In March, Google Hangouts announced that as a part of its re-branding, the SMS integration feature would be discontinued. This feature earlier allowed you to merge chats, as well as view regular messages and SMS in the same thread. Since this announcement, the users have started seeing an in-app warning banner that informs them that SMS texting will soon go away and they should now switch to a different app for text messaging.
If you were using Hangouts for your text messages, you should now consider switching to Google’s Android Messages app instead or even choosing something else from the wide range of texting apps available in the Play Store. This, of course, is only necessary if you do not want to use the default messaging app that comes with your device. The tech giant now has a total of six messaging services, including Android Messages, under its umbrella.
However, customers using Project Fi, a wireless service from Google, will still be able to use Hangouts for SMS if they wish to. It is possible though that they will take this offer as it is convenient to consolidate your SMS into an app that is already being used for chat purposes. Additionally, the current users of Google Voice will also be able to continue using Hangouts for SMS messages.
With the removal of the SMS feature from Hangouts as well as the launch of chat app Allo last year, Google seems to have signified its decision to have separate apps for different purposes. It has now differentiated Hangouts from the stereotype of an all-inclusive messaging application that is capable of handling texts as well as chats.
Google may choose to use another service that will integrate text and chat messages in the future although it has given no indication of any such development yet. It can, therefore, be assumed that the company intends to keep the two features on separate platforms. But, if you’re looking for an app that can serve this purpose, there are several such apps easily available on Google Play Store.