So in summary... Google has pulled the plug on support on a protocol they've helped popularize, after years of promising interoperability, for reasons that are dubious at best, and in a way that leaves people who don't jump to the new Hangouts app unable to talk to their contacts without any feedback that their IMs aren't getting through... and they've done that with no warning to anyone. I imagine there's a bunch of people out there wondering where some of their buddies have gone, or why their messages aren't getting responses, because this isn't documented anywhere. trysdyn
At what point will Google deprecate IMAP access for Gmail, I wonder? From the best motives, of course.— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) May 16, 2013
Personally I’m not affected by this ‘upgrade’ at all, I haven’t used Google Chat in ages. Here in Romania everybody was using Yahoo! messenger and later people moved to Facebook en masse. Now I keep hearing a colleague using WhatsApp instead of SMS and another friend at work is constantly praising Viber – on the other hand I introduced her to iMessage. The market has moved on to other solutions and I seriously doubt Google’s late move with Hangouts will get them anywhere.