It was a big deal when Google added SMS and MMS support to Hangouts for Android a couple of years ago because it meant that a lot of folks could rely on Hangouts for all of their messaging needs. However, a new report claims that Google may soon pull SMS support from the Hangouts app.
Phandroid claims to have been told by a “trusted source” that Google is currently testing a new version of Hangouts without SMS/MMS support. It’s said that when you launched the new Hangouts app, it will prompt you to download Google’s Messenger app for your SMS needs. However, the Hangouts app does allegedly still offer Project Fi and Google Voice functionality.
It’s unknown why Google might be planning to pull SMS support from Hangouts. Google has been offering its Messenger app for SMS/MMS for a little more than a year now, and it’s gotten pretty good in that time, so perhaps Google would rather people use Messenger for SMS rather than continue to develop two different SMS apps. Of course, this is all unconfirmed, so you Hangouts folk can continue to send MMS messages for now.