Google Fi to stop working in Hangouts by January 2021, new Messages for web coming soon
Google has emailed all Google Fi subscribers about moving their conversations to Messages by Google as Fi texting in the Hangouts app will stop working by January next year.
Google has emailed Google Fi subscribers to guide them about how they can move their conversations to Messages by Google besides announcing a Phone subscription program, 9to5Google reported. The support documents detail what users can expect and also mentions that Google Fi texting in the Hangouts app will stop working by January next year.
Hangouts users have been encouraged to start using the Messages app, Google announced last week while also revealing that a free version of Google Chat is coming by 2021. Users will have the option of using another texting app and Messages is getting a major update that's tailored to Fi customers and brings in many of the classic features.
The biggest update will be the significantly upgraded version of Messenger for web experience that will let you make calls and check voicemail online. You will not be able to use RCS ”chat” on desktop though.
There are essentially two options here -
One is to send and receive texts only. There are also chat features available with this. RCS allows for high-res photos and typing indicators but users will be using the exact same QR code pairing process that's available today that requires your phone to remain connected to your web browser (like with WhatsApp for Web).
Option two is to text, make calls and check voicemail that syncs to your Google Account. There are no chat features available for this. This option is more similar to what classic Hangouts does on the web. This also gives you the key ability to transfer old texts (SMS and MMS) from Hangouts.
“Make calls, send texts, and check voicemail with your phone or computer. Even when your phone is off, text conversations stay synced across the Messages mobile app, Messages for web, and Hangouts (while Hangouts supports Fi),” Google explains, adding - “For a similar experience to Hangouts, we recommend you use Option 2”.
Also Read: Google Chat to replace Hangouts by next year
Google also noted that “Call history is stored online for 180 days and doesn't sync with the Google Phone app” and that “Text messages and voicemail are stored online until you delete them”.
The second option is not here yet and will only go live in the Messages app over the “coming days”.
Google shared the following instructions to let Google Fi be associated with Messages for web, and migrate Hangouts history:
- In Messages for Android Go to Settings, click on Advanced, click on Google Fi settings. If this option isn't available yet, check back later.
- Sign in using your Google Fi account.
- Tap Sync conversations.
- Come back and refresh this page if it hasn't updated.
You won't be able to use the classic Hangouts apps to send/receive texts or make/receive voice calls and voicemail on January 19, 2021. By then, all users will be defaulted to using the first option that's been described above.
“If you don't switch to Messages or another texting app by January 19th, 2021 your phone will default to using your phone's standard SMS app at that time. Please note that your text message history won't be transferred from Hangouts, but you can always download it using Google Takeout,” Google explained.