Google’s Duo video messaging app will replace Hangouts as a required software installation on Android handsets with access to the Play Store. The switch takes place in December, at which point phone makers will ship devices with Duo pre-installed, in some ways replacing Hangouts.
Hangouts isn’t necessarily going away entirely, at least not in the coming months, but it’s been widely said Google’s Duo and Allo apps make Hangouts obsolete. Duo also comes with useful features like end-to-end encryption.
Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.