Google’s Pixel is right around the corner for a lot of pre-orderers, and the nitty gritty details surrounding the device just keep trickling in as more and more people get their hands on one. Today, we’re hearing that Hangouts is disabled by default on the Pixel and Pixel XL in favor of Allo and Duo…
It’s not exactly surprising — personally, I wouldn’t have been shocked if the device had shipped without Hangouts entirely. But that’s not the case here, as Chrome Unboxed notes. The site has managed to obtain a screenshot of the Play Store on a Pixel device that was recently set up, showing that the long-lived Hangouts messenger is disabled out of the box.
Of course this doesn’t mean — at least not yet — that you won’t be able to use Hangouts at all. In fact, re-enabling it is simply a matter of heading to the listing on the Play Store and tapping the “Enable” button. But this is probably just a sign of things to come, with those “things to come” being the eventual evolution of Hangouts and its replacement with Google’s latest offerings.
But maybe it’s gonna stick around for a while longer. For those dependent on the app because they use Project Fi, it’s likely that the Pixel doesn’t disable the app by default. And on the record, Google says that Hangouts isn’t going anywhere. “It will increasingly focus on that kind of group collaboration enterprise productivity space,” the company said a couple months ago. I guess we’ll see.