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Google Fi to work in Hangouts only till January 2021

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Highlights

Google Fi subscribers received emails about moving their conversations to Messages by Google as Fi texting in the Hangouts app.

Google has sent an email to Google Fi subscribers to guide them on how they can move their conversations to Messages by Google in addition to announcing a phone subscription program, 9to5Google reported. The supporting documents detail what users can expect and also mention that Google Fi texting in the Hangouts app will stop working in January next year.

Hangouts users have been encouraged to start using the Messages app, Google announced last week, also revealing that a free version of Google Chat is coming by 2021. Users will have the option to use another Texting and Messages app. It will receive a major update that suits Fi customers and brings many of the classic features.

The most significant update will be the significantly improved version of Messenger for the web experience that will allow you to make calls and check voicemail online. However, you will not be able to use RCS "chat" on the desktop.

There are two options here:

One is to send and receive text messages only. There are chat features available with this too. RCS allows for high-resolution photos and writing prompts, but users will use the same QR code pairing process that is available today that requires their phone to remain connected to their web browser (as with WhatsApp for Web).

The second option is to send text messages, make calls, and check voicemail that syncs with your Google account. There are no chat functions available for this. This option is more similar to what the classic version of Hangouts does on the web. This also gives you the key ability to transfer old texts (SMS and MMS) from Hangouts.

"Make calls, send texts, and check voicemail with your phone or computer. Even when your phone is off, text conversations stay synced across the Messages mobile app, Messages for web, and Hangouts (while Hangouts supports Fi)," Google explains, adding - "For a similar experience to Hangouts, we recommend you use Option 2".

Google also noted that "call history is stored online for 180 days and does not sync with the Google Phone app" and that "text messages and voicemail are stored online until you delete them."

The second option is not here yet and will only be activated in the Messages app for the "next few days".

Google shared the following instructions to allow Google Fi to associate with Messages for the web and migrate Hangouts history:

- In Messages for Android Go to Settings, click Advanced, click Google Fi Settings. If this option is not yet available, please check back later.

- Login with your Google Fi account.

- Touch Sync conversations.

- Come back and update this page if it hasn't been updated.

You will not be able to use the classic Hangouts apps to send/receive text messages or make/receive voice calls and voicemail on January 19, 2021. By then, all users will default to using the first option described above.

"If you don't switch to Messages or another texting app by January 19th, 2021, your phone will default to using your phone's standard SMS app at that time. Please note that your text message history won't be transferred from Hangouts, but you can always download it using Google Takeout," Google explained.

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