Yesterday, news broke out regarding Google shutting down SMS support in Hangouts but it seems that may have only been half the story. Google finally published a post on their G Suite blog detailing other changes they’ll be making to Hangouts and Gmail in an attempt to streamline the services for admins and users.
Killing off SMS support in Hangouts is just the first step. Google also revealed that Google Talk will officially be put to rest — for those that refused transitioning over to Hangouts — on June 26th. Those who were still using Google Talk in Gmail will officially be transitioned over to Hangouts whether they like it or not (providing there are no “contractual commitments”). Google recommends those who prefer the look of Google Talk to try out Hangouts’ “Dense Roster” setting to get a similar experience.
For Android users, the old Google Talk app — which was replaced by Hangouts back in 2013 — will also stop functioning on June 26th and while 3rd party XMPP clients will still work on Hangouts for 1-on-1 chats, XMPP federation with third-party services will not. Anyone still hanging onto their old Google Talk Android app will need to finally update it to Hangouts (who these people are, I have no clue).
There was also some talk about a few Gmail Labs that are also retiring (Authentication Icon, Google Voice Player, Picasa previews, Pictures in chat, Quick Links, Quote Selected Text, Smartlabels, and Yelp previews). Google+ functionality in Gmail also being reduced, and you’ll no longer see the ability to email Google+ profiles or use Google+ Circles “no earlier than April 24, 2017.” For more on the changes, check out Google’s blog post below.