GOOGLE HAS quietly dropped a bombshell about the future of its chat client Hangouts.
From 25 April, the service API is to be shut down as the company pushes Hangouts toward enterprise while pushing social use on newer apps Allo and Duo.
This could be seen as a quiet own goal for Google. Migrating users to a different messaging client may alienate them all together, and a straw poll has seen most moving towards WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger rather than the Google replacements.
As of now, there's facility to build new apps within the Hangouts API, and Google has confirmed a reprieve for certain integrations such as Slack, Hangouts on Air tools and dialling into a call.
In reality what it represents is another tiny piece of the Google+ layer being detangled, as the company continues to reorganise its social layer. In an email to developers, Google explains, "This API was originally intended to support social scenarios for consumer users as part of Google+, whereas Hangouts is now turning to focus on enterprise use cases."
Some users have speculated that this represents a long slow death for Hangouts, but it's a fact that Google has continuously and strenuously denied, though they'd much rather you used Allo for your dinkle pics and chatter about the latest guff load of Kardashian.
Yes. Guffload. It's an appropriate unit of measurement.
It comes at a time when Google has confirmed that it is planning changes to its neglected Google Voice service, which, whilst not currently available in the UK, is lifeline for many small businesses in the US who use it to divert calls between office, home and mobile, while centralising their voice messaging.
It's not yet known what the update will bring, the evidence so far was the result of a trigger-happy employee who enabled a link offering users a chance to "try the new Google Voice", as such, there's very little detail as to what we'll see in the new version, and when it'll roll out, only that it puts pay to the suggestion that it might be quietly mothballed. µ
Toronto? More like Torrent-o
Firm claims changes come as a result or, er, 'customer feedback'
Hip hip Huawei
Big game hunting