Google has begun migrating business users of its G Suite collection of cloud-hosted productivity apps from the older version of the company’s Hangouts video conferencing app to the more enterprise oriented Hangouts Meet.
Starting May 29, organizations that are currently following Google’s recommended upgrade schedule for G Suite will be automatically upgraded to Hangouts Meet.
All newly created events in Google Calendar will start containing Hangouts Meet video conference details rather than the classic Hangouts information. However, previously scheduled Calendar meetings will remain unchanged, Google announced on its G Suite Update blog May 29. The changes will take place over the next month, according to the company.
Google has described Hangouts Meet as a video conferencing app designed specifically for enterprise customers. The company has claimed the upgraded app makes it easier for enterprise teams to connect via video with other internal and external teams.
The application’s user interface and participant management features are designed to drastically reduce the time required to set up and to start a meeting. With Meet, users can join a videoconference directly from Google Calendar, an email invitation or a shared link with little more than a couple of clicks, Google has noted.
For at least the next few months, administrators that want to continue using the older Hangouts app have the option of switching back. Simply by unselecting the option for Meet in G Suite’s Admin Console, administrators can ensure that users can continue scheduling new video meetings in classic Hangouts.
Meet is currently compatible with Chrome and Firefox. The company is working on building support for Internet Explorer and Safari as well. When support for those browsers become available sometime in the 2018 second half Meet will be automatically turned on for all G Suite users. All new Calendar events will feature a Meet video link and Chrome devices will also be enabled to use Meet.
At that point business users of G Suite will no longer be able to opt out of using Meet. But meetings that have already been previously scheduled on Hangouts will not be impacted.
Once the Meet activation has been completed for all G Suite users Google will turn off Hangouts for all domains, according to a scheduled timeline that the company has posted. All meeting links using Hangouts will be automatically replaced with links pointing to Meet instead. Users who try using Hangouts will get instructions to use Meet instead.
For organizations that choose to do nothing, Meet will be automatically enabled for their domains starting this week. All new meetings scheduled in Calendar as well as meetings scheduled on Chrome devices will use Meet video links and. However, until Google discontinues Hangouts later this year, users will be able to schedule meetings using the classic app, according to the company.