As announced a week ago, Google is now in the process of shutting down classic Hangouts for free consumers. Many users are finding that they can no longer access Hangouts for Android and iOS today.
The first stage of this shutdown impacts the old Hangouts mobile apps that haven’t seen any major feature additions in several years and have been mostly unavailable for new Google Play or App Store downloads in recent months.
Launching Hangouts reveals an “It’s time for Chat in Gmail” prompt that acts as a forced upgrade on Android and iOS to use the dedicated Google Chat apps or the Gmail tab. Once you see this screen, you can no longer access classic Hangouts on mobile.
This is not the biggest disruption to continued usage as the vast majority of messages have been migrated over to Chat. That said:
some conversations or portions of conversations won’t automatically migrate from Hangouts to Chat. We will email impacted users with more information around September 2022
We’ve encountered this prompt on several devices and Google accounts worldwide today. Most people late last week were still able to see conversations and send new messages, but that’s no longer the case.
In addition to Android and iOS, Google is similarly disabling the Hangouts Chrome desktop extension, while this month will see classic Hangouts stop working in web Gmail’s sidebar. Users are prompted to use Chat in Gmail.com or the PWA (Progressive Web App) at chat.google.com. You’ll still be able to use hangouts.google.com until at least October, but that will stop working afterward, and what’s left of classic Hangouts will be the ability to download data/history via Google Takeout.