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Google Discontinues Hangouts on Air (joelx.com)
96 points by silexia 75 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 59 comments

I wish google would provide an idea of product supported lifetimes similar to the LTS releases we see from Ubuntu. Give us a product and tell it will be supported until at least XX/XX/XX date.

I simply do not use google products beyond search and maps because I can't trust they'll be around without significant changes (gmail) or discontinuation.

What's the recommended gmail alternative for personal email?

Honestly, Hotmail isn't too bad these days. I have to use it for a mail account I manage for someone else, and it's pretty on par with Gmail. Not quite there, but pretty close. And since it's from Microsoft, you know that it will be supported for a long time.

Now called Outlook, so you don't even have to worry about the slightly dubious @hotmail.com address.

I think you mean "retro". ;)

I prefer "vintage"

Vintage would be @aol.com

Going one step further you can have an archaic email address using Juno (still laying, not that you asked) or Bigfoot.com (still works but company resold many times)

Having an @hotmail address no longer makes you look prehistoric on a résumé. There are probably as much (or even more) stupid internet users on @gmail.

Your mail is probably the single most important service you have on the internet. Pay for something, or host it yourself.

That's actually the reason why I use Gmail instead of switching to a smaller email service - it's "too big to fail," I don't think Gmail will be discontinued for as long as Google exists, even if it became somewhat unprofitable, due to the outrage and class action lawsuits that would result.

Hosting yourself is a good way to have half your sent emails never arrive.

Own the domain name, but let one of the big players handle deliverability for you.

This. I use my own domain names with gsuite and protonmail.

Hosting an email server in these days with DMARC, SPF, DKIM and all those mail filtering blacklist is is world of pain but that's the price to pay for reduced spam I guess.

I wish there was a modern protocol equivalent with authentication builtin.

Paying for it has its risks as well. If you are unable to access for an extended amount of time (injury, travel, etc) and your payment method becomes invalid, it could cause your account to be shut down.

This is a valid concern. I would pay for a year in advance at least.


(...) a company located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.[2]


Big wall of NOPE.


I second the Fastmail recommendation. Not only has their service been great, but they're also actively working on improving email for everyone (for example with all their work on introducing and standardizing JMAP).

I third the Fastmail recommendation. Just changed over to use their app on my phone as well, much better folder management etc than Apple's native app.

I used to be in the "no webmail" camp until I started using Fastmail. I now find myself keeping a Safari pinned tab to their webmail and using it as my primary email interface.

Also speaking of mobile apps, Fastmail actually supports push notifications for email in Apple Mail. I'm not aware of any other third party email provider that's ever done that (I believe Yahoo! has support for that but Apple did that themselves when the iPhone first came out).

Wish Mozilla would go down this road.

Oh I would pay for that. I was also looking at Librem One.


Seconded, and it sends a great signal to the market that people value privacy. With actual money.

Also another Europe-based provider: Runbox.


Fastmail. I can vouch for them, having used them since 2014, including after a recent re-design.

I used Hangouts on Air to live stream several weddings. It was great because you could set it up ahead of time, send out the private link to whoever you want, and the link would work both during the event and after - no need to upload the recorded video. Oh well, time to look for something else now.

There was a Hangouts on Air ? Its funny that some of these discontinued Google products seem to get more attention at their ending then at their start.

Theres an entire site dedicated to listing products killed by google: https://killedbygoogle.com/ tons of products there that I didn't know existed.

I am betting Stadia is on that list within 24 months of launch

For a little while there were startups being built around it even (AirPair comes to mind, though they eventually switched to Slack, and now is more or less defunct)

Oh interesting, I didn't realize airpair was basically dead. Looks like last twitter post was in 2016, and their articles all have comments from 4 years ago

Hangouts on Air has a bit of functionality which a lot of streamers value highly: The picture will automatically change to the speaker.

Is there any other software that does this as well as Hangouts on Air does?


Zoom has a lot of UI/UX problems

Compared to what?

Compared to any app that does not secretly install insecure spyware.

Based on who's speaking? FaceTime kinda does this.

Is there anything comparable? I watch multiple “shows” that use Hangouts on Air (Adafruit Show & Tell, Makercast, etc), I wonder what they’ll use now.

Gives a 404 for me, but my understanding is that YouTube Webcam is streaming of your own webcam and that’s it.

The feature that made Hangouts Live so good was that groups of people could instantly stream together from anywhere in the world, and the focus shifted to whoever was talking. It made multi-person casts incredibly simple and didn’t require having someone running OBS and managing the stream.

I think hangout meet live streaming is supposed to be the replacement for hangouts on air[1].

[1]: https://support.google.com/meet/answer/9055488


Sadly this more than doubles the price of the per user package and doesn't match on features.

What are the missing features?

Bad news for you: prices on new products don't ever go down.

The good news is (bad for retailers/providers) prices on old products never go up.

Both of these statements are objectively false

I just can't consider Google Products for any production use cases anymore.

I guess this opens up a market opportunity for an easy to use video group chat with a youtube integration.

OP, what evidence did you view/receive/etc that led you to post this?

I found another article from June https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-hangouts-disconti...

"The classic Hangouts On Air streaming experience is going away later in 2019. For quick streaming, try YouTube.com/webcam"

Why can't you use Google Meet and stream it to YouTube?

As an aside, that is a refreshingly simple blog theme.

Was this a paid product? Was it heavily used?

Not a paid product, and "heavily used" maybe not, but was the only native(ish) way to live stream a group call to YouTube. You could live stream a podcast style show w/ no extra hardware or software, just your youtube/google account. It was was birthed out of Google+ so its not altogether surprising it got killed, but I was watching a live stream just last week that was using it.

That's just Gross misconduct.

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