XMPP Support get dropped from Google Hangouts

What is XMPP you say? well it stands for “Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol”, and is the industry standard protocol to allow the likes of Google Talk to move outside to exchange SMS with mobile phones and other SMS like Line, Whatsapp etc.

This means that right now, Google will not allow you to exchange traditional text messages with telephone numbers, which you could through Talk.

Google has become security conscious indeed a better word would be VERY security conscious and they would rather host all communication on their own servers. All is not lost though, despite the dropping of XMPP, this opens up up possibilities for new, more efficient features such as their “watermark” system replacing read receipts which allows the sender to see exactly where the others are in the conversation and shows you in real-time when they are typing a response whether it be from their browser or the Hangouts app on their mobile device.

For you and me, for now, using the Hangouts app, you won’t be able to exchange text messages. In the long run? Google will replace the XMPP with something more secure, probably that they’ve designed. The Hangouts app has the ability to send and receive SMS and MMS. See picture below.

Of course there will be interruptions mainly when features call for XMPP support, but Google are working on having those features back on track better than ever, and having a truly great hangout experience it’s meant to be.

We here at Land of Technology are looking forward to being able to replace SMS with Hangouts, are you?

About Dave Thornton

Davie is a Semi-Retired guy who loves writing about all things techie. His first computer was a NCR 386 pulled from a main frame at the NCR development center used for ATM design in Dundee.
  • Dmitri Smirnov says:

    Ahem, what does XMPP have to do with SMS? Have even looked at wikipedia to take 5 minutes to understand how they work?
    “is the industry standard protocol to allow the likes of Google Talk to
    move outside to exchange SMS with mobile phones and other SMS like Line,
    Whatsapp etc”
    I don’t know where to begin correcting, this is horribly wrong, every line of it.
    XMPP is a protocol used for messaging, that is it. So happens, that Whatsapp uses it too, but Whatsapp doesn’t want to talk to other servers and only allows it’s user to interact within it’s server’s limits and Google has nothing to do with that.
    What Google did - was drop interoperability with other XMPP server, that were open to communication (Jabber.org and so on) and in order to chat to each other users will have to have google account. SMS is just a fallback, in case users are not available - then text messages will be sent as SMSes. This was an option for ICQ, MSN, Skype and whatnot messenger and has absolutely nothing to do with XMPP, which is just an open IM protocol, that many like to use (FB messenger, Whatsapp, former GTalk, MS Lync and many others).

    Also - how is XMPP not secure? Assymetric crypto TLS is not good enough for you?

    That is it. God, you journalists are getting either lazier or stupider every day.

    • GetTheLOT says:

      Thanks for the comments. The feedback has been passed to the author to make adjustments were required to this post.

      Would you perhaps consider writing a Guest Post about XMPP and where / how it’s used in Android?

      • Dmitri Smirnov says:

        XMPP is not actually used on android. Google used it’s own API for GTalk to connect to Google’s services in order to preserve battery and support voice calls.
        SMS is a completely different feature. Skype, for example can send SMSes from it’s server, setting sender’s phone number manually, so it appears as if he sent it.
        The source of confusion as I see it is that WhatsApp is using XMPP protocol to send user instant messages to server and back, while providing experience similar to texting to it’s users and providing a backup option of sending real SMS, if user is not connected to WhatsApp server, but it doesn’t mean, that XMPP is somehow related to SMSes at all.
        I will think about writing a full article, that will clarify XMPP and it’s role in modern day messaging.

  • Dave says:

    Hi Dmitri,

    Thanks for the comments which are very welcome.

    I was taking the XMPP from Google who after using the XMPP open protocol on Google Talk, have decided that they will not use it on Hangouts. Instead they will use their own secure servers which do not support XMPP open protocol.
    I will re-write the post the post explain it better

    Geeks in particular might notice that the Google Talk service runs on the open XMPP protocol. So even though many people will log on using Google Talk, you can also use iChat, GAIM, Trillian, Adium, Psi, or another one of the many great XMPP clients out there.


    We’re shutting down the mobile web app for Google Talk. For mobile users who want to continue using Google Talk, we recommend using the native Google Talk app on Android or any XMPP-compliant apps on other mobile platforms.


    • Dmitri Smirnov says:

      I might have been to harsh on you, and I’m sorry, but I was really frustrated many people linked to this article and took it as truth.
      Now the article is more correct, since XMPP was never user to transmit SMS-es and XMPP could not allow GTalk to use WhatsApp, since latter (sadly) does not support XMPP fedeation.
      I just don’t want people starting to think that XMPP and SMSes are somehow related and the fact that Hangouts cannot send SMS is in any way related to it dropping XMPP.