Many people have a Gmail account as their primary email. And your Google account gives you access to all of the tech giant’s additional apps and services. Tap or click here to see the shocking amount of data Google collects from your phone.
An easy way to communicate with other Google account holders is through Google Hangouts. The chatting app is built into the Gmail interface or available as a stand-alone app.
But Hangouts has reached the end of the road, and Google is urging users to switch over to the Google Chat replacement. Read on to see how you can do that and a few things you need to know before you do.
Here’s the backstory
Google Chat was initially only available to selected users, but the company opened it for use by everyone in late 2020 while still keeping Hangouts around. But development and support will stop for Hangouts soon, so Google is encouraging the remaining users to make the switch.
The upgraded chatting functionality includes some new actions that Hangout users can’t see. For example, Google Chat includes the topic-based collaboration area Spaces. You can also change Docs, Slides or Sheets with side-by-side editing.
If you still use Hangouts, the next time you launch the app, you’ll be greeted with a screen asking you to upgrade from Hangouts to Chat. So you might want to download a copy of your Hangouts chat history before the app disappears in November.
Here’s how you can do that through Google Takeout:
- Go to Google Takeout and sign in with the Google Account you use in Hangouts.
- In the available applications, select Hangouts and deselect the rest.
- Click Next Step.
- In the Delivery method, choose how often you want to download the backup. Google recommends a one-time download.
- Choose the file type and click on Export.
Next, you’ll see a message telling you that Google is creating a copy of files from Hangouts. You will receive an email when the process is complete. The final step is to download the file to save your Hangouts data.
Remember that you only have until November 2022 to download the data, as Hangouts data will no longer be available in Gmail.
What you can do about it
It is always a good idea to go through your phone regularly and remove any apps you don’t use. Uninstalling apps will create more storage space and minimize your data leak chances.
Here’s how to remove the Hangouts app on your Android phone:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- At the top right, tap the Profile icon.
- Tap Manage apps & devices and then Manage.
- Tap the name of the app you want to delete.
- Finally, tap Uninstall.
Here’s how to remove the iOS version:
- Touch and hold the app you want to remove.
- Tap Remove App.
- Tap Delete App, then tap Delete to confirm.