Starting on the first day of December 2016, there will be new rules for all Android OEMs who are looking to come in with new devices.
As usual with Android devices, there are a number of apps that come preinstalled. Usually, Google leads the way with its Google Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Google Hangouts, and many others, however, things will be different starting December 1, 2016.
As opposed to coming preinstalled with Google Hangouts, all Android devices will now feature the recently-released Google Duo, an app that focuses on video calling services alone. In the report which was brought out by Android Police, Google is said to be instructing its partner OEMs to bundle the new Duo app into all Android devices as a mandatory procedure, similar to what has been happening with Google Hangouts.
Google has further confirmed that the Duo app will become the optional telephony product on all Android devices, something that hints at the inclusion of voice calling services at some point in the future. For an app to offer complete telephony services like Google Hangouts has been doing to all users of Android devices, having support for voice calling services is inevitable.
Keep in mind that removing Google Hangouts from the group of preloaded apps on Android devices doesn’t mean the end of the service. It had been hinted earlier that Hangouts will be shifting its focus from the consumer side to the business side of things, meaning you will keep seeing more of it in services such as Google for Work. Furthermore, those who still want to use it can download the app from the official Google Play Store and install it on their devices.
Even though Google Hangouts has quite a huge following, it has not been able to cope up with the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger as well as WeChat, among others. Google’s replacement of the Hangouts app with the new Google Duo instead of Allo is a no-brainer. With the latter targeting messaging services and the former keeping it to video calling services, it was realistic to add a voice calling service to Google Duo than do the same for Allo.