Google announced their intent back in 2018, and the company has definitely learned from its mistakes because of the fact that it is taking a much slower approach this time around so that users could get used to the new service before they migrate to it.
Google is also removing the call phones feature from Hangouts in the European Union and US.
For Google Fi customers using Hangouts, the Messages app will be their new best friend.
Google will officially retire Google Hangouts in the first half of 2021 and migrate users to Google Chat that is now available to Google Workspace (erstwhile G Suite) customers but soon will rollout to regular users. According to the statements "to ensure a smooth transition, we will help you automatically migrate your Hangouts conversations, along with saved contacts and history". Once they finalize all of those specifics, they plan to share more. The move isn't entirely unexpected as Google had previously suggested its plan to migrate Hangouts users to Chat and Meet at some point. Final timing, Google says, may still shift. Up until now, Google Chat was only available for premium G Suite customers. Currently, it's an opt-in change.
Choose-out improve (no sooner than Q2 2021): All clients shall be migrated to Chat Most popular until their admins explicitly decide out. Customers who only have enabled Chat, with classic Hangouts completely disabled, will not be impacted.
Similarly, for Voice users, it will direct Hangout Voice users to the Voice app and remove Voice support in Hangouts early next year. They have also stated that beginning this month, they will direct Hangouts Voice users to the Voice app for text messaging.
Google has some of the biggest messaging apps. Google said Fi users will be able to make voice calls and check voicemail from Messages for web, migrate their existing Hangouts conversations, and manage conversations from Messages across devices. In about a month, they'll provide more details on how that will happen.
If you're a Google Voice user, there's a similar transition happening.
Because Hangouts will make way for Chat, that means Google will need to make changes to Hangouts for Google Fi users.