - including the plans for Google Fi and Google Voice customers.