Okay, so “RIP Hangouts” is probably a slight exaggeration, but it’s clear that the focus for Google is going to be on Allo and Duo going forward, not their older messaging platform. We’ve seen it happen with Google+ where the service exists without really being put front and center, and we’re probably going to see it again.
Google has officially removed Hangouts from the list of required apps that OEMs have to install on their devices to include the Google Apps package. This change happens on December 1st of this year, and while it doesn’t mean Hangouts is going away, it means new users will have to go download the app from the Play Store instead of having it on their home screen right after they take the phone out of the box for the first time.
OEMs can still include Hangouts if they’d like, but outside of some OEMs like HTC that independently push Google services, I don’t think we’ll see much of that. Other OEMs and carriers especially prefer to push their own messaging solutions, and Hangouts only complicates that.
OEMs will have to start including Duo in their Android phones going forward, but oddly enough, Allo is being left out to dry. It’s great that Google is finally pushing for a cleanly integrated video calling solution for Android, but Allo is the service that’s struggling to maintain users. You’d think that bundling the messaging service front and center, like they’ve done for the Pixel, would make more sense, but if any of us actually knew what Google’s plan was for a messaging platform we could probably get rich picking lottery numbers, too.
Let’s just hope Hangouts doesn’t go the way of Reader.
source: Android Police