What is Google going to do with Hangouts? This was the question asked by many when the tech giant launched its new Allo app. Google seems to have decided on pulling Hangouts out of its core apps package for Android devices. A report from Android Police suggests the company will no longer push Hangouts to be part of the hardware bundle by OEMs, and will be replaced by the Duo and Allo apps.
In the Pixel smartphones we saw in San Francisco at the launch event, Duo and Allo were the two apps on board; there was no Google Hangouts.
The latest report shares an email sent by Google to its ‘Mobile Services partners’ said that OEMs will no longer require to put Hangouts in the bundled in the core GMS apps package (for telephony products) and will become an optional app to be added, starting December 1. Google views Allo and Duo as more consumer based apps, while Hangouts is now being seen in a more enterprise related role.
There is no need to worry for Hangouts users. If your OEM has not included the app in your new device, you can simply download it from the apps store. Hangouts being removed as a compulsory app simply means that it is not necessary for devices to ship with the app installed.
This move by Google also shows how hard the company is trying to push its new Duo and Allo apps. The Duo app was downloaded more than five million times within a week of its launch. The video-calling app has found great popularity in India, considering that it works well with low bandwidth as well. The app is Google’s answer to Facebook Messenger, Skype and FaceTime.
Hangouts, which took the place of G-Chat, hasn’t had quite a successful run in the mobile app world where WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and others have raced to the top. Now Google hopes Allo and Duo will challenge that to some extent.