Google’s New Chat App – Is It Hangouts Replacement?

Say Goodbye to Hangout and Welcome Google Chat

As announced by Google last year, the Google Chat tab is being rolled out for Gmail users with free accounts. By default, the redesign is not available, but it can be enabled via Gmail Settings > Early Access option for Android and web users. Once enabled users will get access to four tabs:

  • Mail
  • Meet
  • Chat and 
  • Rooms

After looking at this, a question is why is Google making these changes? How these changes will affect users and how to enable early access option to access Google Chat, come to mind.

So, without any further delay, let’s come to the point.

Why Google Shuts down its Apps and Services?

Over the years, Google has released a multitude of apps, however, some of them cease to exist. This happens, as the apps fail to generate revenue, or improved alternatives are created by the company. Due to this, the number of apps entombed in Google Graveyard is rising.

With that said, here’s a list of Google apps and services that will be suspended this 2021.

List of Severn Google Apps and Services to be Withdrawn.

There are chances that you might have not heard about or used these services, but they do exist and soon will be extinct. So, will they be replaced? Or will be lost forever?

To know, keep on reading.

Why Google Kills its Messaging Apps?

It seems that the company’s strategy around messaging apps like – Hangout, Duo, Chat, and Co. is unclear. Due to this, each passing year either the company makes changes to the app or shuts it down.

Google Apps Soon to Die and Their Alternatives/Substitutes

1. Hangouts – Initially scheduled to shut down in 2020, Hangouts the popular chat application will now close in June 2021 and will be substituted by Google’s Chat service. This switching will gradually take place, and as both Workspace and free users will be shifted to Chat, Hangout will be gone forever.

Note: The new service does not offer video and voice chat features.

Google Apps Soon to Die and Their Alternatives
Source – Google

How to enable new Google Chat Integration in Gmail – Android users?

Note: Since the new Chat integration in Gmail is early access, you might experience issues. However, if you want to give it a try you can enable it using the steps below. Luckily, once enabled you are not stuck with it, as you can revert the changes. This means you can uncheck the Chat (Early Access) option anytime you want.

The new Chat integration can be enabled by following the steps below:

    • Update Gmail app to the latest version 2021.03.07.364486182
    • Head to Gmail Settings > here under General you will find the Chat (Early Access) option. Check the box next to it
      Head to Gmail Settings
    • Tap Try it in the consecutive pop-up message
  • consecutive pop-up message

This will enable Chat and Rooms tabs

  • You are now all set to use Google Chat.

Steps to enable new Gmail Chat, Rooms on the Web

If you are an iOS user, you cannot enable Gmail Chats, but if you use it on the web here’s good news, you can enable it on the web. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Visit
  • Select the radio button next to, Google Chat (Early Access)

Steps to enable new Gmail Chat

  • Hit Try it.

Hit Try it

  • Save Changes, that’s it.
  • You have now enabled the Google Chat.

2. App Maker – Google’s low code platform created to design apps were shut down in January 2021. The major reason for terminating the app was low usage. It is replaced by AppSheet, the current procurement of a no-code app development platform.

3. Chrome App – A web application for Google Chrome browser will shut down by June 2021 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Though the announcement was made in 2016, the final takedown will take place this year. However, Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade users will have access to it till June 2022. The reason for this decision is a fewer user base.

4. Expedition App – Launched in 2015, this virtual reality app will shut down post-June 2021, and will be replaced by the Arts & Culture app. The app offers great VR and AR experiences.  

5. Tour Builder – Launched as a beta project in 2013, this travel-related VR application will shut down by July 2021.

6. Poly – A web-based creation tool (VR \ased project) will go out of business by June end, 2021. Due to this, experts believe users might switch to Sketchfab, Google Cardboard and others.

7. AngularJS – A JavaScriptbased – open-source front-end framework first announced in 2018 will die by June 2021.

That said, it looks Google is withdrawing from the VR market as out of 7 apps that are going off, 4 are VR-based. Do you think the same?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 Is Google Chat available for iOS users?

Yet, it is unclear as to when the upgraded version will be available for iOS users.

How will this change affect users?

If you use Hangouts with Google Fi, remember Hangouts support will go away, and you will be migrated to Google’s Messages app.

Likewise, if you use Hangouts for voice calls and messages, you will be redirected to Voice app. But soon the voice support will end.

This might annoy you, but it’s the way Google works. Earlier they wanted to move Hangout users to Allo and Duo and business users to Meet and Chat. But as Allo failed and Duo was not able to attract users, Hangout remained. This clearly explains the company is not clear as to what they want, and this leaves users in a dilemma thinking about what’s happening.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, I would love to hear from you about what you think is happening. Please share your feedback in the comments section.


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