In February, Google announced plans to transition from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat. Hangouts Chat is a workstream collaboration tool that allows for team-based discussion, bots, and more. Google provided a timeline of changes and initially stated they would start retiring classic Hangouts in October, 2019.
However, there have been delays as Google listened to critical customer feedback that more time and improvements are needed to ensure the best transition possible. As a result, Google is officially postponing the transition date (i.e., phase 4 in this timeline) to no sooner than June, 2020.
While Hangouts Chat is generally available from Google, it is not currently enabled in U-M Google. We continue to use Classic Hangouts as there are several key features missing from Hangouts Chat, including:
- Integration with Gmail
- Chatting with users outside of U-M Google
- Indication that messages have been seen
- Improved mobile applications
According to Google, these will be included in Hangouts Chat before it begins to retire classic Hangouts in 2020.
We continue to monitor progress and regularly engage with Google about this. If key features and improvements are included in Hangouts Chat earlier than June 2020, ITS will re-evaluate enabling it in U-M Google.
Interested in our latest updates about Google G Suite at U-M? Check out the Google Service Updates page or join the U-M Collaboration Forum. To receive notifications of service disruptions, join the Collaboration Services Notifications MCommunity group.