How many communication apps are too many for even a software giant like Google to properly maintain and robustly support? Four? Well, hot on the heels of Allo and Duo’s formal introductions at the I/O 2016 conference back in May, Mountain View assured us Hangouts and Messenger weren’t going anywhere.
But that stance gets more nuanced now, as Google’s VP of communication products, Nick Fox, clarifies Hangouts will “increasingly focus” on the “group collaboration enterprise productivity space.” In other words, business users, for whom the service’s deep integration with Google apps, Drive, Docs, Gmail, Calendar “and so on” felt like a stronger suit than main consumers anyway.
Everyday mobile video chatters should instead embrace Duo’s simplicity and ease of use, as they’re not even required a Google account to initiate or receive a call.
Meanwhile, Hangouts on Air, once famously Obama’s go-to live streaming tool, will be effectively discontinued on September 12. Or, as Big G puts it, it shall move from Google+ to YouTube Live, gaining new functionality and simplicity, but also losing features like built-in Q&A, Showcase, and Applause.
Broadcasters with events scheduled after the termination transition date need to switch to YouTube Live, and a quick setup guide for the new service is available over on Google’s support webpages.