Yesterday Google announced another raft of changes to its messaging platforms. The search giant which has had considerable problem satisfying the requirements of its Android user-base and people who want a more centralised application for instant messaging requirements. If you remember recently Google had announced that Hangouts would be reoriented towards productivity / collaboration based interactions. This was accompanied by the announcement of two new features called Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. With the video component taking the video call functionality while Hangouts Chat would be for text based interaction.
Apart from this, Google also announced that Hangouts would no longer be capable of sending or receiving SMS from May 22nd. This does not change anything for the current user base of Hangouts though and the application will retain its other functions. All this is being followed up by the company rebranding its current Google Messenger to Android Messages. This will be a dedicated SMS client for smartphones running a close to stock flavour of Android or lack there own SMS app. Apart from this the refreshed application should be supportive of RCS which allows for larger attachments and longer text messages than supported by the SMS standard. This should also include support for read receipts.
Finally, the search giant is also folding Google Talk and GChat into Hangouts. This includes users who are still using Google Talk in their inbox, they would get prompted to update to the Hangouts app. Google Talk which was on legacy support will no longer function effective as of this announcement.
While all these shuffle ups are happening, Google is still promoting its Android customer base to use Allo and Duo for their messaging and video calling needs respectively.
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