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Hangouts Dropping Carrier SMS and MMS Support, Google Voice Not Affected

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This week Google sent an email to G Suite users telling them that after May 22, 2017 the Hangouts app will no longer support carrier SMS and MMS.

Starting March 27, all Hangouts users who have enabled SMS in Hangouts will receive an in-app alert notifying them of the change. The alert will prompt users to choose a different default messaging app from among the ones they have on their phone. Users who don't have another messaging app on their phone will be directed to the Play Store to download one. Options include Google's own Android Messages app and dozens of 3rd party apps like the popular Textra.

This change is not surprising. Google is re-purposing Hangouts as an IM and video conferencing app for businesses and it makes sense to remove unrelated functions from Hangouts.

Google Voice SMS and MMS will not be affected, at least for now. Hangouts will still support Google Voice messaging and VoIP calling after May 22. But I don't expect that to be true forever. In January a new version of the Google Voice app was released that for the first time supported MMS in addition to SMS. At that time, Google told 9to5 Google, that it was working on adding VoIP calling to the Google Voice app. I suspect that once the Google Voice app is able to handle Google Voice VoIP calls, Google Voice support will be dropped from Hangouts.

Source: Reddit via The Verge

42 comments:

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  1. I hope this doesn't effect the Hangouts dialer for personal use, though I won't hold my breath, works well with my $30 tmobile plan.

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  2. Is there an equivalent dialer that uses my Google voice number like the Hangouts dialer?

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    Replies
    1. Not that I know of but the Hangout Dialer is not going away, at least not yet. If and when Hangouts drops Google Voice VoIP calling I'm sure that feature will be integrated into the Google Voice app.

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  3. At present, aside from the hangouts/hangouts dailer for android, the only other way to make/receive calls is using a google voice gateway or pbx. If you don't want to set up your own pbx, Simonics gateway works well.

    There's a one time fee of $6/gv account to establish access.

    https://simonics.com/gw/

    Once that's done, any sip client will work for both inbound/outbound calls. For older android versions csipsimple works very well. For newer (6.x+), there are issues with power management killing the app when screen is off, so a current modern app is needed. Bria, groundwire, zoiper, and even the built in option (maybe blocked on some phones).

    Of course, google can change things at any time and even this solution may not work in the future.

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  4. There's MO+ app that supports Google Voice

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    Replies
    1. Reviews on Mo+ are saying it's not free and you pay with credits?
      That does not sound like the best solution!

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    2. If you can root your phone, the native Android dialer has a section to enter SIP credentials.

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  5. Perhaps Google voice will become what Hangouts should have, just a few months ago it seemed opposite of that. Why Google could never outdo Apple or even match iMessage is beyond me.

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    Replies
    1. Newly out of school millennials with their 1st jobs in engineering and programming with little or no experience in improving a product
      and even less initiative is the problem. Beyond me why at least someone higher up doesn't care!

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    2. I had the opposite frustration with Hangouts. I wanted segmentation so that an elderly parent could use WiFi based solutions without confusion. GV was the best all around solution but putting GV texting and calling into Hangouts along with the native chat and carrier SMS was just too much for that individual to manage efficiently.

      Can't wait until all GV functions are in the Voice app - apart from the rest of the comm universe.

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  6. I sure hope Google Voice continues to thrive. I use the Google Voice app daily.

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  7. It looks like Voice will finally become what it should have been all along.

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  8. I already have an option to place calls through my google voice app.
    Is that something that used to be there and is no longer?
    I do not update my apps often.

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    Replies
    1. The calling option currently in Voice uses carrier cell voice channels. It's a normal cell call, massaged by GV to use your GV number if you choose. The VoIP (calls using data - not cell minutes) functionality is currently in Hangouts. Google has said VoIP calling will be added to the Voice app. When that happens, VoIP will most likely be stripped from the Hangouts app.

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    2. You're still using your carrier and associated minutes.

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  9. I am confused. Can somebody explain if this change affects those who use their Google Voice Number along with Hangouts as a replacement for the assigned Freedompop number and dialer? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. This change does not affect Google Voice users in any way. Hangouts still supports Google Voice SMS, MMS and VoIP calling.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification Dennis.

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  10. So what is the exact change?
    Is the change that hangout will just be an interface for your GV and not at all for your native number?

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  11. For those asking for clarification, if you do not have Hangouts set as your default messaging app in Android, nothing changes for you. Google took away a feature you do not use.

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  12. So if I have my GV number forwarded to my phone (att) and have set GV as my default calling number from my phone and I use Hangouts as my default texting app....what will change?

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    Replies
    1. On May 22 Hangouts will lose the ability to handle carrier (non-Google Voice) SMS and MMS. If you use Hangouts to send and receive messages with your carrier number you will need to switch to a different messaging app for carrier messaging.

      Google Voice SMS and MMS will not be affected. You will still be able to use Hangouts after May 22 to send and receive SMS and MMS using your Google Voice number.

      Delete
    2. Dennis answered. Just adding, now when you create new SMS, you can select between carrier number and GV number. The carrier number will go away. If you try old conversation, I'm guessing you'll get an error message.

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  13. Well, it looks like GV app is going to become what is should have been all along, like hangouts but w/o the mandatory google plus. Sound like a good idea.

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  14. google and facebook just want us to keep downloading their bloated apps.
    hangouts did everything, sms mms video calls, why get rid of it? the google messaging app doesnt allow for video calls, they want you to download 100 mb - 1gb app for everything. while they let people in india get the lite versions. i want my phone running as smooth as possible and thats hard to do when all googles apps are huge

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    Replies
    1. Hangouts will still support video chats after May 22.

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    2. but its frustrating because they have something that works imo. i just wish they would stop making big changes to things that have been in place for a while.

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  15. But we will still be able to place voip calls with hangout?

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    Replies
    1. "Hangouts will still support Google Voice messaging and VoIP calling after May 22."

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  16. So what is broken with the current system that they wish to fix it?

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  17. I still hate them for killing gizmo5.

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  18. .... how is "hangouts" a buisiness sounding name?

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    Replies
    1. There's no reason they can't rebrand it. Even so, look how many businesses use a product named SKYPE (for Business) for Bob's sake.

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  19. How is google making money off of changing their products when they are still not charging for it?
    If they really wished to make money, then they would not invest time, effort, personnel time into the changes.
    Unless we are saying that they will make us dependent on their product and then charge for it, like aome grand freemium scheme. And drum roll the conspiracy theorists.

    But even if they wished to charge for it, why change it and charge for it, just keep it the same and charge for it.

    I am at a loss as to what google gains with this.

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  20. Google will eventually split Hangouts into Hangouts Meet for video conference and Hangouts Chat for messaging. Source:
    http://amp.timeinc.net/fortune/2017/03/09/google-hangouts-chat-video/?source=dam

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  21. If I do not update my hangout app, will I be able to keep voip?

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  22. Yes, you will also be able to keep it if you do update the Hangouts app because, "Hangouts will still support Google Voice messaging and VoIP calling after May 22".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I do not update my Hangout, will I be able to use Hangout for carrier sms?

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  23. I disconnected Voice from Hangouts. I can send SMS with existing threads, I cannot create new SMS, and replies only goes to Voice. I am still able to make and receive voip calls with Hangouts app. FYI as we guess what the future holds for Hangouts.

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