Known limitations

Hangouts Chat has the following known limitations during the Accelerated Transition Program. 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 in hangouts.google.com.
  • All classic Hangouts message history can be searched in Gmail.

Interoperability between classic Hangouts and Hangouts 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.

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.

  • Invitation screens: Message requests or invitation screens from external users aren't currently available. Enter a message to respond to an invitation.
  • Blocked/Spam list: You can block users but the full list of blocked users won't be available. To unblock users or view spam messages, use the blocked/spam screens in classic Hangouts (hangouts.google.com).
  • 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 Hangouts Chat app.
  • 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 Hangouts 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: Hangouts 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 Hangouts 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 Hangouts Meet application to their mobile devices (Android, iOS) and sign in to their G Suite account.
  • Video calls between a user on Hangouts Chat and a user on classic Hangouts may result in asymmetric caller/recipient experiences.
    Caller Recipient Outcome
    Chat Classic Caller shares Hangouts Meet link
    Classic 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 Hangouts Chat standalone app

  • Users can download and install the new Hangouts Chat standalone app built on Progressive Web App (PWA) only through chat.google.com for now. The download prompt can take up to 10 seconds to appear.
  • The new Hangouts Chat standalone app requires Chrome 73 or higher.
  • Until the latter half of 2019, admins won’t be able to deploy the app to their employees through Chrome Policy Management.
  • The new standalone app doesn't have notifications yet. Make sure you turn notifications on in Chrome to get notification from the new app.
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