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Google finally realises no-one wants to Hangout on Android

Remember when everyone used to meet up for a good old chinwag in Google Hangouts? No, neither do we.

Reports on Friday revealed Google is willing to cast off its largely unloved universal chat app in favour of the new and improved Duo video calling app.

Google is no longer requiring Android phone makers to include Hangouts on their Google Mobile Services-approved phones. Its place will be taken by Duo, per AndroidPolice sources.

Related: Google Pixel hands-on – the ultimate small phone?

“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,” Google told hardware makers.

Hangouts, which includes instant messaging, voice and group video chatting will be relegated to an optional extra for manufacturers and will remain available via the Play Store.

Interestingly, although Duo will be a mandatory inclusion for Android phone-makers down the line, the Allo chat app, powered by Google Assistant, will not.

As the original source points out, Allo has a huge number of competitors in the field, namely Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp.

See also: Google Allo tips and tricks

With that in mind, it is strange Google wouldn’t give it a leg up by ensuring it arrives on all Android Phones, so perhaps this will change in future.

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