Google to remove SMS support in Hangouts on May 22

In what looks to be a clear attempt to phase out the old Hangouts and turn it into a more business-specific app, Google is now reportedly removing the app's SMS capabilities.

According to an email notification sent to G Suite administrators, posted on Reddit, the tech giant has made a decision to nix the "carrier SMS text messaging" from Hangouts on Android. Non-SMS users on Hangouts who do not have the app on default will not see any notification either. However, this time Google has chose to ditch one of the features that made Hangouts a multipurpose messaging app. Google has quite a few messaging apps, and some of them overlap with each other and the biggest offender is probably Hangouts. As the ability to set a default SMS client is built into Android, previous messages will be accessible in the new app. There's plenty of options: Android Messages, Facebook Messenger, Textra, Chomp - heck, you could even use a carrier's texting app (but seriously, don't). Their Google Voice messages will be unaffected and will still be available in Google Hangouts.

This change could be a little complicated for Google Voice users on Android.

The news comes via an email sent to G Suite administrators (via Android Police) which says that Google will be removing SMS integration from Hangouts for Android on May 22nd. Those who use the app to send and receive carrier SMS will have to choose a different default SMS app.

On May 22, SMS features will completely stop functioning in Hangouts.

  • Arturo Norris