Google Duo will be replacing Hangouts as the primary video-chatting app for Android phones

Google Duo will be replacing Hangouts as the primary video-chatting app for Android phones
When Google announced Allo and Duo back at Google I/O this year, there was a bit of confusion surrounding how the two new platforms would work in conjunction with the host of other messaging solutions that Google already offered - more specifically, Hangouts. We got word back in August that Hangouts wouldn't be dying off, but would rather have its focused switched over to the enterprise market over that of the consumer base. Today, that transition is finally coming to fruition with Google's announcement that Hangouts will no longer be required to be pre-installed on Android smartphones starting in December of this year.

The announcement comes by way of an email that was sent out to partners of Google Mobile Services on October 5th, and in the email, it's stated that "Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products." Essentially, this means that OEMs for Android smartphones will no longer be required to pre-install Hangouts on their devices, but will instead be required to  It makes sense to see Hangouts no longer needing to be pre-installed on Android smartphones, but what is peculiar is the fact that Google is simply replacing it with only Duo. Google Duo and Allo are meant to work in conjunction with one another, with Duo offering video calls and Allo handling text-based conversations. Both Allo and Duo are solid apps that offer a lot to love, but Google's going to need to push both of them equally as hard if they want to establish the user-base that both apps are still grasping at. 


As for Hangouts, the service is far from dead. The app will live on just fine on the Play Store, but you'll simply need to go there and download it if you want to use it on any Android smartphones that come out next year. This really isn't that big of a deal, but it is a big move forward with Google's push in taking it out of the consumer market and pushing it more towards enterprise use.


I've dabbled a bit with both Allo and Duo myself, and while the apps function perfectly fine, I don't have any real particular use for them. I've never been one for video chatting, and all of my text communication is handled through other apps (WhatsApp, Google/Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc.). I certainly hope that Google sees the success that they're striving for with Duo and Allo, and the move to making Duo a required GMS app is certainly a step in the right direction.

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16 Comments

1. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

This is actually good, this will make it a standard, thus making it actually usable.

2. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

allo and duo are DOA

4. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Both apps are barely known in my country. Video calling is not popular so Duo won't be any breakthrough and 98% of smartphone users believe Whatsapp is the only IM app that exists.

7. aegislash

Posts: 1526; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Allo is an absolute joke...I had such high hopes for it, but until it gets proper SMS support, I'll be avoiding it. I can't even count how many people I sent texts to from it, only for them to reply with 'no' to the message from the relay number about downloading it.

10. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

Outside of no SMS support, is it the best?

13. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

And...next year, they'll be replaced with something else.

3. Sakeem

Posts: 864; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

I actually like using Duo. Hopefully they can get millions of actual users for both Allo and Duo.

5. AlikMalix unregistered

Yes!!!! This is the best news coming out of googles services since gmail!!! I've been waiting for this. They should force this on The other oem's. Android needs a standard FaceTime alternative.

6. srgonu

Posts: 565; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

This is stupid move. Hangouts syncs across devices (not phone number dependent) and both video and chat are integrated. Duo can't replace it.

8. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

So how to make call using Google voice number without Hangout ?

9. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Pull it together Google. Your all over the place.

11. Alacorn

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 24, 2016

No one gonna use it. Enterprises know Google changes their services like sweaty socks. Until it stay as singular service and gets polished for years they have no chance.

12. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I'm with you on that. Google constantly change, kill the old one than make new one. Why can't they just spend time polish the one they all ready have.

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have to agree on this as well. I am using Hangout and a large number of my friend use it as its pre-install on their phone. Why the change?

15. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

As a heavy Hangouts user with Google Voice I have no intention of switching. That's my vote.

16. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Same here, not the best, but it works. I'm able to communicate with people with and without the app installed. Also, like the flexibility of cross platform usability.

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