Original post (3/24): Google is continuing to make changes to its Hangouts app and service. Late on Thursday, the company sent an email to its G Suite administrators, informing them that SMS text messaging support for the Hangouts chat app will be removed on May 22.
The email, as posted by Droid Life, added that Hangouts users will see an in-app message, like the one shown above, starting on March 27 informing them of the planned removal of SMS services. That message will direct users to pick another default messaging app for their SMS texts. If, for some reason, they don’t have one already installed on their phone, those users will be asked to go to the Google Play Store to download an SMS app. This change will not affect Google Voice numbers, which will continue to be supported in Hangouts.
This news comes as Google continues to evolve its Hangouts service to serve businesses and enterprise customers. Earlier this month, the company revealed its new Hangouts Meet video chat app, and is also currently testing Hangouts Chat, a text-based service designed as a competitor to Slack. Google has since insisted that its current Hangouts client is “not going anywhere”. However, the removal of one of its main features would seem to indicate that the company is continuing to make changes to the default Hangouts app while it also launches new text and video clients.