Duo is replacing Hangouts in Google's batch of preinstalled apps

Instead of swapping Hangouts for Allo, Google is apparently more interested in pushing out a better video call experience than a messaging alternative.

Allo may be the future of Google’s messaging efforts, but it’s Duo that will replace Hangouts as one of the preinstalled options on future Android phones.

An email about the change recently went out to partners that install Google Mobile Services on their phones. This is distinct from the Android Open Source Project, as enabling these services means agreeing to a license with Google that your phone will include this distinct bundle of apps. Basically, all devices with the Google Play Store are “Google Mobile Services” licensees, while other devices that have their own app stores don’t use the Google Mobile Services agreement. We rarely see those products here in the U.S., but Amazon’s Fire tablets are the most popular example.

According to the message details, Google is dropping Hangouts from the list of apps that must be bundled on upcoming phones.

Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.

It sounds like the earlier indication that Hangouts would pivot to an enterprise function is coming to be. The curious change is that it’s Duo, not Allo, that’s become the replacement.

Google must see video calling as the more pivotal market right now, a function that has often been lackluster for Hangouts. Pushing out Duo puts a FaceTime competitor to everyone who buys a future Android phones, enabling them to easily video chat with friends or family members across Android and iOS.

Why this matters: Duo is clearly the cool kid now when it comes to Google’s messaging efforts. I’d expect Allo to get similar bundling treatment at some point, especially since the company faces stiff competition from several messaging apps that are already hugely popular. Until then, it’s up to you to grab it from the Play Store.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle G Suite

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?