With Hangouts, which replaced Google Chat and is trying to do the same to Voice, the idea was that we’d have one app to rule all the messaging. Instead, we’ve ended up with a mixed bag of kinda-works, sorta-works, and doesn’t-work-except-for-this-one-time. The Nexus 6 artwork, which prominently shows a messaging icon (new, but obviously a messaging icon) at the bottom, we all started questioning the direction. It seems google still hasn’t quite figured out messaging.
In a statement to Android Police, Google had the following to say about the app icon making its home at the bottom of the Nexus screen:
Messenger and Hangouts offer users choice, each have their own benefits. Hangouts work great for cross platform (web, iOS, Android) and cross medium communications (video, voice,messaging, SMS). Messenger will be specially designed to be a quick and easy way to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android; more to come (Nexus 6 will come with both apps).
Read: Google hasn’t quite figured out messaging yet.
Reading even more into that statement, we’ll concede that Google Hangouts likely isn’t ready for lesser-than hardware. We’ll remember the rumor of a messaging platform Google is working on for emerging markets, and assume Hangouts, with all its bells and whistles (noted above), just isn’t ready for Android One handsets.
Almost from the start, Hangouts has been a bit of a kluge. A year in, Google still hasn’t figured out how to merge all their properties into the app, though that’s precisely what they said Hangouts was for. Hangouts works well enough for basic messaging, but the data-centric aim likely won’t work for those who have limited access to bandwidth.
Source: Android Police