Google has pushed back the migration deadline for its Hangouts collaboration app, offering G Suite customers more time to make the switch to its Hangouts Chat and Meet tools
Google unveiled Hangouts Chat and Meet in 2017, effectively separating the classic Hangouts app with individual chat and video functions.
Earlier this year, the company said it would begin to migrate users to the new platforms, with plans to retire classic Hangouts in October 2019.
Last week, Google said it has delayed the migration date in response to customer demands. “…[W]e’ve heard feedback from many of you that you’d like more time to migrate your organizations from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat,” the company said in a blog post.
The final transition date will be “no sooner” than June 2020, Google said; a more precise time frame will be announced closer to the deadline. Customers that want to move to the latest versions of Hangouts can do so later this year by requesting an invitation to the Accelerated Transition Program.
In the meantime, Google promised to add new features to the classic Hangouts software, such as read receipts, and to make it easier for users to migrate to the new apps.
Although Google has struggled in the past with overlapping products, the company has recently upped its efforts to streamline and consolidate its portfolio, according to Raúl Castañón-Martínez, a senior analyst at 451 Research.
Nevertheless, it makes sense to cater to customers that have been slow to move to the new versions of Hangouts by extending support, he said.
“Ensuring a smooth transition of their enterprise customers is no easy task and while it can be a bit confusing in the near term, it is a better option to extend the deadline rather than pressure customers to make the transition if they – both Google and their customers – are not ready to do so,” said Castañón-Martínez.
In another G Suite-related announcement, Google said it will introduce enhanced AI spelling and grammar correction to help Gmail users draft emails faster and more efficiently. Mistakes are highlighted with a wavy blue line under the text, with users able to accept changes by clicking on the suggested tweak.
The features are available only to G Suite subscribers and not Gmail consumer users, Google said.