It seems that Google has not clear which route to take with its service Hangouts, a platform that underwent many changes during its development cycle. Little by little, the company has been converting the different functions of Hangouts individual apps, as it is the case of Google Voice.
However, now, Google decided to remove another of the features that make this platform a multipurpose app. But for now it is not completely confirmed, seems to support for sending and receiving SMS messages will be removed from Hangouts in Android.
This fact has come to light through Reddit when Google sent several emails to the G Suite administrators to warn them that Hangouts users begin to see some notifications from March 27, according to which support for SMS would be eliminated entirely from the application for Android. This change would come into effect after May 22, as the company has revealed it.
Last year, we announced several important improvements with respect to the most popular functions of Google Hangouts, like the new experience of meetings by video or group messaging enhancements. As part of this effort, we will remove Hangouts in Android SMS text messages after 22 may 2017.
However, it seems that Google Voice numbers will continue to function after this date, since this change will only affect the SMS messages sent and received from numbers of carriers.
As of March 27, Hangouts for Android users should choose another application of default SMS which will probably on their mobile devices. If they have none, they will be redirected to the Google Play Store to find another app of SMS that can start to use.