Google Chat known limitations

Google Chat has the following known limitations. Read each one carefully to make sure you understand the impact to your organization before switching users to Chat.

Chat history

  • Recent 1:1 direct message history from classic Hangouts will appear in Chat.
  • Group messages from classic Hangouts will not be migrated to Chat. Users can access these group messages on the Web at hangouts.google.com. Users cannot access the group messages with mobile browsers. 
  • If you have important group messages in classic Hangouts, we recommend that you recreate them in Chat as a Room.
  • All classic Hangouts message history can be searched in Gmail.

Interoperability between classic Hangouts and Google Chat

  • Group messages and rooms started in Chat won’t send messages to users who are still on classic Hangouts, and the other way around.
  • The classic Hangouts bot will notify users of any missed classic Hangouts group messages.

Learn more about Chat and classic Hangouts interoperability.

Chat notifications

  • Turning chat notifications off from Gmail will also turn off notifications in the Chat app. 
  • If you want to continue to get chat message notifications from the Chat app but not receive them in Gmail, you have to turn desktop notifications off from Gmail.

External chat network

  • Users in G Suite organizations that have not yet turned on Chat won't be reachable through Chat. Users can message any external users in organizations that have Chat turned on.
  • Users can still use hangouts.google.com for external chats and the classic Hangouts bot will notify users of any missed messages through Chat.

Other external Chat limitations

The following features are not currently available but are expected later this year.

  • Spam invites: Users can see spam invites on the web, but they are not yet visible on the mobile apps.
  • Rooms: For privacy and abuse protection, you won't be able to convert existing internal rooms in Chat to external rooms. Rooms must be created as external rooms.

Mobile app experiences for classic Hangouts

When you turn off classic Hangouts apps and migrate your organization to Chat:

  • Users need to install the latest version of the classic Hangouts mobile app (Android, iOS) to see messages redirecting users to download the Google Chat app. In addition, Android users need to have Android 6.0 or above.
  • Users on earlier versions of the classic Hangouts mobile apps will see all previous messages even though the app is turned off. They can't, however, send or receive new messages and won't receive any notifications.

Voice calling

  • Phone calls and text messages using Google Voice are not currently available through Chat.
  • Users can switch apps to use voice.google.com to make phone calls and send or receive text messages, or download the Google Voice app on their mobile devices (Android, iOS).

    Note: If a user hasn't already set up Voice on their G Suite account, your organization will need to get a Voice license for new users to sign up for Voice.

  • Fi users: Chat does not support integration with Google Fi. Google Fi users who chose classic Hangouts as their default text messaging app for their device can still send and receive text messages using the classic Hangouts app on their Google Fi mobile device.

Video calling

  • From Chat, users can join ad-hoc online meetings through Google Meet by sharing a link to Meet. This is different than the video calling experience from classic Hangouts because there's no ringing or calling state.
  • Users who want to join meetings from their phones should download the Meet application to their mobile devices (Android, iOS) and sign in to their G Suite account.
  • Video calls between a user on Chat and a user on classic Hangouts may result in asymmetric caller/recipient experiences.
    Caller Recipient Outcome
    Chat Classic Hangouts Caller shares Meet link
    Classic Hangouts Chat
    • Caller is in a "calling state"
    • Recipient receives link to join the video (no ringing)
    • On mobile, recipient will not be able to join the meeting because the classic mobile client is turned off

    Improvements to the video calling experience in Chat are coming in the next few months.

New Chat standalone app

  • You need Chrome 73 or higher installed on your computer. Chrome doesn't have to be your default browser to use the new standalone app.
  • The new standalone app is not yet packageable by enterprise re-packagers such as SCCM.

Refer to About the new Google Chat standalone app to check for other possible limitations. 
 

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