Mar 23rd, 2017

And just like that, Google has apparently been emailing G Suite admins, notifying them of some potentially big changes headed to Hangouts users. Come May 22nd, Google will officially remove SMS support through the app.

It’s a change we’ve seen coming for quite some time now, with Google hinting to SMS users in Hangouts to try Google Messenger (now Android Messages) for over a year now. Google will soon provide a new popup message in Hangouts, letting anyone who still uses the app for SMS know that they’ll soon be pulling the plug on that feature, and to use a different app for SMS instead.

It’s worth noting that Google Voice users (and by extension, Project Fi customers) wont be affected by this change, so don’t freak out yet. Google did recently update the Google Voice, so it’s possible they have more plans for it in the future. Here’s the vital info from the email that was posted onto Reddit a short time ago:

Last year, we announced several improvements to the most popular features of Google Hangouts, such as the new video meetings experience and better group chat messaging. As part of that ongoing effort, we will be removing carrier SMS text messaging from Hangouts on Android after May 22, 2017.

Note: Google Voice numbers will continue to be supported after May 22. This change only applies to SMS text messages sent and received from carrier phone numbers.

We will prepare users for this change by showing an in-app message beginning March 27, 2017. Here is what users will see:

For SMS users on Hangouts on Android (not including Google Voice)

Users will be prompted to choose another default messaging app already installed on their phone. If none exists, they will be directed to the Google Play store to find a new SMS messaging app. Choosing a new messaging app will not impact existing SMS messages. All messages will be accessible in the new messaging app.

For SMS users using Google Voice on Hangouts on Android Google Voice users who also send carrier SMS messages will need to choose another default messaging app. Their Google Voice messages will be unaffected and will still be available in Google Hangouts.

For Google Voice users on Hangouts on Android Google Voice users who do not use carrier SMS text messaging will not be affected and no notification will be shown.

For non-SMS users on Hangouts on Android No notification will be shown to users who do not have Hangouts enabled as the default SMS messenger app on their device.

[Image credit: Android Police]