Google Hangouts is now one step closer to becoming the de facto communications app from Google, as the company discontinued Google Talk earlier this month.
Over the last year, Google has been integrating Google Talk, Voice and SMS functionality into the Hangouts app. These apps have been slowly moved to the Hangouts app on Android and iOS already, but the desktop users still had the option to use Google Talk.
Google started notifying Gtalk users that the company will be cutting off access to the service on February 16, and that they will need to install the Hangouts app for Chrome to use the IM service.
On the web, the Chat panel will be replaced by Hangouts, which provides similar functionality as the Chrome app. It is unclear whether the third-party Google Talk clients such as Pidgin, Miranda or Trillian will continue to work after the change. Hangouts uses proprietary technology and cannot be accessed by other applications yet.
Although Hangouts provides better features than Google Talk on mobile, the lack of a proper desktop client will leave many users disappointed.